Collingwood answered some critics over matching it with the AFL's top teams but couldn't quite finish the job against Fremantle with the Dockers winning a thriller by seven points at Domain Stadium.
have only beaten one team in the top eight this season, an undermanned
GWS, but had the measure of the Dockers for much of the night in a
The 'Pies threatened to break the game open in
the early stages of all four quarters, but the Dockers continued to
fight back and ended up winning 12.8 (80) to 11.7 (73) to consolidate
top spot and an 11-1 record while Collingwood slipped to 8-4.
wasn't a good night for the key forwards with Collingwood's Travis Cloke
and Jesse White, and Fremantle's Matthew Pavlich and Jack Hannath, all
Dynamic Fremantle small forward Michael Walters proved
the difference, kicking four goals, while Alex Fasolo was Collingwood's
only multiple goal scorer with two in the first half.
Nat Fyfe was
again superb for Fremantle with 32 possessions and two goals while
Lachie Neale had 32 disposals (14 clearances), Stephen Hill 24 (two
goals), Garrick Ibbotson 23, Chris Mayne 22 and Clancee Pearce 22. Aaron
Sandilands had another 50 hit outs.
Collingwood captain Scott
Pendlebury worked hard for 25 possessions, but 17 came in the first half
while Taylor Adams finished with 29 disposals, Dane Swan 26 (10
clearances), Ed Langdon 24 and Marley Williams 22.
Travis Varcoe was outstanding in his 150th AFL game, not only shutting down Hayden Ballantyne but having 15 creative disposals.
Fremantle trailed by just two points at the main break with a late goal to Walters.
continued to be goal for goal in the third term with Walters' third
goal with six seconds left levelling the scores at the last change.
substitute Paul Seedsman put Collingwood five points in front at the
13-minute mark of the last term, Fremantle took control with the last
two goals to Michael Barlow and Walters to win by seven points.
coach Ross Lyon was relieved to get the win but saw areas that the
Dockers still to improve to remain on top of the ladder.
always relieved and pleased to really bank another four points but you
don't want to just get seduced by ladder positions so we know we need to
improve," Lyon said.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley was happy with what his team showed against the leaders despite the loss.
"The effort was excellent. Freo had to play pretty well to withstand our pressure and get the result," Buckley said.
many teams can withstand that onslaught of pressure for that long. It's
a strong effort on our behalf to continue to put that on and obviously
by Freo to be able to buffer it enough to be able to get the win."