Round 1 – Fremantle v Geelong: Finally
Fremantle vs Geelong
4:40pm Sunday March 26
Domain Stadium Perth
Finally. After six long months. Footy’s back. The words every fan of AFL longs for in the boring period of time filled by cricket, basketball, soccer any sport footy fans can watch. I personally was so bored I started watching lawn bowls! Tossing the words ‘footy’s back’ back and forth in my head on Thursday night after Richmond smashed Carlton, didn’t seem right. Was it because I had started to get engrossed in the NBA season, nearing playoffs? Was it because there was cricket on? Was it because I’d been so bored by watching lawn bowls I’d lost all interest in sport? Surely not. I attributed it to one reason, I hadn’t seen Freo play for premiership points in almost 8 months. I was excited.
I was excited to see Cam McCarthy, Shane Kersten and premiership player Joel Hamling. I was exited to see the new game plan Ross said he had been working on and the skills we had been honing too. I was excited. The only thing I wasn’t excited about was our opponent. The Geelong Cats. The team I expect to feature prominently in September and October. In all honesty they are my out side pick for the flag.
I watched all the footy I could on Friday night and Saturday after playing sport for school and helping dad out. I watched the exciting young Dees beat the Saints and Essendon make their triumphant return to footy. Going to bed on Saturday, I was excited on what tomorrow would hold. Would we win? Would we lose? I was unsure. I knee one thing though, footy was back.
I hurried out of rehearsals for our school play at 20 past 4 leaving me and my mate who was coming with us, 20 minutes to catch the train and reach Subiaco Oval. Not as easy as it seems. We were about 5 minutes late but saw Ed Langdon slot the first major from a great set up by the new skipper, Nat Fyfe. Hopefully Fyfe’s leadership will motivate the boys to perform against big teams and win a few more than 3 games this year. From there on in, it was mainly all Geelong. We looked good until about the 13 minute mark of the first term. We couldn’t seem to kick the ball out of our defence properly turning it over multiple times. They made us pay by kicking the next five goals until Nick Suban pulled one back just before the end of the first quarter. We were only trailing by three goals but it felt a lot more than that.
The second quarter started off much the same as the end of the first. All Geelong and poor use of the footy. The worst part of our poor disposal was when Michael Johnson, whom is a vital part of our defence, kicked the ball straight into the man on the mark from a kick in resulting in a Geelong goal. There were multiple times where it was kicked to a two on one and the skills we had supposedly been working on, were very poor. The only time we showed some fight was when Nat Fyfe was choked by Tom Ruggles and Sonny Walters took the matter into his own hands and pushed the bloke against the fence! Ruggles is a whole 9 centimetres taller than Sonny and he was getting man handled by a player shorter than me! The fight was followed by a Fremantle free kick and a goal to Stephen Hill. It was a good way to end the second quarter. Or so I thought. Geelong quickly won possession and ran straight up the other end and kicked a goal right on the siren! Our momentum was sapped and it looked like Geelong would win easily.
The second half was much the same, all Geelong. Pretty boring from a Freo perspective. The only real positive was the performance of Brad Hill. He played really well and looks like a great pick up.
As for Geelong? They looked really good. They are fit and fast and I wouldn’t be surprised if they make it deep in the finals.
It was a disappointing start to the season but hopefully we can bounce back and maybe beat Port. After Port, we play the reigning premiers, the Bulldogs. I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone we are the last team to have beat the Bulldogs. Does that make us premiers? I don’t think so but it could the closest we’ll come this year unfortunately. The positives were few and far between but I was really pleased with the pressure and performance of Brad Hill and he receives the first ‘Hot Coales Award’ of 2017. Congratulations Brad!
Despite the result it’s good to know: footy is finally back.