If you’re a Fremantle fan wanting to get a clear glimpse of how Justin Longmuir wants his team to play in the future, you only need to watch a replay of yesterday’s 64-point win over North Melbourne.
The Dockers tore the Kangaroos apart to win 15.9 (99) to 5.5 (35) and all of the little things they have worked on all season came to fruition.
We saw the precise kicking and methodical ball movement that has been a feature of their games. The Dockers took 94 marks for the day and controlled the game when in possession.
Importantly, they hit targets going forward, taking 13 marks inside 50 and their trio of tall timber had an impact.
Jesse Hogan kicked four goals, Matt Taberner booted three and Rory Lobb finished with one. Meanwhile, Lachie Schulz and Michael Walters buzzed around at their feet with three goals each to give the Kangaroos all sorts of problems.
The Dockers kicked their highest score for the season and looked potent.
Fremantle monstered North Melbourne in the contested game. The contested marks were 19-6 and the contested possessions were 123-95.
Nat Fyfe was at his brutal best with 24 disposals, including 13 contested, and six clearances. David Mundy was also prominent while Caleb Serong and Adam Cerra combined for nine clearances.
The big bodied Blake Acres showed why he will be so valuable on a wing after an injury interrupted season with 24 touches.
Then in defence, the Dockers denied North Melbourne all day. The Kangaroos managed only one goal per quarter for the first three terms and Fremantle were resolute.
North Melbourne were terrible. They simply weren’t competitive.
The Roos laid only 12 tackles for the first half. It was their lowest tally from a first half all season and Fremantle did as they pleased.
During the second quarter, Nat Fyfe took a mark at left half-back and had time to run forward to take another mark inside 50 from the same passage of play.
Later in the quarter, Michael Frederick had time to fumble on the wing, make up for the error and then run forward to join a four v two inside 50. That’s four Fremantle players against two North Melbourne defenders. Lachie Schulz marked that raffled ball and kicked the goal.
At half-time, the Dockers led by 32 points and it was only a matter of how much they would win by.
The Roos gave a yelp at the start of the third term, but couldn’t sustain that for long. Fremantle ignored the fatigue of a compressed fixture and the need to fly down from Cairns on the morning of the game and dominated.
Matt Taberner made the bewildering decision to play on and snap the ball around his body instead of taking a regulation set shot during the first quarter. He missed. Then, during the second quarter, Nick Larkey did the exact same thing and didn’t even score. Those efforts followed Tom Hawkins rushing a snap instead of taking a set shot on Friday night. It makes zero sense to rush a snap instead of taking a composed set shot.
He may be 35, but David Mundy is playing like a vastly younger man with plenty of years ahead of him. Mundy led all comers for possessions at half-time with 14 touches and he finished with 24. It’s obvious that he should play on next season. He’s been through good times and tough times at Fremantle. He’s about to see some good times again.
Lachie Schulz has worked hard all year without necessarily getting the results on the scoreboard. But he was everywhere against the Roos and kicked a career-high three goals. Not only that, he had seven score involvements and only Michael Walters had more of those. Schulz has now played 23 games and is seeing the reward for all of his hard work. There’s extremely positive signs for his future.