Fight­ing spirit not enough

THE Dock­ers were into the nig­gle but not up to the fight in their sea­son opener with Gee­long on Sun­day, los­ing by 42 points. The re­sult made for a tough week­end for lo­cal foot­ball fans, with both Fre­man­tle-based WAFL clubs also record­ing losses.

Cockburn Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

FRE­MAN­TLE coach Ross Lyon says four of the club’s high-pro­file re­cruits will be bet­ter for their round 1 hit-out af­ter Sun­day’s 42-point loss to Gee­long.

Cam McCarthy, brought to the club from Greater Western Syd­ney, and Shane Ker­sten, from Gee­long, man­aged just one goal and 19 dis­pos­als com­bined as the Cats bagged the points with an 18.7 (115) to 10.13 (73) win at Subiaco Oval.

Run­ning ma­chine Brad Hill, who joined brother Stephen at Fre­man­tle af­ter three pre­mier­ships with Hawthorn, col­lected 17 dis­pos­als and kicked one goal.

De­fender Joel Ham­ling, who was part of the Western Bull­dogs’ 2016 premier­ship side, was kept busy, with the Cats clin­i­cal in­side their for­ward 50.

“I think ev­ery­one will be bet­ter,” Lyon said post match. “I don’t think there were any stand­outs, so I think they all have im­prove­ment, as our whole team does, as I have and our coach­ing panel.

“We have to go ahead and im­prove be­cause we didn’t get the re­sult we wanted.

“But we’ll con­tinue to work hard and build on our ef­fort. There is plenty of growth in us.”

The Dock­ers looked up to the chal­lenge in the early stages but were un­able to match last year’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal­ists over four quar­ters.

Tom Hawkins, Pa­trick Danger­field, Steven Mot­lop and Lin­coln McCarthy kicked three goals each for the Cats.

Mitch Dun­can and Joel Sel­wood got plenty of the ball for the visi­tors, while Danger­field’s 24 dis­pos­als and haul of goals gave him the edge in the mid­field bat­tle with Dock­ers skip­per Nat Fyfe, who had 28 dis­pos­als and kicked one goal.

For­mer Fre­man­tle skip­per David Mundy led the Dock­ers for dis­pos­als with 31, with Fyfe next up.

The Dock­ers next play Port Ade­laide at Ade­laide Oval on Sun­day.

Picture: Daniel Car­son/AFL Me­dia/Getty Images

Michael Wal­ters tus­sles with Tom Rug­gles dur­ing the 2017 sea­son opener be­tween Fre­man­tle and Gee­long at Subiaco Oval on Sun­day.

Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

The Dock­ers walk from the field af­ter be­ing de­feated by the Cats at Subiaco Oval on Sun­day.

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