Fremantle beat Eagles by nine points - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fremantle beat Eagles by nine points

By Justin Chadwick 12/03/2011 07:40:26 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle broke their pre-season duck but lost defender Tendai Mzungu to a knee injury in a thrilling nine-point victory over arch AFL rivals West Coast at Fremantle Oval on Saturday.

Mzungu, snared by the Dockers in a deal with Gold Coast during trade week, suffered medial ligament damage and bone bruising to his left knee after falling awkwardly in a first-quarter marking contest.

Scans cleared Mzungu of any damage to his anterior cruciate ligament, but the 25-year-old is now almost certain to miss Fremantle's season opener against Brisbane at the Gabba on March 26, joining Anthony Morabito, Matt de Boer, Michael Barlow, Garrick Ibbotson, Roger Hayden and Byron Schammer on a growing injury list.

"It's hard to put a time frame on it at the moment," Fremantle coach Mark Harvey said of Mzungu's injury.

"He's a playmaker and had a really good build-up.

"Once again we're just going to have to make sure that we can replace these guys until they get back.

"It's just a land of opportunity."

West Coast midfielder Adam Selwood is also in danger of missing the start of the season after injuring his hamstring early in the 13.12 (90) to 11.15 (81) loss.

The lead changed hands seven times in a pulsating second half but Fremantle kicked the final two goals of the match to scrape home in front of 6583 mostly-Dockers fans.

Skipper Matthew Pavlich and 19-year-old forward Nat Fyfe (two goals) starred for the home side, with Hayden Ballantyne (two goals), Chris Mayne (two goals), Michael Walters (four goals) and ruckman Aaron Sandilands also playing vital roles.

Injury-plagued West Coast midfielder Luke Shuey enjoyed another fruitful outing to show he's on track for a breakthrough season, while forward Jack Darling, who was dropped last week for rocking up late to training, pushed his case for a round-one berth with a promising performance.

Eagles forward Mark LeCras booted two goals but was also influential in the midfield, while defender Will Schofield kept former Collingwood forward Jack Anthony goalless.

Fremantle midfielders Stephen Hill and David Mundy made it through their first match of the pre-season unscathed after entering the fray after half-time.

West Coast coach John Worsfold was pleased with the hit-out despite the loss.

"It's exactly what we wanted. It winds up a pretty solid pre-season for us," Worsfold said.

A push and shove between players developed at three-quarter time, but the scuffle was quickly broken up without major incident.

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