Fyfe Returns as Dockers Survive the Mighty Hawthorn Scare

Fremantle overcame a major fear from Hawthorn at Optus Stadium and took a hard-working 13-point victory on Saturday afternoon.

The result was far from guaranteed for most of the afternoon, with Sam Mitchell’s side leading 39 minutes and 50 seconds.

However, the Dockers found a way to cross the line and move into the top four.

Saturday’s game marked the return of Nat Fyfe, the Freo skipper who defied pre-match expectations and played much of the match closely on foot.

He still pushed forward to kick 1.2 and looked shaky for much of the match, but the 30-year-old had several signature moments to keep the Fremantle stalwarts going in his 21 possessions.

The Dockers have built their brand on defensive excellence, with the No. 2 in the league for the fewest points. Justin Longmuir’s defensive six were once again fantastic, keeping the Hawks at just 38.9 percent efficiency within their forward 50, more than 11 percent worse than their season average.

However, it was on Saturday’s transition where Fremantle nearly lost the game.

They gave up a whopping 61 in their 50s, some 15 above Hawthorn’s season average, while Sam Mitchell once again showed his coaching prowess in his first season at the helm.

But in the end it didn’t matter in terms of the four points, as the Hawks squandered good looks late in the final term to allow the Dockers to score back-to-back home wins.

While the roars around Optus Stadium echoed from the Purple Army after the clash, concerns will soon turn to Blake Acres after the former Saint suffered a hamstring injury in the last term.

He was captured during the broadcast as he lay distraught on the couch, a reaction that could indicate a serious injury.

The Hawks also lost Sam Frost late in the game to a knee injury.

Longmuir’s side now overtake Brisbane and rise to second place on the AFL ladder, but the Lions can reclaim their place with a win over St Kilda on Saturday night.

Both sides now have the bye in round 14.

TOTAL SCORE

Fremantle: 4.3, 6.6, 12.9, 14.11.(95)

hawthorn: 5.0, 8.4, 10.7, 12.10. (82)

GOALS

Fremantle: Schultz 2, Banfield 2, Walters 2, Colyer 2, Brayshaw, Acres, Aish, Lobb, Walker, Fyfe

hawthorn: Moore 2, Breust 2, Wingard 2, O’Meara, Morrison, Howe, Shiels, Reeves, Koschitzke

BEST

Fremantle: Brayshaw, Young, Acres, Ryan, Serong

hawthorn: O’Meara, Sicily, Moore, Morrison, Scrimshaw

Injuries

Fremantle: Acres (Hamstring), Darcy (Single)

hawthorn: Frost (knee)