Sea­son starts in earnest

Wanneroo Times - - News - Mark Don­ald­son

OK pre-sea­son footy’s done. Now for the real stuff.

And West Coast will be hop­ing their real stuff re­sem­bles lit­tle of what they pro­duced against Fre­man­tle at HBF Arena on Sun­day, with the Dock­ers belt­ing their fierce ri­vals in a 14.17 (101) to 5.9 (39) JLT Com­mu­nity Series de­mo­li­tion.

Thou­sands of fans filled the banks of the Joon­dalup ground, with the of­fi­cial fig­ure stand­ing at about 7700, though it ap­peared to be much higher than that.

Fre­man­tle coach Ross Lyon would be pleased with the pres­sure shown by his side and no doubt buoyed at see­ing cap­tain Nat Fyfe (26 touches, one goal) in fine touch ahead of their round one AFL clash against Port Ade­laide in two weeks time.

It may have only been a pre­sea­son game but there was plenty of in­tent on show.

A bone-shak­ing hit from Ea­gles livewire Liam Ryan (13 dis­pos­als, one goal) late in the third quar­ter left Ed Lang­don writhing on the turf.

Man moun­tain Aaron Sandi­lands (12 dis­pos­als, 24 hitouts) was in amongst it early in the piece, com­ing from the ground un­der the blood rule with a cut weep­ing be­neath his eye.

Ryan and San­dliands shared a mo­ment later in the game when the gi­ant ruck­man’s 122kg frame flat­tened the 71kg first-year player in a big tackle on the flank.

Lachie Neale was the best player on the ground with 11 dis­pos­als in the open­ing stanza, which grew to 36 touches and three goals by the fi­nal siren.

The Ea­gles’ lack­lus­tre dis­play was per­haps best summed up in the third quar­ter when star player Luke Shuey dropped a sim­ple mark in space on the wing de­liv­ered by An­drew Gaff.

Shuey’s fum­ble al­lowed Fre­man­tle’s prized No. 2 draft pick An­drew Brayshaw (19 dis­pos­als, nine tack­les) to wrap him up and trap him hold­ing the ball.

Fre­man­tle broke the game open in the se­cond term, kick­ing six goals to West Coast’s one and tak­ing an 8.10 (58) to 3.3 (21) lead into half-time.

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