Carlton effectively ended Fremantle’s Finals’ hopes in a comprehensive demolition at Patersons Stadium in Round 21. Fremantle had won the last 12 of 14 encounters with Carlton and got off to a great start winning the ball from the first bounce down. Aaron Sandilands was back after injury and tapped the ball down for a Matthew Pavlich clearance. Pavlich chased up his own kick to goal within the first 30 seconds of the game.
When the bottom team travels to play a team sitting in seventh position on its home turf it is generally a recipe for disaster. The Gold Coast Suns are a developing team with flashes of brilliance and two wins so far in their first season. The Fremantle Dockers wanted to celebrate the occasion of Captain Matthew Pavlich’s 250th game. “Pav” is acknowledged by many as the greatest player in the history of the Fremantle Football Club. Weather conditions were blustery, cold and wet – a rare combination in Perth, but perfect for Aussie Rules football.
Fremantle kept its Finals' hopes intact with a convincing win over the Brisbane Lions at Patersons Stadium in Round 14. The Dockers were without Michael Barlow who pulled up sore after his comeback game last week, but Alex Silvagni was back to add some muscle in defense. Brisbane had been doing well since the return of bruising full forward and captain Jonathon Brown, but had their worries without classy midfielder Drew Banfield in the team.
Round 8 marked the thirty-third Western Derby between the Fremantle Dockers and the West Coast Eagles. This game is the showpiece for Western Australian football fans with Fremantle having won the last seven meetings between the two teams. West Coast dominated in the early years winning the first nine games. A near capacity crowd of 40,567 had great expectations of a home team (Eagles) win, but before the ball had been bounced they were in for some disappointing news.
A sell out crowd was treated to an enthralling Round 22 battle between two teams vying to end the home and away season on a triumphant note with a home Final the prize for the winner.
Late July and early August is when teams either make or break their seasons. Fremantle had been losing consistently over the last few weeks with the loss of top line players to injury proving telling. Sydney hadn’t fared much better and a win in this contest would consolidate their top eight position and put pressure on Fremantle for a home ground Final.
Hawthorn took Cyril Rioli's case to the Tribunal in an effort to have one of the charges dismissed. They were contesting the charge of attempting to strike as the incident occurred during a brawl which saw nine players, including Rioli, fined. Rioli accepted the fine as well as the charge of striking and later admitted that frustration led to his brain fade. He said he would take responsibility for his actions but did not testify.
With the business end of the season approaching, the fight for a spot in the top four is tightening. Finishing top four is important because it means a double chance in the finals. Fremantle has a battle ahead to maintain its current position in fourth place after losing to Richmond in an upset in Round 15. The shock loss of Michael Barlow with a broken tibia and fibula has changed the dynamic of the team.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Last week, Fremantle's Michael Johnson escaped with a $500 fine and court costs for possession of cocaine but is once again in trouble with the club for what Coach Mark Harvey called "poor judgment". On May 26, he was ordered by Coach Harvey not to attend the Round 10 match against North Melbourne after going out to a nightclub the previous weekend. Although he will not be further sanctioned by the club for his
It was only a few weeks ago that Geelong's Matthew Stokes was reinstated to the senior list after a club imposed suspension for his drugs violation. Now Fremantle's Michael Johnson finds himself in a similar predicament. Caught in a police raid and charged with possession of cocaine, he will face court in July.