AFL results 2024, Fremantle Dockers def Brisbane Lions, Round 1, score, stats, updates, video, stream, news, highlights, blog


The grand final curse has struck again with Brisbane still winless after two games, following a 23-point loss to Fremantle.

Despite kicking the first four goals of the match, the Lions again fell away like they did against Carlton in Opening Round to suffer a 14.9 (93) to 10.10 (70) defeat at Optus Stadium.

The loss ensures Brisbane join fellow 2023 grand finalists Collingwood at 0-2 to start the season. It is the first time in VFL/AFL history both reigning grand finalists have started 0-2.

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For Fremantle, the win has come at a cost with Karl Worner (concussion), new recruit Oscar McDonald (knee) and swingman Brennan Cox (hamstring) all suffering serious injuries.

Worner had to be stretchered from the field after a horror clash, while McDonald and Cox will be sweating on scans to determine their availability for this season.

QUARTER BY QUARTER MATCH REPORT

The Lions were forced into an early reshuffle with Jarryd Lyons coming from the field bleeding after a first centre bounce collision with Nat Fyfe.

But it did little to slow the side as Eric Hipwood nailed the first of the match in under two minutes.

When Matt Johnson rushed a behind from outside the goalsquare, he gifted the Lions their second in a horror start for Fremantle.

“That one really hurts,” commentator Adam Papalia said.

“There was no need to do it. They’d folded back well,” fellow commentator Matthew Pavlich added.

“They outnumbered Brisbane at the fall of the ball. There’s five Dockers to two – he is outside and that is a free kick.

“They had all the numbers there to clean it up and mop it up.”

Commentator Will Schofield said it was an obvious free kick.

“This is the pressure factor that comes in here. You think there’s something coming when there’s not,” he said.

“It’s an easy goal to Brisbane that you can’t give up against a great side like these guys.”

And it only got worse for Fremantle when Hayden Young coughed up a 50m penalty from the next centre bounce, allowing Dayne Zorko to land Brisbane’s third.

“A sloppy start for Fremantle,” Pavlich said.

“It’s a bit of a brainfade from Hayden Young. He knew it straight away.”

Some Bailey Banfield brilliance late in the quarter got Fremantle on the scoreboard before Sam Switkowski snapped their second.

Brisbane headed into the first change leading 27-14, but it was a second term to forget for the Lions as they went goalless at Optus Stadium.

The Lions had eight inside 50s to 0 to open the term but couldn’t convert.

And after absorbing the pressure, it was Docker Luke Jackson who got the first goal against the tide as soon as Fremantle went forward exploiting Oscar McInerney out of position at full back.

“Luke Jackson has trained all pre-season as a forward so he knows what he’s doing back there,” Schofield praised.

When Cam Rayner didn’t stand when requested, James Aish couldn’t make him pay midway through the second when he hit the post from 40m directly in front.

Freo’s Josh Treacy threw his weight around with a bruising tackle on Connor McKenna to earn himself a free kick and level scores.

“Huge crunching tackle,” Pavlich praised.

“That’s the standard – he’s a key forward who is big and strong,” Schofield added.

Darcy Wilmot’s stray boot saw Michael Walters have a set shot on goal from the pocket – and he made no mistake as Fremantle hit the front for the first time.

Lions coach Chris Fagan was on his feet in the box as his side stalled, as Jye Amiss added two goals – to make it seven straight for Freo.

“They’ve certainly lost dominance this quarter,” Schofield said of the Lions.

At the main break it was Fremantle leading 47-29.

The Lions went a defender down when Darcy Gardiner was subbed out of the contest at half time after battling a knee injury throughout the match.

And Brennan Cox took advantage to extend Freo’s lead to 25 points. Only a big Harris Andrews tackle denied the Dockers another shot on goal as the Lions looked shaky – conceding eight straight goals for the second week in a row.

The wheels started to come off for Brisbane as McInerney dropped a mark inside 50 and Zac Bailey’s free kick got overturned when he lashed out at Docker Jordan Clark.

Joe Daniher broke Brisbane’s goal drought before the match was stopped when Docker Karl Worner was concussed in a sickening clash with Lincoln McCarthy late in the third term.

Worner bravely went with the flight and was met solidly by McCarthy coming the other way.

The Freo youngster was able to give the crowd a thumbs up as he was stretchered from the field.

“That’s a long break… it’s actually a challenge for the players to then start again – particularly if you’re a Fremantle player,” Pavlich said.

“It’s taken the sting out of the crowd … they are a bit silent, a bit flat.”

When play resumed it was Fremantle who found their spark with two quick goals.

But again play was stopped – this time for Dockers’ new recruit Oscar McDonald who went down with a serious knee injury.

“Fremantle’s medical staff have certainly got their hands full,” Kath Loughnan said from the boundary.

By the final change it was Fremantle holding firm with a 38-point margin.

It was “absolute carnage” for the Dockers early in the last term as they lost their third player with Brennan Cox unable to get to his feet with a hamstring injury.

And with Fremantle the walking wounded, Brisbane took advantage to close within four goals.

