AFL Round 9 – Fremantle v Geelong: Finessin’ the great Pav(lova)

A special week of greatness in footy!

In this week’s wake of saying goodbye to the great Tommy Hafey, last night was a ‘non-finessing’ great moment for the Fremantle Football Club.  Mathew Pavlich’s 300th proved to be a week full of ‘humbling and embarrassing’ preparatory moments for the quiet legend, but once that ball bounced at Patersons Stadium at 5.40pm, it took him just 30 seconds to unfold and pay due respects to this great Fremantle Dockers story.  I could (almost) hear Tommy chuckling – “just kick it long to [Royce] Pav; kick it quick to Pav.”  And of course Tommy was right, and in true Pav (lova) style the Freo Mob quietly smiled to each other knowing that the Cats were in for another belting.


These rivals had played the game out too many times over the week but after that fairytale ‘omen’ like beginning for Pav and for Freo, it was, in many ways, all over.  Yes, the Cats were gone and they knew it.  It just seemed all too much for them, too much pressure, and we had barely played a minute of football.  Then came four more goals for Freo and the Cats were left scratching that unforgiving dumb-found-ness we are now use to seeing from the Cats – either here on Wadjuk country or there in Victoria land.


Meanwhile over the course of the game, Pav quickly broke another record surpassing 600 goals (and yes, he didn’t even know about it – how’s that for humble?!) and together with stand-outs Fyfe, Barlow, Hill, Mzungu, Crowley, Mundy and Sandi he collectively showed what true champions they really are.  They had all come to play for Pav – for Fremantle.  That great gutsy spirit was well and truly back for the Dockers and they put together four quarters of concerted grunt, committed – ‘just kick the ball’ – Tommy Hafey football.  Other telling moments were seen in the equally brilliant theatre and influential best of Hayden Ballantyne, (keeping his feet this time) ducking and weaving his speed-magic and scoring goals that brought Fremantle to another set of highs that only Dockers football can seem to deliver.  Bally reminds many of us of a somewhat quirky, hybridised Belly and The Whizz, with his determined cheekiness coming to another great high (supported by the rancour of the Mob) to deafen Cat’s James Kelly to a splendid dacking.  ‘Gone – Holding the ball!!’ – and another influential Bally goal to Freo.  Absolutely pressurised brilliance.


We didn’t remember much of the Cat’s play last night, only the class kicking of another Tom – Tom Hawkins, the tenacity of Captain Selwood, and of course the ill-disciplined, (wannabe thug; what are we paying ya for?) Stevey J who went home deservedly goal-less.


We’ll see the great Cats in the finals we hope, but this time I think Freo will have come of another age.  We have travelled another vital step from family to community this week and we ought to thank super Pav (lova) – the great ‘non-finesser’ – for most of that!!


And thank you Tommy Hafey – RIP.


Go Freo!

dockers pass out


ps – I’ll see how long the ‘pass-out’ stamp can last.


  1. Is that a photo of a pork leg hanging in the local market?

    Cats were “bruise free”. I didn’t like it at all.

  2. Peter Schumacher says

    I reckon that Pav’s first mark and goal and the crowd reaction was just about the most memorable moment in sport for me.

  3. I must be Jewish because I had a definite religious experience on Saturday night.

    That first Pav goal in just 30 seconds, his next one being announced as his 600th, and the Ballas ducking and weaving goal right in front of us, in fact, just the whole night, was one if not THE best game I have ever been to.

    The only one that compares was an Eagles home derby, when we were given gold seats, next to the “”old”players (Lamb, Lewis, Waterman etc) and their champagne sipping, high heeled wives, in front of a box (they did tap on the glass in an annoyed way, when I was jumping up and down next to my seat), and we came from behind to WIN!

    And WHO is this imposter named Peter B, writing nice things about Freo? If it really IS you, Peter, thank you!!

  4. Peter the Mudie says

    You know, there’s nothing like a good dakking – when Bally left that poor Kelly bloke standing’ there in his Granny’s girdle you knew that it was game over, opts in the book and time to move on to Pav celebration. Butt-ass nekkid – ain’t nothing close to a good dakking.

    Go Freo.

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