Everyone has heard the saying the best defence is offence, but the Dockers have taken a different, potentially premiership-challenging approach to start the season.
Fremantle leads the league in turnover scoring difference, meaning they score more from the opposition’s turnovers than the opposition score from theirs.
They currently sit at plus 188 points across five games at an average of plus 37 points per game, the highest five-game average since Essendon in 2013.
And it is not just the pressure of the defensive players – who allow the fewest inside-50s of any team in the AFL – leading the charge, but Fremantle’s elite midfield group.
They rank sixth at getting interceptions in midfield and convert that defence into scores 24.3 per cent of the time, which ranks second in the competition.
Former St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt believes the Dockers’ game plan is “eerily” similar to the reigning premiers, who have made a blistering 5-0 start to 2022 and sit as the only undefeated team.
“Defensively, we know they have been really sound, they’ve built their game under Justin Longmuir on the defensive side of the game, and then they have started to blend in a little bit more flair with the ball,” he said On The Couch.
“If you look at the way they do it… it’s eerily similar to how Melbourne go about it.”
Another encouraging fact that will get Fremantle fans excited is that the team leading the turnover score difference after five rounds generally goes on to play in a preliminary final.
“This is one of the great indicators of where they will finish by the end of the year,” Melbourne great Garry Lyon said.
The Demons currently sit second in turnover scoring difference at plus 173 with the Lions in third, 100 behind at plus 73.
Both teams have been flagged as potential grand finalists.