|Brownlow Medal||3 Lachie Neale (FREO)||2 Garrick Ibbotson (FREO)||1 Matthew Boyd (WBULL)|
Events of earlier in round 23 rendered the final match of the home and away season a 'dead rubber' from a Western Bulldogs point of view and the Dogs played very much as though that was the case, putting in a lacklustre performance to go down too Fremantle by 20 points, the Dockers send its retiring champion Matthew Pavlich out in style with a solid win at Subiaco. The Dogs had gone into the weekend with faint hopes of making the two four but they were snuffed out by West Coast's Friday night win over Adelaide.
By the time the Subiaco match started, the best they could hope for was a final in Melbourne against Hawthorn, which was entirely dependent on the Hawks-Magpies match that was unfolding at the MCG. That result ultimately went the wrong way for the Dogs and, perhaps aware that they were consigned to another trip to Subiaco to take on the Eagles in the first final, the Bulldogs played like a deflated and defeated bunch for much of the match.
The Bulldogs started the match well enough, a goal to Clay Smith kicked from the pocket after a mark at the three-minute mark. The Dockers responded with a goal on the run to David Mundy but a beautiful bit of robbing gave Smith and the Bulldogs a second goal, putting them seven points clear. But that was to be their last of term, with Fremantle kicking the next three - including a 700th career goal for Pavlich - to lead by nine points at the first break.
Tory Dickson looked like getting the Dogs back on track when he went for a long run, which incorporated four bounces, to kick a goal that brought them to within three points. That was the only score of the first 10 minutes of the first term as both sides struggled with opposition defence. Michael Walters broke the trough with a goal for the Dockers at the 10-minute mark and when Danyle Pearce followed up with another major three minutes later, Fremantle was 16 points clear. A hurried snap from Luke Dahlhaus cut the margin back to seven early in time on but an easy goal to Matt de Boer alone in the goal square had the Dockers ahead by 11 at the long break.
A mark and goal to Walters extended Fremantle's lead to 17 minutes within 90 seconds of play recommencing in the second half, but the Bulldogs gradually looked to be getting back in the match after that. They couldn't translate that onto the scoreboard, though, and managed just three consecutive behinds before Dickson marked and kicked his second goal to cut the margin to eight points. The Dogs couldn't find a follow-up goal, though and a mark and major to Michael Apeness had the Dockers back out to a 15-point lead early in time on. A late goal to Dickson, his third, kept the Bulldogs in touch and within nine points at the final break.
The Dogs were expected to finish the match of strongly in the final term but its was Fremantle which did so, dominating the entire quarter and it was only inaccuracy that prevented the margin from blowing out. The Dockers added 1.6 while holding the Bulldogs to a solitary behind to win by 20 points and finish off a forgettable season with a win.
With Pavlich retiring and several other players also likely to retire or be delisted, Fremantle coach Ross Lyon will have the discuss of undertaking a 'rebuild' for the first time in his coaching career. It remains to be seen if the Dockers can bounce back quickly, but the return of Brownlow Medallist Nat Fyfe from long-term injury and having Aaron Sandilands fit for a whole season will certainly help.
Meanwhile the Bulldogs will need to turn things around verity quickly if they are to challenge the West Coast Eagles when they return to Subiaco on Thursday week. The Eagles will start raging favourites in that match. Few doubt that the Dogs defence of premiership standard but their inability to kick a big score is a major drawback at present. The potential inclusions for the West Coast match of Jake Stringer, Tom Liberatore, Jack Macrae, Easton Wood and Jordan Roughead would certainly help tip the odds slightly back in the Dogs' favour.
