Australian Rules Columns Fremantle Dockers West Coast Eagles What We Learned

What we learned: AFL Round 2

After three months AFL Football was back on our screens, but for both WA Teams it turned out to be a weekend of hub hell with both West Coast and Fremantle suffering defeats in Round 2.

It was ‘take two’ for the Western Australian sides and we dissected the day’s play to bring you three things we learned this week in each clash.

Fremantle Dockers v Brisbane Lions

Time isn’t on their side

The Dockers are now 0 and 2 in a 17-game season.

In saying that, while time is limited to improve their position on the ladder, there shouldn’t be time to panic.

A lot can change in 15 weeks of football so Fremantle should be happy the way they got back into the game against Brisbane after starting slowly for the second round in a row.

Coach Longmuir really needs to point out those clearance problems.

In the first quarter, although they won the count 33-30, it was all Brisbane and again the lack of support Nat Fyfe is getting in the centre that is the source of the problem.

Darcy & Bradshaw stepped up in patches but have to do a lot more if this Dockers midfield will be fancied.

2. Taberner on the rise

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While he was unlucky not to be awarded the mark in the final seconds against Brisbane, the 199cm forward is a reliable target up forward.

Without his counterpart Jesse Hogan, Taberner offered targets up forward while playing deeper inside 50 and with players like Michael Walters and David Mundy offering the ball from the centre, there is more potential for the Dockers to kick a winning score.

Tabener took seven great marks in the Forward 50 and followed it up with two goals when they were recovering the momentum lost early in the game.

If that last mark had been paid he would have had a three goal bag, and dare it be said, should Hogan be available for their clash with Port Adelaide on the Gold Coast on Sunday, the new look attack might well be effective.

The young debutant

The match against Brisbane was the first time Dockers fans would get a glimpse of Hayden Young, brother of Bulldog Lachie Young, on the field.

The 7th overall pick managed 11 Touches despite limited time and it appears that the long break might have done him a lot of good.

His pre-season hit out at Cockburn early in the break seems to have paid off, and hopefully he can improve week by week.

West Coast v Gold Coast Suns

No Excuses on the hub

Tim Kelly pointed this out well after the Eagles humiliating loss, the hub situation should not be used as an excuse in the weeks to come for that matter last Saturday night.

Was it the long break? Was it the lack of match practice? Who knows.

But the Eagles undid their Round 1 victory in Perth back in March quite emphatically which left plenty of questions on Adam Simpson’s side.

Where was the intensity?

The trademark Eagles game is intensity both in and outside the contest, but there appeared to be none of it on the Metricon ground on Saturday Night.

They were not as clean and aggressive around the ball and whenever they cleared out of the defensive 50 there would be a pack of Suns hoarding around the contest to inflict the turnover.

Players like Barass & McGovern who could miss the game against Brisbane will need to stop that fast paced Lions attack.

Allen was the Eagle’s Jekyll and Hyde.

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Oscar Allen is a decent big man who can take some solid overhead marks and can deliver the ball up forward.

His call up to the side over Tom Hickey was seemingly justified as he sparked the Eagles back into the contest in the second quarter by taking a few good marks and had a hand in three straight goals when the Eagles were crawling their way back into the game.

It’s unfortunate he didn’t maintain that impact in the second half due to the mounting pressure of the determined Suns.

NEXT WEEK:

Brisbane VS West Coast at Gabba on Saturday Night

Fremantle VS Port Adelaide at Metricon Stadium on Sunday Afternoon

About the author

Paul Persic

Paul Persic

Paul Persic is a respected writer and podcaster and a member of the WA Daily Sports team. Paul hosts Talking Motorsport every Monday 7pm on 91.3 SportFM as well as Full Time with Pauly and Darce, on Front Row Screens, Sunday's from 5pm. In addition to his radio ventures, Paul can also be found presenting 'Paul Persic Presents', a feature series available on Facebook.

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