But a dead-eye Jye Amiss ensured the Dockers had breathing room as the minutes ticked by.

And they held on to record a big first-up win against the Lions.

THE 3-2-1…

3. ‘NO-BRAINER’ CALL BACKFIRES ON LOST LIONS

Two games in and both grand finalists – Collingwood and Brisbane – remain without a win in a remarkable stat.

But what makes Brisbane’s loss even harder to swallow is the fact it was a “no brainer” call to leave superstar Lachie Neale at home – and without him they looked lost in the midfield.

The Lions were gifted a red-hot start with the first four goals of the game.

But like they did against Carlton, Brisbane faded badly to cough up the next eight goals.

“They controlled the first 30-40 minutes of this match,” commentator Matthew Pavlich said.

But when they couldn’t find a goal despite an 8-0 inside 50 count in the second term, Freo took control from there.

“They’ve completely lost momentum,” Will Schofield said on Fox Footy.

“It’s a mindset thing for Brisbane. This isn’t a structure (problem).”

Pavlich lamented the fact Brisbane’s forwards had enough chances with 48 inside 50s for the match.

Now the Lions return home for a bye before the grand final rematch with the currently winless Magpies over the Easter weekend.

Fox Footy’s Jon Ralph said Neale should return for that Easter Thursday blockbuster.

“It was just too tight (the turnaround to face Fremantle) and they didn’t want to take the risk,” he said.

“With the bye it was just a no brainer.”

2. ‘FUMBLY’ FREO OVERCOME RUST, INJURY WOES

While Fremantle got the four points, it came at a high cost with three players assisted from the field in “absolute carnage”.

Karl Worner was the first man down after a sickening clash with Lion Lincoln McCarthy.

Worner bravely went back with the flight and was heavily collected by McCarthy’s shoulder.

In sickening scenes, Worner did not move as teammates rushed to his aid.

Play was stopped for almost 10 minutes as medical staff took their time to safely get the youngster off the field on the stretcher.

Fremantle then lost new recruit Oscar McDonald moments later when play was stopped once more.

McDonald suffered a serious knee injury when he landed awkwardly on the wing in devastating scenes.

The injury toll further mounted when Brennan Cox went down early in the fourth term with a hamstring issue.

“Absolute carnage for Freo,” commentator Matthew Pavlich said.

“This doesn’t look good – he’s still down,” Will Schofield added.

“This is absolutely brutal now with three players down with massive injuries.

“This isn’t going to be a good result for (Cox).

“It’s just so brutal.”

The Cox injury forced coach Justin Longmuir to reshuffle his attack end.

“They are undermanned everywhere here,” Pavlich said.

The injuries soured what had been a brilliant fightback by Fremantle – after conceding the first four goals of the game.

Two 50m penalties and a rule shocker from Matt Johnson gifted the Lions an early break before Fremantle finally found their groove.

“It was helter skelter to begin with,” Pavlich said.

“Some of those simple errors – just unforgiveable.

“They’ve been off in some of their basics in the game with a couple of missed handballs, missed opportunities.”

But Pavlich said it was a “tale of two quarters” as Fremantle fought back.

They kicked eight straight goals to get the match back on their terms – thanks to the efforts of midfielder Caleb Serong who finished with 46 disposals – including 25 to half time.

1. STARS SWEAT ON MATCH REVIEW

It took just seconds for Fremantle star Nat Fyfe to draw the attention of the Match Review after his collision with Jarryd Lyons saw the Lion leave the ground bleeding from his head.

Fyfe charged into the centre square for the opening bounce and made contact with Lyons, who had his head down at the time.

Former Fremantle superstar Matthew Pavlich questioned if Fyfe had any concerns.

“Has he got something to worry about? This first one to begin with. He kept going on that one,” he said.

Fellow commentator Will Schofield found Fyfe’s attempts fell into “clumsy” rather than deliberate.

“It looked like he was landing waiting for contact – he wasn’t looking at the head so not sure we’ll have too much to worry about,” he said.

“Bit clumsy in there … guess we’ll have to wait and see.”

“Clumsy is a good way to describe it,” Pavlich added.

Fyfe isn’t the only player set to sweat on the review, with Lion Lincoln McCarthy another likely to come under scrutiny.

McCarthy laid a heavy tackle on Docker Luke Ryan – but it was the landing on the Optus Stadium turf that raised the eyebrows of the Fox Footy commentators.

“Just the byplay afterwards – what a tackle it was,” Pavlich said.

“See if there’s anything in that… let’s hope not.”

“It was a great tackle,” Schofield added.

“You’re fired up as a player, your emotions are up and high. Maybe you don’t need to do it.”

Adam Papalia added it was a “dangerous action” to bury Ryan into the turf.

Fox Footy vision also caught Docker Michael Walters stick his leg out and make contact with Lion Brandon Starcevich in the second term.

Walters had been trying to protect teammate Luke Jackson as he had a snap on goal when he made the contact with his Lions’ opponent.

“I’m sure they’ll have a look at that,” Pavlich said.

“That often happens in the schoolyard doesn’t it with kids!”



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