In an emotional farewell to Fremantle’s greatest ever player, Matthew Pavlich, the Dockers rose to the occasion to defeat the determined Western Bulldogs by twenty points.
The Round Three clash between Richmond and the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium was expected by most to be one-way traffic with the Tigers having won the last three encounters by an average margin of 66 points. Despite their recent domination, the enthusiasm of the Tigers was dampened somewhat by the news that stellar midfielder Brett Deledio would miss his first game in over five seasons, an incredible record in modern Australian Rules Football. An Achilles injury suffered in the Tigers' tight win over Carlton was the culprit. Shaun Hampson would also miss for Richmond, meaning third string ruckman Orren Stephenson would be required to take the bulk of the ruck duties against the Bulldogs' Will Minson, one of the best ruckmen in the business. The Western Bulldogs went into the clash unchanged from the team that showed plenty of spirit against North Melbourne in Round Two, before being run over in the final quarter by a fast finishing Kangaroo outfit.
by Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA
With the “tanking” saga behind them and the club coffers $500,000 lighter as a result, the Demons can head into 2013 with a clean slate and better times on the horizon. Chris Dawes comes across from Collingwood in an attempt to provide some help for Mitch Clark inside the forward fifty, while disgruntled midfielder Brent Moloney was given his walking papers to the sunny climes of Brisbane with the Lions. Whilst Shannon Byrnes should slot straight into Melbourne’s best 22 with a fresh opportunity after stagnating somewhat at Geelong, the real
Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia
Despite having only the slimmest of mathematical chances of making the Finals, Richmond Coach Damien Hardwick insists that his team will be going all out to win every remaining game of the 2012 season. On the other side of the coin, the Western Bulldogs are doing their best to stay positive in the face of multiple injuries and poor performance. Past match history was in the Bulldogs favor in Round 20 as the Tigers had not registered a win against the Doggies since Round 3 in 2005. The Tigers received a pre-game boost when Bulldog midfield gun Ryan Griffen was ruled out with an injury.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Kevin Sheedy coached his 650th game in Round 16. He coached Essendon in 635 games 1981-2007. The leading ten coaches in the game’s history are Jock McHale (714 games with Collingwood), Michael Malthouse (664 games with Footscray, West Coast and Collingwood), Kevin Sheedy (650 games with Essendon and the GWS Giants), Allan Jeans (575 games with St Kilda, Hawthorn and Richmond), Tom Hafey (522 games with Richmond, Collingwood, Geelong and the Sydney Swans), David Parkin (518 games with Hawthorn, Carlton and Fitzroy), Ron Barassi (515 games with Melbourne, Carlton, North Melbourne and the Sydney Swans), Leigh Matthews (461 games with Collingwood and the Brisbane Lions), Norm Smith (449 games with Fitzroy, Melbourne and South Melbourne) and Dick Reynolds (415 games with Essendon).
Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium
If the Fremantle Dockers had any aspirations of playing Finals football then a win against the Western Bulldogs at home was a must. The Bulldogs remained a mathematical chance to play in the Finals but this Round 15 game was a must-win game in that campaign. Both sides have been well out of form and languishing well down the ladder, but the Dockers went into the round with a one game lead over their rivals with a huge home crowd in attendance to urge them on.
Since 2005 the Western Bulldogs have had the wood on Fremantle. The last time they played, Barry Hall sunk the Dockers almost single-handedly, booting a bagful of goals to help the Bulldogs run out 82 point winners. Big Barry was back in Perth again and no matter where they are on the Ladder, the Bulldogs always give a good account of themselves at the large Patersons Stadium.