AFLW Round 1 – Fremantle v GWS: There’s a lot to love

My daughter says that there’s a lot of haters when it comes to AFLW. She’s right. It says a lot about the way that some of us think about women and the sports they play. But where else can you see a game that’s raw and spontaneous and one of the greatest ever players of women’s team sport for ten bucks?


It was off to the west for the last game of the first round between the Dockers and the Giants. It was a baking hot summer day and the ground looked grand and green. Freo were unbeaten last year and firm favourites now on their own deck. GWS had been living on the road to escape Covid and a couple of their best were out. 


There had been a lot happen in the last year. The competition had ground to a halt because of Covid and Jacinda Barclay had died.  It was a pretty emotional moment watching the tears slide down the face of the giant ruck Erin McKinnon during the minute’s silence. Both things showed that there are things a lot more important than sport.


The game was scrappy early. There were a few points here and there until the dockers marked near goal after the siren and went to the first break with a goal up. The second quarter saw the giants tie up the ball  in their forward 50 without being able to goal. The dockers were much more precise in attack and looked more threatening with less opportunity. Then, finally, with about six minutes to go the giants linked up a whole lot of players for Schmidt to kick a great goal from the boundary line. The giants had the pressure but not the score. Still down 5 points at half time. AFLWThe dockers really stepped it up in the third quarter with repeated entries into the 50 and then Gemma Houghton kicked two in short succession and the dockers never looked back. Parker was tireless for the giants but the dockers were too fast, too skilled and tackled too hard. It was almost the end of the quarter before the giants kicked a major but by then the game was almost over.


The giants finally kicked one about half way through the last quarter when Houghton took off down the ground for another one and was run down before the giants whipped it up the other end for a goal. Duffy kicked one and set up another and the dockers ran home 6 goal winners. And as if to remind us of some of the greater forces at play, the government announced the closure of the border between the west and the rest of the country. 


In the end, there were no surprises. Freo proved that they will be the team to watch but the Giants weren’t disgraced and they’ll get better. There’s a lot to love. 


FREMANTLE                                  1.2   2.3   5.8   8.10 (58)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 0.3   1.4   2.4   4.4 (28)


Fremantle: Houghton 3, Duffy 3, K.Antonio, Hyde

GWS: Schmidt, Beeson, Davies, Bennetts


Crowd 3,195 at Fremantle Oval


Our votes: Houghton 3 (Fremantle), Parker 2 (GWS) Duffy 1 (Fremantle)


The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in the coming weeks. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order right now HERE


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