The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 5 – Fremantle v Adelaide: Battles within the contest

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!



Fremantle versus Adelaide
2.40pm, Sunday, April 29
Subiaco Oval, Perth



IT MUST BE EXHAUSTING PLAYING FOR OR AGAINST ADELAIDE – even watching them is tough. I dont mean its annoying or dreary; its just that the Crows play a style of footy that draws you into tactical battle. You find yourself looking behind the play to see how things are setting up, you find yourself drawn into the tension of the match, applauding every target found, tackle laid and point scored.


When Adelaide came to Subiaco Oval in 2006, Fremantles Roger Hayden made a horrible mistake early in the game and gave away a goal. The Crows added another couple in no time and then put up the shutters. Fremantle ground away for the rest of the afternoon but when the final siren rang the Crows were 11 points ahead. Hayden was banished to the WAFL to find some form with South Fremantle.


On this Sunday, in bleak conditions, Adelaide again scored the first goal but this time the home teams defence held fast and Hayden was in sparkling form – in fact, he played possibly the best game of his career. The Crows seemed to be forcing Fremantles attacks into the left forward pocket at the city end, from where it was almost impossible to score goals. At quarter-time, Adelaide led
by three points.


For a long period in the second quarter the Crows got right on top in the midfield but it was during this period that the Dockers made possible their victory. Great defence from Hayden, Mundy, Grover, Dodd and McPharlin turned back multiple attacks and Adelaide just didnt get value for their efforts. In fact its worth mentioning that the spoiling from behind by the Fremantle defenders was probably the best by a group since the new hands-in-the-back interpretation came in. At the other end Brett Rutten was winning his duel with Matthew Pavlich, with the star Fremantle forward being forced to go far and wide to get a kick.


At half-time, Adelaide led by a point. It was like 2006, but this time the Dockers were closer. After a desperate struggle throughout the second half there was a kick in it.


The contest I watched with most interest was between Adelaide defender Andrew McLeod and Fremantle half-forward Luke Webster, who was playing a defensive role on the champion Crow. Imagine giving that instruction to a half-forward flanker in the old days!


They were an odd couple. Behind him, McLeod had 264 games, two premierships, two Norm Smith Medals and two fairest-and-best awards. Webster had 28 games, three knee reconstructions, and a Simpson Medal for a WAFL v SANFL game in 2003.


McLeod is a beautiful player, a match-winner. Webster is a battler, but hes smart, and when the ball was bounced in the Fremantle forward line with 25 seconds to play, he slipped away, grabbed a punch from Chris Tarrant, threw the ball onto his left foot and kicked the winning point. Webster was the match-winner.


When the final siren rang, all the Fremantle players wanted a piece of Shaun McManus. The original Docker had played his 200th game in a career stalled by two knee reconstructions and form slumps. Incredibly, his best seasons have been 2006 and 07.


Fremantle .3 3.7 5.13 7.16 (58)
3.0 4.2 6.5 8.9 (57)


: Cook 3; Solomon, Crowley, Tarrant, Bell.
: Stevens 3; Perrie 2; Thompson, Van Berlo, Bock.


Fremantle: Hayden, Mundy, Webster, Cook, McPharlin, Dodd.
: Thompson, Stevens, van Berlo, Rutten, Hudson, Edwards.

McManus (Fremantle) 200 games;
J. Carr (Fremantle) 50 games at current club.


Margetts, Allen, Ellis.


Hayden (F) 3, Thompson (A) 2, Mundy (F) 1.


Hayden (F) 3, Thompson (A) 2, Mundy (F) 1.



CROWD:    37,172


For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.



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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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