For the second time in the past three seasons, the Fremantle Dockers registered one of the club’s most memorable victories over Geelong with a pulsating four-point win on Saturday night.

And just as they were in the seven-point upset in round 3, 2010, the Cats were the reigning AFL Premiers.

Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich said the win was significant against a club like Geelong, which has won three flags since 2007.

“We absolutely respect the Geelong Football Club for what they’ve done over the past five seasons,” Pavlich said.


“They’re a tremendous side. It’s a tremendous club really, with the people and the culture they’ve been able to create.

“To get a victory over them was pleasing.”

After Freo jumped out of the starting blocks to kick the first five goals of the game, a poor second quarter let the Cats back into the contest, which disappointed senior coach Ross Lyon in his first game in charge of the club.

“He certainly wasn’t happy and nor should he have been,” Pavlich said.


“We went away from our structures and our disciplines.

“Any side in the AFL will cut you up if you do that, but particularly the reigning premiers.

“Ross’ message at half-time was stay disciplined, stick to your roles and your structures and we can still get the points.”

As fatigue kicked in for both sides in the second-half, it was Pavlich’s incredible soccer-volley goal deep into the fourth quarter which proved to be the difference, and the skipper celebrated accordingly by running towards the jubilant fans, jumping in the air and pumping his fist in ecstasy.

“You get asked all the time ‘how are you going to celebrate’, ‘do you actually plan it?’. I can guarantee there’s no planning,” he said.

“It’s all about displaying raw emotion and doing what is the first thing that comes to mind for that couple of seconds when you’re so happy.”

But Pavlich was well aware that the job hadn’t been finished just yet following his moment of magic.

“You quickly have to switch back on to the next play, and for us that meant to get some extra players in defence to hopefully stop them scoring, and that meant me running about 150m down the other end of the ground when I was pretty tired as it was,” he said.

Pavlich said the occasion of a Starlight Purple Haze Game made the win just that little bit more special.

“The Starlight Purple Haze Game is something that we’ve been doing for 10 years now, so it’s become a club tradition that means a lot for every one of the players and all of the fans,” he said.

“It’s great that we’ve again raised a huge amount of money for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, but it’s also great to get the win.”
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