After The Game v Western Bulldogs – With Snaps Truly

In the past fortnight, I have heard the phrase “season defining” about a thousand times.

I’ve repeatedly been reminded Fremantle does not play well after the bye. I’ve read endless sentences that begin with “Can Freo finally overcome …?”

I am sick of doubt. Tired of that slight feeling of dread we associate with hope.

So today, I will determinedly nail my purple colours to the mast.

We will beat the Bulldogs by 55 points and climb ever higher up the ladder towards Nirvana or September.

Jackson and Darcy will be too smart and versatile for Neat as a Pin Tim and The Overcooked Lobster, which means first use of the ball for our young marauders, Serong, Young, Brayshaw and the slightly older marauder Fyfe.

We will maraud.

A lot.

The Bullies will have no answer to the belligerent insistence from Josh Treacy he is now the biggest, baddest young forward in footy. And as their defenders crumble and sag in a ruinous heap, Jye Amiss will fly above the carnage to remind us once again, why he is such an extraordinary talent.

Any foray on their part – unlikely of course, will be mopped up and repelled by our strong marking, rebounding All Australian superstars Pearce and Ryan, which will free Clark and Walker and Sharp to play with dash and dare and great grins and triumphant salutes.

And Freo will win by 55 points.

And that’s what’s going to happen.

So there.

(This was written and signed off exactly 90 minutes before the start of play.)


Almost none of that happened.

The Dogs started brightly with goals from Weightman and Richards before a beautiful piece of transition footy ended with Sturt on the lead. He kicked our first.

Moments later, a chain of handballs saw Walker dash through the middle and deliver to Treacy.
And before we could say “this is brilliant,” Freo went coast to coast again as Sturt took a bounce and strolled into goal for his second.

Luke Jackson then marked and converted and Freo suddenly, had four in a row.

The Doggies had to dig in. And they did. They began to win the contested ball and two goals from Rhylee (that’s not how anyone should spell that name) West in his 50th game, gave the home side a four-point advantage at the break.

Slight queasiness now. Freo looked to be sitting back and admiring their mid quarter handiwork. No team can afford to do that.

Nor could they afford the Weightman goal or the Gallagher goal early in the second quarter that made it five in a row to the Bulldogs.

Freo were being outworked and outrun. And Michael Walters was subbed out of the game with a popped hamstring.

Freddy, rarely sighted until now, ran into an open goal and when an Amiss pass found Treacy right in front, there was reason to believe the Dockers had hit the reset button.



The entire stadium.

And while Freo rued the lost opportunity, Marcus Bontempelli made the most of a very small one. He took on the All-Australian backline and won – an extraordinary team lifting goal.

At the half Freo was down by 28 points.

Was this actually “season defining?” Was it true how poorly Freo seem to play after a bye?
Don’t answer that.

OK. Yes.

An early third quarter goal to the Bulldogs had Justin Longmuir shaking his head in disbelief.

Disbelief perhaps at how well The Overcooked Lobster was playing against his old side. And when Ugle-Hagan bobbed up and kicked another couple, the lead blew out to 58 points.

Jye Amiss got one back. We needed another nine.

Sturt got one.

Banfield got one.

Banfield got another.

The margin cut to 35.

Could we?

Aah no.

The Overcooked Lobster got a toe to one and his goal was a reminder how small our margin for error was. 42 points behind going into the last.

Goals to Treacy and Jackson closed the margin to 29 points, but as they’d done all day, the Bulldogs responded with great character and then accelerated easily away.

This was a very, very disappointing Fremantle performance.

Now at this point you might imagine I would just get rid of the stupid cocky preview I wrote and that ludicrous prediction of a 55-point victory that turned into a 67-point defeat.

You know, pretend that I hadn’t bought the hype and hope that followed our trip to the Alice.

But I did.


So let history damn me for my hubris.

This time last year, you may remember, I was in Italy, under the care of the team at the Sanatorio per gli Illusi in Florence – the Sanatorium of the Deluded.

I have asked if I may return for another spell.

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. Here are Snaps’ other 2024 season reports.


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