After The Game With Gerry ‘Gero’ Robertson – #11 v Tigers

4 v 8
Freo struggles again
Dead set lucky
Poised to drop to 5.

Well, what is there that can usefully be said?

As well as Freo play at times – and they are hanging in there each week, for sure – they have definitely lost the knack of winning.

For most of the first three quarters it seemed like a re-run of last week v the Swans. Main difference was that Swans are a seriously better side than the Tigers and were able to pull off the kick and mark and frustrate the opposition game plan superbly for the whole game, whereas the Tigers floundered in the last quarter.

Again Freo misjudged, fumbled, mis-kicked, shanked, dropped marks, and couldn’t kick straight.

And when Freo was offered the chance, on a plate, in the last to take the game, they simply couldn’t bring themselves to do it.

Tigers probably feel a bit the same way. Haven’t seen the play-on call from the set shot on goal before, I don’t think.

If they’d given the Sherrin to Bolton in the last few minutes, he’d have won it for them. He shone all night. Love watching him play.

The question of what to do with our Captain has unfortunately been resolved. Many, including your scribe, have feared such an ignominious end to his career. Too soon to say that? No, I don’t believe so.

The great Dave Mundy is also plainly in his last season. Too many errors of judgment lately.

As is Sonny. Apart from his usual scudding goal, his contributions are becoming fewer and fewer.

I hate to say it, but Freo must now plan for life without these three pretty much from this point on. The tough decision is when do they start without them? Can we afford playing the veterans in the finals? Probably Nathan won’t be fit to play in any event.

Of the three Dave Mundy is having the most impact and likely to be the most significant come finals time. Not sure about Sonny.

A hard call for the coaches. Sentimentality borne of distinguished service to the club over many years does have a place in sport, doesn’t it?

The cutting down of Freo in recent games seems to have been by similar means, whether we won or lost. Our much talked up mids, while present and correct most of the games, just aren’t having the impact they were earlier in the season. By this stage of the Home & Aways, of course, all the other coaches have plans for them. Neutralise, rather than beat them is the ploy. Keep halving the contest is the message.

The result is that our clever small forwards aren’t really getting good delivery. And it showed against Richmond just as it did over the past few matches. Can you remember seeing Shooter in the action more than a couple times against the Tigers? Banners and Freddy were roundabout, but only just. It would be remiss of me however not to credit Shooter for keeping the umpire honest and Freddy for the match drawing smother in the dying moments of the game.

On top of that, Tabs is as enigmatic as ever. Just when you think after all these years he’s had a breakout game, he doesn’t deliver in the next. Without the Lobbstar, Tabs really had to impose himself. And he did at times. But we needed more.

The defence was back to close to their best, but like their teammates all around the ground seem to have got the fumbles of late – apart from Youngy – and not to take the obvious choices when offered them.

Perhaps as the H&A season draws to an end and finals loom – whether in the 4 or the 8 – Freo is losing a little confidence. Perhaps we have become a little gun shy, second guessing our game plan as the reality of a great year and finals presents itself.

As well, of course, the opposition are increasingly desperate. There are no easy games.

Wonder if Pav can be brought back for a cameo at centre half forward for the finals?

The run home is challenging.

We will drop out of the top 4 by the end of this round, unless something amazing happens, like the other contenders all draw their matches.

Then it’s the Demons at home, the Dogs at Marvel, the Eagles at home, and then the Giants, probably in Canberra. Tough going.

And don’t count your chickens for that Derby game either. Eagles will likely be saying goodbye to JK and Nic Nat, and they’ll rise to the occasion.

We could win all 4 and flash back into the top 4, or snag just one or two and hang around the top of the bottom 4. (Surely we couldn’t lose all 4?)

Time will tell.

One thing’s for sure though, it’s been a sensational season and Freo have nothing to lose by going full throttle over the next month before the finals.

Can’t wait for what lies ahead.

Go Freo!

See you next week.


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