This was a game that had fallen victim to the AFL’s blockbuster scheduling, but Fremantle took their 8th win and got plenty out of it, while it was a frustrating night for the Gold Coast.
The Suns dominated the early clearances in a fast start but Fremantle grabbed a quarter time lead, on the back of improved ball movement and use of the centre corridor. The Dockers were never in any real danger from this point despite never really putting the Suns away eventually recording a 23-point victory. Here are five things we learned.
1 Luke Ryan is a quality intercept marker
Nine intercept marks, falling just one off the all-time record, 16 marks, and 28 disposals (21 kicks) at 85.7% efficiency made for an incredible day for young Fremantle defender Luke Ryan.
Two weeks after a night at the Claremont Hotel landed the youngster in hot water Ryan produced an incredible performance at Subiaco Oval. Against the Suns, he was inspiring, repeatedly coming back with the flight of the ball and facing up to the giant Sun forwards, Tom Lynch and Peter Wright.
In taking more intercept marks than any other Docker, had fans comparing his assured kicking to the days of Roger Hayden and his presence inside defensive 50 to that of Shane Parker and Luke McPharlin.
Ryan's assuredness under the highball wasn't the only positive for Freo to come out of the defensive half this night. Griffin Logue, displayed his improved marking ability and natural athleticism. As a result, the Dockers finally have a pair of defenders ready to replace club stalwarts Garrick Ibbotson and Lee Spurr.
2 Gary Ablett is a frustrated man
After seeing the happenings at North Melbourne at the end of last season, managing the exit of superstars is something that clubs are increasingly aware of. Unfortunately for the Gold Coast, it seems that Gary Ablett is attempting to fast track his own exit producing an extremely poor showing in his side’s loss.
His ability to collect 33-disposals belies the fact that by Ablett's standards it was a performance that suggests that his future looks likely to be somewhere other than Queensland for 2018 and beyond. The ever reliable Brownlow Medallist was anything but against the Dockers, with Ablett committing 7 clangers - 3 more than any of his teammates, and his 33-disposals collected with an efficiency rate of just 66.7%!
Regardless of the fact that he isn’t the captain, Ablett needs to maintain a leading role in midfield. Instead, he ran cheap routes, those that almost ensure he won’t get the ball. A beacon for his teammates, he managed to collect possessions regardless, but when he had the ball, he looked lethargic and mindless and gave up a soft deliberate out of bounds as a result.
When he was beaten to the ball, he staged for free kicks, and rarely showed an interest in defensive running. It was very much the performance of a man resigned to either an off-season move or retirement.
3 Daniel Currie came good on his last chance
Making just his first appearance of 2017, as the Suns 3rd choice ruckman, after just eight games in 11 AFL Seasons, surely this was Daniel Currie's last chance to establish himself as an AFL player.
He found himself up opposed an experienced tradesman in Jon Griffin and, on the back of a career high 37 hit-outs, absolutely outclassed him. Peter Wright was a serviceable assistant, but it was Currie who shined, ensuring he at least maintain his spot until Jarrad Witts' return.
He was solid around the ground too, outpointing his Fremantle counterpart in this area as well, having a career best night in the handball category. Currie remains the Suns third-choice ruckman, but every side needs someone to fill the void in times like these.
4 Jon Griffin is done and dusted
The former Adelaide ruckman has been a serviceable recruit for Fremantle over the years, but was below par in his ruck work and too slow around the ground to justify a new deal.
Sean Darcy looks assured to reclaim the ruck position next week as Griffin failed to deliver the around the ground effort expected from him. Off the ground early in the second quarter, he struggled with fatigue from that point on as he was outpointed by Suns big man Daniel Currie.
With Aaron Sandilands signed on for next year and likely to be paired with Sean Darcy in a two prong ruck attack, it would appear that Griffin's hopes to remain on Fremantle's list are slim. Unfortunately for the 31-year-old it would seem that the Dockers would be better served by drafting another big man or res-signing Zac Clarke than persisting with him.
The Dockers surprised many when they drafted Griffin Logue last year ahead of talented West Australian ruckman Tim English. With English struggling to cement a spot at the Bulldogs, he may be a trade target for the Dockers in the coming seasons when Sandilands finishes up.
5 Nick Suban deserves a new deal
Nick Suban has been a nine-year servant of the Fremantle Football Club and played in the club’s only Grand Final. While there have been some question marks over his future at the club, he’s every chance of playing in the next Grand Final charge if can continue the form he has displayed in recent weeks.
A Restricted Free Agent at season’s end, Suban had 4 clearances, 14 disposals at 86%, and a goal assist against the Suns. He is nifty when has the football and an efficient user of it. Along with the Hill brothers and Luke Ryan, he is one instigator in the Docker's recent increased use of the centre corridor.
What were your key moments from Freo's convincing win over the Suns? Share your thoughts below.
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?