Fremantle: Walters 2; Neale, Pearce, Hill, Mundy, de Boer, Pavlich, Apeness, Yarran
Western Bulldogs: Dickson 3; Smith 2; Dahlhaus
BEST - AFL.COM.AU
Fremantle: Neale, Ibbotson, Hill, Weller, Tucker, Silvagni
Western Bulldogs: Boyd, Picken, Johannisen, Dahlhaus, Bontempelli, Dickson
BEST - WATODAY.COM.AU
Fremantle: Neale, Ibbotson, Hill, Mundy, Pearce, Weller
Western Bulldogs: Boyd, Dalhaus, Dunkley, Picken, Jong, Bontempelli
Western Bulldogs: Nil
UMPIRES: Dalgleish, O’Gorman, Findlay
TELEVISION BROADCAST: Fox Footy
COMMENTATORS: Anthony Hudson, Gerard Healy, Brad Johnson, Barry Hall
|35||Apeness, Michael||2||2||3||5||1||0||6||5||2||2||21y 213d||7||3|
|1||Ballantyne, Hayden||7||5||2||9||0||2||0||1||2||2||29y 43d||141||221|
|19||Blakely, Connor||5||3||13||18||0||0||2||2||0||0||20y 179d||16||1|
|3||Dawson, Zac||1||0||1||2||0||0||0||4||0||2||30y 188d||164||7|
|9||de Boer, Matt||8||5||12||20||1||0||0||6||2||0||26y 171d||138||48|
|32||Hill, Stephen||19||9||11||30||1||0||0||4||1||0||26y 119d||172||104|
|5||Ibbotson, Garrick||22||14||7||29||0||0||0||2||2||0||28y 166d||167||22|
|26||Langdon, Ed||4||2||7||11||0||0||0||1||0||1||20y 209d||15||8|
|23||Mayne, Chris||6||9||11||17||0||0||0||5||0||0||27y 300d||172||196|
|16||Mundy, David||20||6||8||28||1||0||1||6||2||2||31y 39d||251||97|
|27||Neale, Lachie||15||5||21||36||1||0||0||1||1||1||23y 96d||92||43|
|29||Pavlich, Matthew||14||10||6||20||1||3||0||2||1||0||34y 241d||353||700|
|6||Pearce, Danyle||24||12||7||31||1||0||0||1||2||0||30y 143d||248||123|
|31||Sandilands, Aaron||5||3||10||15||0||1||35||3||4||2||33y 266d||244||92|
|11||Sheridan, Tommy||12||3||5||17||0||0||0||3||1||2||22y 305d||59||20|
|36||Silvagni, Alex||7||6||7||14||0||0||0||1||0||0||28y 334d||53||10|
|34||Spurr, Lee||13||7||8||21||0||0||0||5||0||0||29y 32d||104||5|
|33||Sutcliffe, Cam||15||9||9||24||0||0||0||5||0||1||24y 97d||87||16|
|18||Tucker, Darcy||14||6||8||22||0||0||0||4||1||0||19y 218d||12||3|
|10||Walters, Michael||9||5||5||14||2||1||0||1||0||1||25y 234d||94||177|
|14||Weller, Lachie||15||8||11||26||0||0||0||2||1||0||20y 187d||25||12|
|41||Yarran, Shane||6||4||3||9||1||0||0||5||0||2||27y 87d||6||10|
|Western Bulldogs||Match Stats||Career|
|24||Biggs, Shane||9||4||13||22||0||0||0||1||1||1||25y 23d||38||7|
|4||Bontempelli, Marcus||10||4||17||27||0||0||1||4||2||1||20y 278d||59||54|
|5||Boyd, Matthew||16||7||19||35||0||0||0||1||1||0||34y 1d||278||83|
|17||Boyd, Tom||4||0||7||11||0||0||5||1||3||0||21y 6d||34||34|
|12||Cordy, Zaine||3||3||6||9||0||0||0||1||1||1||19y 306d||7||5|
|6||Dahlhaus, Luke||7||4||24||31||1||1||0||4||0||2||24y 7d||111||94|
|35||Daniel, Caleb||10||0||13||23||0||1||0||4||1||0||20y 52d||30||14|
|29||Dickson, Tory||9||4||4||13||3||0||0||4||0||0||28y 337d||75||128|
|20||Dunkley, Josh||10||4||8||18||0||0||3||13||1||0||19y 232d||13||6|
|30||Hamling, Joel||8||6||8||16||0||0||0||0||0||2||23y 141d||19||0|
|13||Hrovat, Nathan||9||3||8||17||0||0||0||4||1||2||22y 82d||30||14|
|7||Hunter, Lachie||11||2||12||23||0||1||0||3||0||2||21y 259d||58||25|
|39||Johannisen, Jason||20||3||7||27||0||0||0||4||1||2||23y 294d||60||18|
|46||Jong, Lin||9||6||19||28||0||0||2||4||1||0||23y 85d||38||25|
|27||Minson, Will||5||0||3||8||0||0||8||3||2||4||31y 139d||191||81|
|38||Morris, Dale||5||4||13||18||0||0||0||3||1||0||33y 243d||226||3|
|42||Picken, Liam||7||0||21||28||0||1||0||4||1||3||30y 27d||172||55|
|18||Roberts, Fletcher||6||3||4||10||0||0||0||1||0||1||23y 86d||35||0|
|14||Smith, Clay||9||4||6||15||2||1||0||3||0||0||23y 109d||43||27|
|25||Stevens, Koby||9||5||10||19||0||2||0||5||0||1||25y 71d||74||34|
|1||Suckling, Matt||10||2||10||20||0||0||0||2||1||0||28y 34d||117||58|
|34||Williams, Bailey||6||2||10||16||0||0||0||3||0||0||18y 323d||6||0|