The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 1 – Fremantle v Port Adelaide

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before the website ever existed. In the absence of play in the 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on the internet. Enjoy!


Fremantle v Port Adelaide
Saturday, March 31
Subiaco Oval, Perth

Les Everett



THE DOCKERS MADE THE PRELIMINARY FINAL in 2006 so their approach to this season carries with it something completely new: realistic high expectations. They were not only warm favourites to beat Port Adelaide in Round 1 but were heading towards premiership favouritism.


Game day was beautiful, the crowd was set – in that not-quite-ready-for-footy way of Round 1. My seat at Subiaco Oval is a beauty: right behind the opposition bench. I get to see and hear some unusual things. I can offer advice to resting players that they can actually hear.


As the game began I saw something that brought the big stage back to a more human scale. A woman walked up to the fence, and lent around to peer into the visitors’ dug-out. “Hey Nathan”, she said, and went back to her seat. My guess was that she was the mother of Nathan Krakouer, a skinny 19-year-old from Western Australia, who was making his AFL debut for Port.


After that heart-warming distraction, I got back into the game. Fremantle soon took control. If it hadn’t been for Daniel Motlop, who kicked all three of his team’s goals in the first quarter, the Dockers would have put an end to Power’s chances. Josh Carr controlled the midfield, Dean Solomon kicked two 50-metre goals, and fellow newcomer Chris Tarrant scored a neat goal around his body.


By quarter-time things were looking rosy for the home team, which was 27 points in front.


In the second quarter Fremantle got rather messy. The precise kicking of Michael Johnson and Heath Black from the half-back line was being missed. However, when Motlop limped from the ground with an ankle injury, Port looked doomed. Having entered the game without its best two players, Warren Tredrea and Peter Burgoyne, it seemed the loss of Motlop would be too much.


Two goals early in the second half put Fremantle 34 points up and a comfortable cruise to victory was on the cards. Matthew Pavlich dominated and Port Adelaide couldn’t find an opponent classy enough to handle the Dockers’ champion.


But then the game changed. Port had been chipping away at Fremantle’s Achilles heel – centre-bounce clearances – in the first half but early in the third quarter something snapped.


Dean Brogan and Brendon Lade wore down giant ruckman Aaron Sandilands, who was not getting the usual good support from Justin Longmuir. Eventually it appeared the umpires were simply handing the ball to Port Adelaide rather than bouncing it.


At the 19-minute mark of the third quarter Mark Williams brought Brogan from the ground. He glared down into the dug-out and said, “I don’t need a rest. We’re killing them.” He was only a couple of metres away from me; I could have said something but I didn’t.


He was right. The Power kicked 10 goals for the quarter including two set shots from outside the fifty by Damon White and a 60-metre torpedo from Lade. Krakouer kicked a goal, too. Fremantle had a chance to go to the three-quarter time huddle nine points down but Solomon missed a set shot after the siren.


The Dockers kicked with the breeze in the last quarter but Brogan’s comment said it all really: Port Adelaide had snatched control of the game from Fremantle and wasn’t going to give it back.


Premiership betting has been reassessed. Already.


Fremantle 8.1 10.4 14.5 16.9 (105)
Port Adelaide 3.4 6.6 16.7 19.7 (121)


Port Adelaide: Motlop, Rodan, White, Ebert 3; Lade 2; Surjan, Pearce, Krakouer, Cockshell, Pettigrew.
Fremantle: Pavlich 5; Duffield, Solomon, Tarrant 2; Carr, Hasleby, Crowley, Sandilands, Hayden.


Port Adelaide: Brogan, White, Pearce, Salopek, Rodan, Cornes.
Fremantle: Pavlich, J. Carr, McManus, McPharlin, Sandilands, Hayden.


Tarrant (Fremantle) 300 goals.


Cockshell, Krakouer (Port Adelaide).


Rosebury, Sully, Chamberlain.


Brogan (PA) 3, Pavlich (F) 2, White (PA) 1.


White* (PA) 3, Surjan (PA) 2, Pavlich (F) 1.



If you want a printed copy of the 2007 edition of The Footy Almanac 2007, they can be purchased here.


2007 Footy Almanac



Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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About Les Everett

A Footy Almanac veteran, Les Everett is the author of Gravel Rash: 100 Years of Goldfields Football and Fremantle Dockers: An Illustrated History. He is the WAFL correspondent and uses the money he makes from that role to pay for his expensive websites and and fund the extravagant Vin Maskell at

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