After the Game v Port Adelaide Rd 5, 2024 – With Snaps Truly

What a test of character last Saturday was – not just for Jordo “I didn’t say anything Miss” Clark and his brave and battered mates, but for you and me.

How were you? Calm and accepting? Incandescent with rage?

All I know is, that I offered up only a dead eyed stare in those final moments of grotesque theatre. Once again, caught in the Carlton loop of injustice, as I was in 2020.

I left it to my children to paw at the ground, make curious bellowing noises and spread concern among their friends. They did me proud.

And so Freo returned to the scene of the crime, the Adelaide Oval – this time to face the talented Port.

Could we find focus? Could we shrug off the disappointment of the week before? Could I stop shouting “That’d be bloody right,” even if Port won a deserved free kick?

Yes, because moments earlier Adelaide came from nowhere to beat Carlton by two points and puncture both their new found sense of entitlement and their control over my emotional state.
Everything was calm again.

We watched a hard-fought opening term. Alex Pearce continued to play a brilliant intercept game and with both defences on top early, it took nine minutes for Freo to rush the first score.

Andy Brayshaw managed to find Jye Amiss on the lead and he goaled to give Freo the opener.

Remember The Name Banfield took a good contested mark to kick our second, but Port were well rewarded for their forays. Mitch Georgeadis kicked two fine goals and a Todd Marshall snap from the boundary was of the highest quality.

We trailed by seven at the quarter.

Charlie Dixon took a strong grab in the square early in the second and Port looked to have some momentum. The Fox commentators have a hopeless crush on Charlie and while they blathered on about him endlessly, they barely noticed Hayden Young find Amiss and then Treacy, who answered.

They barely noticed a moment later when a downfield free kick went to Treacy and he goaled again.

And it only dawned on them a moment later, that he had just kicked three in three minutes when he took full advantage, after a sweet Brandon Walker sidestep and pass.

Lovely stuff.

Freo went to the half six points in front. A poised performance by a vastly improving team.

A strangely low vibe start to the third. Not much contested footy and lots of mistakes. Port completely dominated the inside 50s but got no value from them. Ingrid Bergman produced a surprise “here’s looking at you kid” moment to kick a brilliant goal and finally break the drought.

And yet, Freo continued to make something out of not much.

Tom Emmett marked strongly to goal and a moment later Matt Taberner, perhaps hearing that I was planning a visit to “the country” tomorrow, took the hint and got on the end of a Serong pass.

The margin stretched to ten points.

A piece of Willie Rioli magic gave Port some reward, but at three quarter time, Freo’s stifling defensive footy and incredible determination to just hang in there, was serving us well. The lead four points.

Freo opened the scoring in the last quarter, thanks to a brave Amiss mark and goal. He received a free remedial kidney massage in the process.

Port responded almost immediately but were bombing the ball now and Luke Ryan intercepted most of them.

After Remember The Name had a couple of No, Let’s Forget Them moments, Andy Brayshaw suddenly popped up to do what Andy does – the lead for Freo went to 9 points and the clock was ticking.

With their fans roaring and with history on their side, Port rallied and a goal to Dixon and then Horne-Francis gave them a lead they would not relinquish.

The home side held on in an extraordinary and fretful last few moments to win by three points.

Freo received no reward for some fantastic endeavour on this trip to Adelaide. But if last week reeked of injustice, this was just tough luck against a good team on their own deck.

It might also suggest that we don’t yet quite know how to win the close ones against the best.

We did however see massive improvement in Josh Treacy; continued great effort from our backline; and the promise of the return of Sean Darcy for next week’s Derby.

I think that will free Jackson to play with more dash.

There’s a lot to like.

There are wins ahead.

By our multi-talented and amazingly insightful footy scribe, SNAPS TRULY. Snaps has seen and done it all. He may or may not have been a fringe player at Fremantle. Don’t miss Snaps’ report after each Freo Dockers match here on the Shipping News throughout the 2024 season.


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