What a great free and fantastic Frederick finally unlocked the disc

Flag, anyone?

If Fremantle’s thrilling win against Melbourne on Saturday afternoon is not their best home-and-away win, they will have to lose a bit. Sure, it’s their best win so far in a season that was already pretty well made, and now something special is seriously being seen.

In their home turf at the MCG in Dockers Melbourne, no team has been able to do what they did in less than 12 months. Neither party has dominated outside the center, nor has it been able to isolate the most stingy backline that has been created so relentlessly.

The heroes were everywhere – and not all of them were clear. Brennan Cox, an obstacle king this year, extended the lockdown to completely dismiss Ben Brown; James Eisch started tagging Clayton Oliver after half time and knocked him out of the game; Rory Lobb might have been the max gown for the day, taking huge marks all over the field.

Of course, the Dockers’ short forwards did the most damage, and none other than Michael Frederick.

I’m moving away from calling what he’s done ‘magic’: partly because there’s an annoying tendency where mercurial non-white players are always described as ‘magic’, partly because it suggests some fluke element of what he’s done. This does not give Frederick any credit at all: he was a big foot IQ.

Whether it’s running around Mark’s guy for full advantage using stand rules and shooting through a goal to bring the Dockers to the door in the third period, or his no-look tap to set Lachi Schultz’s goal. A few minutes later, or countless small moments in between, it was genius. Taken together, they made Dees’ defense, impenetrable to everyone else throughout their 17-game winning streak, looking utterly incompetent.

Although it wasn’t all Frederick: Travis Collar’s speed and fierce pressure kept the disc unsettled all day, while Griffin Log, originally leading the way to hold Mack accountable, provided a focal point after Matt Tabernacle was injured, allowing the lobe to move freely. . Michael Walters has proven that he can go far beyond the energy expended through a classic tactical game, moving from half-back to half-front, and his footy smarts have a great impact.

In defense, the Dockers’ use of clean balls and patience was brilliant everywhere. They pick up the marks and constantly move the game from one side of the field to the other, forcing the discs to run angrily. Luke Ryan (No. 14), Heath Chapman (14), Cox (12) and Hayden Young (10) refused to buy Dis’s will to stay in their competition and eventually cracked.

Of course, it all started out in the middle. With Oliver, destroying the Dockers alone in the first half, rarely throwing a shot under the scales tag, the Dockers jumped. It’s been a long time since Max’s gown had lost its color, but Hulking Shawn Darcy had both his tap work and the violent follow-up exciting.

The Dockers won 14 clearances after half time, nine within 50, kicked six goals from clearance and won the first seven balls from center in the third period when the match took a turn. This has not happened in Melbourne all year.

It was an achievement for Justin Longmuir that he was able to identify and distinguish all the powers of Satan. Obstacles between defense marks? Neutral. Midfield dominance? Flipped. Forward target? Disappeared in the second half. There is no better coach in the AFL until 2022.

Michael Frederick of the Dockers in Action.

Michael Frederick of the Dockers in Action. (Dylan Burns / AFL photo via Getty Images)

How many times have you seen the Devils fail to neutralize a long ball in a hot spot in the first ten rounds? They did it twice in the final, with Lachi Schulz scoring two goals to close out a great game.

Let’s give Melbourne some credit too: it could have been a different story if Steven May hadn’t been bored in the first quarter, or Christian Petraca hadn’t endured one of his dirtiest days. While Diska was screaming for a midfield spark in the second half, it was hard to guess that Petraca was carrying any kind of injury, due to his station in the 50’s almost permanently.

But it also shows how fragile the best teams in the competition can be. No May means more ground balls have to be defended for Dis, rather than identifying him or ruining everything in his path; And they couldn’t adapt. Nor does Ed Langdon mean a higher role for Charlie Spargo, which didn’t work. A Down Petraka means more responsibility for the likes of Tom Sparrow and Medi-Sub Luke Dunston; They are crushed from the center after half time.

This is exactly the damage that DIS needed and eliminates any potential nerves for an undefeated season. They will recover, and they will be defeated.

But it may be fair to say that they no longer have to lose their premiership.

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