Dockers drag Bulldogs back to earth
FREMANTLE 6.2 9.6 13.9 16.10 (106)
Western Bulldogs: Dahlhaus 3, Cross 2, Murphy 2, Cooney, Smith, Lower, Cordy
Fremantle: Walters 3, Bradley 2, Pavlich 2, Crozier 2, Fyfe, Mayne, Barlow, Mzungu, Hill, Sutcliffe, de Boer
Western Bulldogs: Liberatore, Cooney, Lower, Dahlhaus, Minson
Fremantle: Fyfe, Crowley, Walters, McPharlin, Barlow, Mayne
Western Bulldogs: Nil
Fremantle: Pearce (calf)
Western Bulldogs: Mitch Wallis replaced by Koby Stevens in the third quarter
Fremantle: Clancee Pearce replaced by Cameron Sutcliffe at three-quarter time
Umpires: Ray Chamberlain, Jason Armstrong, Andrew Mitchell
An impressive Fremantle side have brought the Western Bulldogs back to earth with a comfortable 28-point win at Etihad Stadium.The Dockers won 16.10 (106) to 11.12 (78) in front of 19,210 fans on Saturday to remain unbeaten after their opening-round victory over West Coast.
The Dogs had kicked 19 goals in thrashing Brisbane by 68 points last weekend.
But the run and scoring power they displayed against the Lions was expertly stifled by the well-drilled Dockers, who have let an opposition team score more than 12 goals just once in their past 13 games.
The Dockers had the game pretty much in their keeping after restricting the Dogs to just 1.1 in the first quarter, while they booted six goals themselves.
While the Bulldogs briefly fought back with the first three goals of the second term, the Dockers kicked three of the next four to lead by 25 points at the long break.
They sewed up the contest with a burst of four goals to open the second half and build a 49-point lead, with midfield gun David Mundy involved in setting up the first two after he had been well held by former teammate Nick Lower in the first half.
Versatile midfielder Nathan Fyfe was excellent for Fremantle, with 25 touches and a goal, while the run of Stephen Hill and Danyle Pearce through the middle of the ground was important.
Agile forward pocket Michael Walters was a danger man with three goals, tall forwards Matthew Pavlich and Kepler Bradley kicked two each and Luke McPharlin was extremely solid in defence.
The contribution of tagger Ryan Crowley, who blanketed Dogs’ midfield star Ryan Griffen, was also a key factor.
For the Bulldogs, Brownlow Medallist Adam Cooney showed plenty of dash and picked up 31 touches to continue his fine early-season form, Tom Liberatore worked strongly in close, winning 12 clearances, small forward Luke Dahlhaus kicked three majors and Jordan Roughead worked hard on Pavlich.
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