Round 2 – Fremantle v Gold Coast: April Fools!

April Fools!

Fremantle Dockers versus Gold Coast Suns
4:40pm, 2nd April
Domain Stadium, Perth

There were some absolutely cracking April fools jokes this year, like my cousin in Japan calling my Auntie and saying she lost her passport. For sports fans, Andre Iguodala tricking Festus Ezeli (the backup center for the NBA team the Golden State Warriors) that he would be released by GSW before the playoffs. April fools were made of both of the above but no one was as big of an April fool than the Fremantle Dockers. The young, quick and exciting Gold Coast Suns played quite possibly the best game of football they have played in their 5 year history. The Suns outplayed Freo in almost every aspect of the game.

Footy was back in Perth for the second time in 2016 and this meant that mine and Grandad’s routine of two pints (for him) and two cokes (for me) started for another year. We talk about how poorly we played to a very young and exciting Western Bulldogs team last week and say that we should rebound confidently this week and win by 37 points. As we walked towards Domain Stadium, we noticed there were less people than usual heading towards the ground. Perhaps ominous signs that only the diehard supporters will stick with Freo if our round one form was anything to go by.

We greet Dad inside the ground after he finished work and we are buzzing with excitement to watch Freo’s first home game of the year. I was also buzzing to see Gary Ablett as he is probably the smartest footballer in the AFL at the moment and will come second in the Brownlow this year to either Fyfe or Dangerfield. We win the first hit out and all three of us comment how much we missed Sandilands’ dominance in the middle last week. Although we win the first hit out, Garry Ablett sharks the footy,streams forward and kicks their first goal. We look flat as we kick two behinds. Michael Johnson kicks the ball lace out and lands smack on Sonny Walters’ chest. He dabs and we’re in front. We’re narrowly in front at quarter time and I expect us to break away and lead by 41 points at halftime. What I didn’t know is how amazingly well Gold Coast would come out and play after the first break.

Simply put, Gold Coast were sublime in throughout the last three quarters. They were quick and their ball use was effective and efficient. Their second quarter was the best I’ve seen their young team play and they pretty much buried us. Its hard to come back when a team kicks seven goals to two in a quarter of football. There were absolutely no highlights for Freo in the second quarter but there were countless for Gold Coast but, they’re too painful to talk about.

The third quarter was much of the same but we didn’t look as slow as the second quarter. We kicked five goals three which is pretty good for the Dockers but, Gold Coast kicked the same too! We came out looking like we could close the 30 point gap but we kept conceding goals at regular intervals. We kept questioning whether they were good enough to hold on and, they always had the answer: yes, yes we are good enough.

I think most of us knew that we had lost at three quarter time. This was especially highlighted when droves of Freo fans exited the game with 10-15 minutes left! Yes, it was embarrassing kicking three goals six behinds whilst the Gold Coast kicked three goals three but, if you can’t stay and watch your team until the final siren, unless there’s a really great reason then don’t come at all. I haven’t been around for all of the 22 years the Fremantle Dockers have been but, I haven’t missed a home game (apart from 2 years spent living up north) since 2008. We were pretty bad in 2008 and 2009 but every game, Dad and I stayed till the end. Yes,cit was embarrassing to see us lose so poorly but it was even more embarrassing to see what would’ve been around a quarter of the fans leaving.

Gold Coast: well done. That was the best footy you young blokes have ever played and showed some of the old blokes that they couldn’t keep up!
Freo: we’re heading into a Derby playing like this? C’mon fellas! Lift your game! We can beat West Coast as long as we don’t look like April fools.

My tip for the derby: Freo by 12 points.

Fremantle: 4.4 6.7 11.10 14.16
Gold Coast: 4.3 11.6 16.9 19.12

Goal kickers
Fremantle: Ballantyne 4 Walters, Fyfe 3 Pavlich 2 Barlow, Mayne 1
Gold Coast: Lynch 5, J. Martin 4 Matera , C. Ah Chee, Davis 2 Prestia Ablett Cameron Sexton 1

About Josh Coales

15 year old student. Loves footy. Loves Freo. Loves Nat Fyfe.

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