Freo feasts on Giants
FREMANTLE 6.1 8.14 14.18 18.24 (132)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 0.2 0.3 4.5 5.7 (37)
Fremantle: Pavlich 7, Walters 2, Pearce 2, Hill 2, Crowley, Johnson, Ballantyne, Clarke, Bradley
Greater Western Sydney: Bruce, Frost, Hoskin-Elliot, Ugle, Treloar
Fremantle: Pavlich, Hill, McPharlin, Johnson, Pearce
Greater Western Sydney: Greene, Palmer, Bruce, Bugg, Treloar
Greater Western Sydney: Nil
Fremantle: Cameron Sutcliffe replaced David Mundy in the third quarter
Greater Western Sydney: Jacob Townsend replaced Kurt Aylett in the third quarter
Umpires: Fleer, Farmer, Ritchie
Official crowd: 28,767 at Patersons Stadium
Fremantle’s quest for a finals berth received a somewhat predictable boost on Sunday, with Ross Lyon’s team smashing Greater Western Sydney at Patersons Stadium.
Freo burst out of the blocks with a six-goal-to-nil first term, and things got only slightly better for the Giants from there.
Only wasteful goal kicking prevented the margin blowing out to triple figures, with Freo eventually winning 18.24 (132) to 5.7 (37).
The victory lifted Fremantle to ninth on the ladder, and importantly, boosted its percentage from 97.6 to 105.1 – just 2.6 per cent short of eighth-placed North Melbourne.
Matthew Pavlich kept up his recent hot form, booting seven goals, including four in the opening term to kick-start the rout, while Stephen Hill, Luke McPharlin and Clancee Pearce also starred.
Coach Ross Lyon said it had been a mental challenge for his players to keep their “foot on the throat” after building a 59-point half-time lead.
“They (GWS) are a really young team and you fight that human nature of complacency,” the coach said on Sunday night.
“[We were] probably just a bit sloppy defensively in the third and then just our ability to take some opportunities in front of goals would have rounded it off nicely.
“Overall, I think you take it and you move on and you look to build.”
GWS entered the match with an average losing margin of 113 over the past month and failed to kick a goal in the opening half.
But a four-goal third quarter at least gave the Giants something to cheer about, with debutants Sam Frost and Gerald Ugle among the goalkickers.
Giants coach Kevin Sheedy said the term was one of the most encouraging his team had played this season.
“It’s up there, because it was six goals to four against an experienced side,” the coach said. “[But] we were lucky that they kicked a few points, let’s be honest.
“We took a gamble and a risk by playing seven boys who have played three or less games.
“(But) I think they kicked four of our five goals, the boys who had just come into the side.”
Pavlich has now booted 31 goals in his past six matches, with his season tally of 45 putting him behind just Lance Franklin (51 goals) and Jack Riewoldt (47) in the Coleman Medal race.
The 30-year-old veteran was simply unstoppable in the first quarter, booting three early goals as Fremantle raced out to a 31-0 lead.
High-priced GWS recruit Callan Ward’s missed shot on the run in the 19th minute at least gave the visitors their first point of the match, but Pavlich added his fourth goal soon after as Fremantle headed to the break with a commanding 35-point lead.
The half-time margin would have been around the 100-point mark if it wasn’t for some atrocious goalkicking by the home team in the second quarter.
Fremantle booted a wayward 2.13 for the term, with Kepler Bradley the biggest culprit after missing three straight-forward set shots.
Later, the 28,767 fans on hand gave Bradley a rousing reception when the former Bomber finally kicked truly in the fourth quarter after four behinds.
Pavlich failed to kick a goal for the second quarter, but neither did GWS as the Giants went to the half-time break with just 0.3 to their name – their worst ever return.
Freo was hungry to add to its percentage, but was left frustrated in the second half as GWS finally showed some fight.