Fremantle too sharp, clinical for Saints

Big men Aaron Sandilands and Jonathon Griffin have made their mark in Fremantle’s clinical and commanding 37-point AFL victory over St Kilda.


The rucks combined for four goals in the 15.6 (96) to 8.11 (59) win, which keeps the Dockers on track for the minor premiership.

It was one-way traffic early in the match, with Ross Lyon’s side showing why they find themselves 10 points clear of the pack.

Fremantle inflicted the killer blows swiftly and with precision.

From their first seven marks inside 50, Fremantle kicked seven unanswered goals from the boots of seven different players.

By half-time the contest was over, with Matthew Pavlich and Hayden Crozier joining the rucks with two goals as the Dockers surged to a 12 goals to two lead.

Alex Pearce’s long bomb after the half-time siren joined a rushed effort as the only behinds on Fremantle’s impressive scoreboard.

Lachie Neale, Stephen Hill and David Mundy gave the Dockers plenty of run, while Pavlich continued his rich vein of form in attack.

The Dockers ruck duo of Sandilands and Griffin started Fremantle’s dominance by winning the hitouts and finding a pair of goals each when the match was briefly in the balance.

After the first-quarter cataclysm, the Saints enjoyed spells of dominance but couldn’t dent the Dockers’ scoreboard dominance.

In his 200th game, Sean Dempster had 20 touches with only Leigh Montagna prominent from the St Kilda midfield.

Saints talls Nick Riewoldt, Josh Bruce and Paddy McCartin were goalless until the last quarter before each kicked a major with the game lost.

The most damaging effort in front of St Kilda’s goal was Jack Steven’s close-range goal in the fourth term that struck goal umpire Chelsea Roffey, which he quickly apologised for.

But worse for coach Alan Richardson could be the club’s injury toll after a string of players required treatment.

Teenager Daniel McKenzie was substituted after feeling a tough David Mundy tackle in the goalsquare while Jack Lonie (knee) and Shane Savage (back) played through obvious discomfort.

After shipping five last-term goals, Lyon said he was taking the victory and moving on.

“They kept coming … they’d be pretty pleased with their finish,” he said.

“We were pretty pleased with our dominant start. I thought we were fantastic, it was never in doubt from there.”

Richardson said the second-term injuries frustrated him.

“It makes the finish to the game all the more impressive really given the state they were in,” he said.

“When the game was up for grabs they were way too good for us.”

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