Round 6 – Fremantle v Essendon: Talent and discipline in spades

Fremantle v Bombers.

by Sean Gorman


Football-wise things have ramped up this year in the House of G. By some weird fortuitous football fluke I found myself on the Monday after the Derby cake walk mc-ing a memorandum of understanding signing between the Dockers and Curtin University. The VC Deborah Terry and Dockers CEO Steve Rosich extolled the virtues of the partnership. They were joined by Michael Barlow (on his day off) for the presser. Needless to say I was grinning like a loon as it is not that often you see your employer and your loved footy team come together.

Further to this I have put my hand up to be my eldest son’s u/14 team manager, his coach is Docker legend Shaun McManus. My god! The paper work is a killer with game days spent fielding emails from parents, trying to work out who is playing and who is on school camp, who will be the timekeeper, boundary umpire and  sausage sizzler. Then post game umpires need to be paid, you have to pack away all the gear and making sure the club rooms are locked. Two games into the East Fremantle Power’s season the boys have scored a paltry two points. You get the idea! For the game between Freo and the Bombers I’m buggered and due to fatigue decide to give my members ticket to my eldest boy’s mate. I drop the boys at the North Freo train station.


I get home and settle in with a Coopers pale in an emotional space that is a somewhat new manifestation for many Dockers fans (i.e. being supremely confident we will win).



The first quarter is a scrappy and tight affair as the Bombers are up and about but so are Freo. Precision in clutch games is the key these days without it sides struggle as possession is everything. In Freo Son Son Walters is the epitome of this as is Clancee ‘the Surgeon’ Pearce, no relation to Danyle or first gamer Alex.

The Bombers are ‘plucky’ but the poise of Freo is noticeably led by the dynamic duo in  Mundy and Fyfe who capitalize on the Bombers turnovers.


Freo 4.3  to 2.1.


The second quarter starts but the difference is Freo have purpose with a steelier edge and epitomized by Lachie Neale. Every kick he gets goes to a team mate. He runs hard and you get the sense Freo have gone up a notch.  All the usual suspects are getting in on it. Pav is smashing Hurley (is that not the most ridiculous do in AFL history?) Sandilands is imposing his considerable bulk and guile in equal measure making big Az the best ruckman going. Deft taps to Fyfe who kicks long to Pav time and again. Its football porn. Mayne has brought his previous form against the Dees and he is playing well. Heppell is tagging Fyfe but you get the feeling Dyson would prefer to be playing his own game or breaking out the recliner and a frothy if only to watch and learn. Two things stand out as we go into the main break: Freo have talent and discipline in spades.


Freo 9.4.  Bombers 3.3.


The thirds quarter is less intense than the first two.  The Dockers machine though has maintained the pressure and the barometer of this is Pav, he slots his fourth before Clancee Pearce and Michael Walters also kick lovely goals from their beautiful left boots. Again Sandi is the person who enables this to happen. Michael Barlow is collected high by Mark Baguley and he is duly reported for rough conduct further adding to the Bombers problems. A shot of the Bomber box shows Hird poker faced. The season has not panned out for the coach as well as he perhaps would have expected. What would he give for the Freo midfield?


Freo 12.8.  Essendon 3.6.



At the start of the fourth I put the note pad down and just let the action play out. Essendon start to get the better of Fremantle but you get the feeling that this is more because Freo have taken the foot off the accelerator. But Essendon lack targets and there is a notion of inevitability.  Collier goals for the Bombers but in reality she is all over. I think back to the 2013 grand final, it hurt but I reckon going out in straight sets last year would have stung them more. One thing is for sure this is not those sides this side is much, much better than that and by the end of the round it is empirically clear that we are as the Freo Dockers sit two games clear with the Eagles sitting number two.  Hang on Freo peeps its going to be a wild ride…..



FREMANTLE  4.3  9.4  12.6   12.8 (80).
ESSENDON   2.1  3.3   3.6    7.10 (52).


Neale, Fyfe, Pavlich.

Almanac: Sandilands, Fyfe, Pav.




  1. Nicely described Sean.

    Look, I’ll get down and help you with that big job you’ve taken on with the kids. No worries, happy to get involved.

    Wait a minute, I live in Busselton. Bugger. No can do. But good luck with it.

  2. Sean Gorman says

    Your place in Ellen st may have a mysterious incendiary event ala the National my friend – Busso would be your permanent address……

  3. Gormy – the Dockers are certainties this year.

  4. Sean,
    The East Fremantle Power?? Did you decide to give your kids a Johnny Cash “Boy named Sue” upbringing? Toughen him up for a lifetime in purple?
    Look the Avenging Eagle and I will be down on the weekend to help out and rescue the poor little blighter. What? Sorry, my passport over the railway bridge is only good for 9-5 Monday to Friday.
    See you at the G in October instead.
    Drunk and Disorderly of Dianella

  5. John Butler says

    G’day Sean

    The Dockers under Ross fascinate me. And I love how completely Ross has got the resident Cat contingent on this site sucked in (cf Dips’ comment above). Hilarious.

    Sadly, without Foxtel I haven’t seen a minute of Dockers football so far this season. I’m interested on your thoughts on the theory going around that the side has benefited from the absence of Crawley and Zac – that its freed up the team’s creativity.

    My interest has a Carlton angle – I have a suspicion Mick’s overuse of taggers isn’t helping our ball movement.

    Is the Iconic Zac a certainty to return once fit?


  6. Sean Gorman says

    John tbh i would defer to my much learned friend and Bussleton retiree Les. But to be frank it would seem that the absence of Crowley (and I hate saying this) seems to have done exactly that (i.e. free up the freewheelingness that when played at its best is great to watch).

    Zac on the other hand is an old favourite of Roly so you would think perhaps a cursory game down at the Peelers will see the Golden Fister (no it aint and adult movie) come in but I reckon if he does not ‘play his role’ there will be plenty of Purple Eagle Eaters to bring the pain.

    If you get a chance slip down to a public house and watch the first half of this weeks match against the dish lickers ( you have my permission tell your missus). If the previous weeks are anything to go by it stands to be a corker.

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