After The Game v Richmond, Rd 17 2024 – With Snaps Truly

Lots to look forward to on a bitterly cold Saturday night. The return of Brennan Cox; Sonny’s quick recovery from a hamstring injury; and Justin Longmuir’s 100th game as coach.

Congratulations to the kid from Koorda, who in 139 games as a player for Freo, is most fondly remembered for that huge pack mark and goal in the dying seconds to beat St Kilda, all those years ago.

And the celebration. That big dive into the ecstatic arms of the Subiaco Oval fans.

In Longmuir today, there is little sign of the rockstar and the mosh pit. He is phlegmatic and serious and quietly goes about his business, trying to build a winning team. Moving magnets and exploring formulas and absorbing the huge expectations, of us.

Lots of “Ums, Yeh’s and Na’s “at press conferences. Cards held very close to the chest.

There’s been lots of talk about coaches this week. The pressures they endure and the anxiety and strain of a life judged by wins and losses.

How human then, to see Ken Hinkley shed tears last weekend. How difficult for Adam Simpson this week to learn that text messages from players who don’t rate him, had somehow been leaked to the press.

All a coach can do is try to put the plans in place to win games. And tonight, Justin Longmuir’s plans looked watertight, despite a smart start from the Tigers and rain dripping from the Optus roof.

Richmond kicked the first two goals through Shai Bolton and skipper Toby Nankervis, but it was the irrepressible Josh Treacy who took the game by the scruff of the neck in the first half and gave it a bloody good shake.

He kicked Freo’s first and then Heath Chapman, the surprising recipient of a Richmond out on the full, calmly threaded a magnificent goal from the boundary to level the score.

Treacy, just warming up now, then kicked his second and third to give Freo a fifteen-point advantage at the end of the quarter.

Luke Ryan was clearly delighted to have Brennan Cox alongside him in the backline again, and the pair spent the early part of the second quarter looking lovingly at each other and ordering room service when they might have been better served by clearing the footy. No matter, Bolton aside, Richmond had no capacity to make Freo pay for any lapses.

Unsurprisingly, it was Hayden Young who finally broke a 15-minute impasse with a great snap.

Moments later, he delivered superbly to Treacy and the Big Cohuna had his fourth goal for the half. When Brayshaw grubbered another goal, Freo’s lead had jumped out to 24 points.

North Melbourne’s surprise victory over Gold Coast earlier in the day had sent the Tigers to the bottom of the ladder for the first time in 14 years and the visitors seemed crestfallen.

With Darcy off because of a concussion, Jackson went into the middle in the second half and immediately galloped out of it to deliver to Switkowski who goaled. What a tremendous season Switta is building. Another goal assist found Treacy who kicked his fifth. A career best effort.

Shai Bolton added another two, which gave him four of five goals so far, but his was a lone effort.

Freddy, quiet until now, decided to get amongst it, and when Sonny the Sub came onto the ground, he swooped onto a loose ball to extend the margin to 36 points.

Jye Amiss finally got a free kick and goaled and with Freo’s talent shredding Richmond’s endeavour, the visitors conceded a fifty-metre penalty, first to Fyfe and then another to Sonny. At three quarter time the Dockers were 46 points clear.

The entertainment at the break was interesting. A tribute to Bon Scott and a live rendition of “A long Way To The Top” complete with bagpipes.

Whenever I see bagpipes played, I am reminded of that perfect quote. “A true gentleman is a man who knows how to play the bagpipes – but chooses not to.”

With the game in the bag and Freo likely to push past Essendon again to take third spot, phones started to be passed around the crowd. GWS doing us a massive favour by beating Carlton at home.

Despite a junk time goal in the final seconds, Freo coasted to victory by 51 points.

And how did the coach reflect on the win? And in his milestone game?

“I know it’s boring, but when you start thinking about outcomes and ladder positions, and wins, it takes your eye off what you need to do every day.”

And this was just another day.

Well played Freo, well coached coach.

Yours truly,

Snaps Truly.

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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