Dockers thrash Port by 79 points - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers thrash Port by 79 points

By Tim Clarke 02/09/2006 10:43:30 PM Comments (0)

If anyone still doubts Fremantle circa 2006 is the real deal, a 79-point spanking of Port Adelaide at Subiaco has added even more credence to its growing status of premiership contender.

The 23.13 (151) to 9.18 (72) win sparked wild celebrations among long suffering Freo fans, who witnessed a ninth successive win from an increasingly impressive outfit.

And after confirming a place in the AFL's top four for the first time in its history, Fremantle now travels to Adelaide for a qualifying final against the Crows next Friday, and will believe it can go well beyond that.

Perhaps the most worrying aspect for those who may meet the Dockers in September is that they were not quite at their best, with disposals and decisions occasionally going awry.

But despite a few errors, Freo also produced some devastating passages of play which left Port trailing and home fans drooling.

After a quiet first quarter, Matthew Pavlich seemingly rubber stamped a fourth All-Australian selection with a five goal performance which overshadowed Darryl Wakelin.

Freo firebrands Ryan Crowley (35 possessions, two goals) and Brett Peake (29 possession, two goals) provided the silk, and Troy Cook the steel, with bone jarring bumps added to tireless midfield work.

But all highlight reels of the game will be dominated by Jeff Farmer, who scored six goals, two of which will rank with any scored this year.

For Port, Toby Thurstans was its most potent forward, while Shaun Burgoyne and Kane Cornes tried hard. But after last week's joy at beating Adelaide, they looked ready for a holiday.

As it had done against St Kilda in round 20, Freo stumbled out of the blocks, conceding the first two majors, including a sublime finish from Rising Star fancy Danyle Pearce.

But in a re-run of the Saints victory, the Dockers proceeded to crush the early resistance, with six goals from different scorers in a devastating sixteen minute spell epitomising Freo of late.

The 23-point quarter time lead was made more impressive given Pavlich had not split the big sticks, but that was soon remedied twice in five second quarter minutes.

As always though, Farmer was determined to take centre stage.

With Freo confidence at an all time high, a devastating daisy chain of handballs ended with a flourish from "The Wiz", the exuberant celebrations on field echoed in the stands.

Byron Schammer's acrobatic mark and goal took the Dockers closer towards a defining four points, and with the result in no doubt at half time, Freo began to party early.

With a Mexican wave circling Subiaco midway through the third term, Farmer provided the salsa, scooping up one handed before evading two tacklers and snapping left footed for a wonderful score befitting his 100th game for the Dockers.

In a sad postscript to Port's season, Adam Kingsley is feared to have damaged an anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Port coach Mark Williams said the injury was "more serious than less".

The coach was also characteristically frank about his feelings following the round-22 belting.

"We are pretty happy that the season has finished and we can get on with what we have been planning on doing and preparing ourselves for next year," Williams said

"It was a pretty physical game and they handled it brilliantly, and I was really disappointed we didn't make much of a game of it."

Dockers coach Chris Connolly said the prospect of playing the Crows in Adelaide in a qualifying final was exciting.

"There is an opportunity to have an impact in the finals, but for us it is whole new season. It is uncharted waters for Fremantle and we are looking forward to seeing exactly where we are at," Connolly said.

"What we do know is that we have got a lot of confidence from the preparation.

"It is terrific to be in the top four - you would play anywhere in Australia against anyone."

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