Lack of depth leads to lop­sided thump­ings in TAFL fix­tures

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMPSON

FRE­MAN­TLE will head into Sun­day’s highly an­tic­i­pated show­down with Hawthorn three games clear of the reign­ing premier, but as out­siders af­ter the Dock­ers sur­vived a scare against lowly Bris­bane last night.

The Dock­ers even­tu­ally pre­vailed by 36 points in another wet- weather slog, shrug­ging off a dogged Lions out­fit in the last quar­ter at Su­bi­aco Oval.

The Hawks and Dock­ers, the two flag favourites and 2013 Grand Fi­nal ad­ver­saries, will square off for the only time this sea­son when they meet at Aurora Sta­dium in Launce­s­ton.

Play­ing for a sixth con­sec­u­tive game in ei­ther rain or very slip­pery con­di­tions, Fre­man­tle again laboured for PLAYER short­ages made their mark on the week­end’s lo­cal AFL fix­tures, with both se­nior games hav­ing lop­sided re­sults.

Reign­ing premier the Thuringowa Bull­dogs thumped an un­der­strength Curra Swans by 119 points, with the Swans un­able to kick a sin­gle goal. the first three quar­ters in a match that was a stop­page and tackle fest.

The teams slapped on a re­mark­able to­tal of 233 tack­les.

Lead­ing by just three points at three- quar­ter time, Fre­man­tle re­sponded by slam­ming on four goals in the open­ing eight min­utes of the fi­nal term to seal the re­sult.

Hav­ing kicked just six goals in the first three quar­ters, the Dock­ers added seven goals to one in the last quar­ter to ease clear.

David Mundy was in­flu­en­tial with 30 touches, while Nat Fyfe had another qual­ity out­ing with 27 dis­pos­als and nine clear­ances.

Dayne Beams had 30 pos­ses­sions, 10 clear­ances and 11 tack­les for the Lions.

The Lions were al­ways go­ing to do it tough against Her­mit Park af­ter go­ing with­out most of their usual first graders, but were still put to the sword as the Tigers scored a 42.27 ( 279) to 1.1 ( 7) win at Harold Phillips Oval.

“There’s been a lot of de­bate on so­cial media about the re­sults, but it’s not some­thing that can be fixed overnight,” Bull­dogs coach and AFL Townsville oper­a­tions man­ager Tony Burke said.

“We call it our Ori­gin pe­riod and it’s not new to us, and it’s some­thing we have to deal with the best we can. We cer­tainly didn’t ex­pect to get that re­sult, even though we knew Curra were down on num­bers, and our boys were ready from the word go be­cause gen­er­ally our matches with Curra are very com­pet­i­tive.”

The Tigers were equally ruth­less against Curra, lead­ing 130- 0 at half- time be­fore dou­bling their score by full- time.

The Lions and Curra will have a chance to re­group this week­end when they play each other year.

Thuringowa and Her­mit Park fur­ther ce­mented their po­si­tions at first and sec­ond on the AFL Townsville lad­der af­ter their points dif­fer­en­tials re­ceived ma­jor top- ups, while Univer­sity took another step to­wards fi­nals by get­ting four points from the bye.

for the

third time



BIG EF­FORT: Fre­man­tle’s Matthew Pavlich cel­e­brates a goal dur­ing his team’s win over Bris­bane yesterday.

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