With the death of state of origin footy, the AFL now have a split round, with four games on each of two weekends. With so few games happening, you'd think it would be possible to arrange free to air coverage of all the games, wouldn't you? Well, apparently you'd be wrong. Apparently the only way that we got to see this game on free to air TV was thanks to Eddie McGuire pulling some strings. Even then, it wound up being a delayed telecast, even into Melbourne where nothing else was happening.
We only got to see highlights of the first quarter, as Nine was desperately trying to fit a full game of footy plus plenty of ads breaks into two hours of schedule time. From my point of view, that was probably just as well, as Collingwood kicked 6 goals to 2 during that quarter, and Freo looked like they were in danger of being blown away.
From the start of the second quarter, a few glimmers of hope began to appear. The Dockers won the ball out of the centre and rushed it down to Hasleby, who kicked a point. That was pretty much the story of the rest of the quarter, with Freo doing well to get the ball inside 50 and provide genuine opportunities for goals, followed by some really wasteful kicking in front of goals. Just as Freo were edging closer, Collingwood managed to rally and kick a couple of quick goals to be about 20 points in front again by half time.
In the end there was a risk that Fremantle's wasteful kicking could have cost them the game, but they did well to hang on grind out the win. And from my perspective, even though the chances were being wasted, they were at least being created, which is a good sign.
Chris Connolly reckons that this win was a big achievement, and I agree with him up to a point, since Collingwood have been in good form, and had only dropped three games before this all season. Even so, the real challenge is still for Freo to find a way to win away from home.
Final Score : Fremantle 12.18-90 beat Collingwood 12.7-79.
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