Fremantle have overcome Jesse Hogan’s hot start and an all too familiar case of the goalkicking wobbles to post a 34-point win over GWS at Optus Stadium.
Hogan, playing his first game in Perth since being traded from Fremantle to the Giants at the end of 2020, booted two goals in the first half of Saturday night’s AFL match to keep his side in touch.
Fremantle’s inaccurate goalkicking during the first three quarters meant the Giants trailed by just two points heading into the final change.
But the Dockers ran riot in the last quarter as they finally found their range in front of goal, booting 6.0 to 0.4 to run away with the 13.10 (88) to 8.6 (54) win.
“We work hard on our goalkicking. We had a real focus on it over the pre-season,” stand-in Fremantle coach Jaymie Graham said.
“In the last quarter under pressure we kicked six goals when it mattered.”
Hogan didn’t tally a kick in the second half, finishing the match with two goals from nine disposals.
“I thought Hogan presented well,” GWS coach Leon Cameron said.
“Early he looked dangerous and he presented well in the air. We just didn’t place the kick right and that cost us at times.
“We have a connection issue. We need to know when he gets on his bike and when we need to kick in long.”
Dockers recruit Will Brodie tallied a career-high 36 disposals to go with his six clearances, while Andrew Brayshaw broke a tight tag from Lachie Ash to finish with 26 possessions and a clutch banana goal when the game was on the line in the last quarter.
Brennan Cox and late inclusion Griffin Logue were rocks in defence, while third-gamer Nathan O’Driscoll booted 2.2 from 20 disposals to show he is a star on the rise.
Fremantle were deserved winners of the match, but the 42-16 free-kick count in their favour is sure to raise eyebrows.
Tim Taranto collected a team-high 31 disposals for the Giants, while Tom Green was electric with two goals and six clearances from 17 possessions.
Giants ruckman Braydon Preuss could find himself in strife for elbowing David Mundy in the back of the head.
Preuss had just taken a mark when he swung his bent arm backwards in a bid to get Mundy to release him.
Dockers forward Michael Walters could cop a fine for pushing an opponent into an umpire during a scuffle on the three quarter-time siren.
Fremantle were dealt a late blow when defender Alex Pearce was ruled out just before the bounce with the ankle injury he suffered last week.
It meant undersized defender Luke Ryan was given the tough job of stopping Hogan early on, and the GWS forward made the most of the size mismatch by booting his two goals from powerful marks.
Fremantle’s inaccuracy proved costly early, but O’Driscoll provided a special moment when he kissed his black armband and pointed to the sky in a tribute to his late grandmother after kicking his first goal of the night.
Green lit up the third quarter for GWS with two spectacular goals, but Fremantle’s blitz in the final term ended the Giants’ victory hopes.