Everyone is saying freo!
HEAD TO HEAD: Played 18. West Coast 14, Fremantle 4.
LAST TIME: Fremantle 14.12 (96) d West Coast 11.16 (82), round 22, 2003 at Subiaco Oval. In one of the games of the year, Fremantle won their fourth ‘Western Derby’ to secure their first AFL final at home. Fremantle piled on six goals to two in the third quarter and turned a four-point half-time deficit into a match-winning 19-point lead at the final change. West Coast’s Daniel Kerr won the goal of the year award after taking five bounces before converting from just inside 50 with a beauty.
WORRIES: West Coast has yet to get into overdrive this season, after being touted as a top prospect in 2004. Although the year is still young, the Eagles enter round six with a 2-3 record and will be up against an in-form Fremantle line-up for the all-important derby. A 49-point loss last week to Carlton was its worst performance thus far this season, with back-to-back victories yet to be achieved in 2004. The loss of ruckman Michael Gardiner for the rest of the season is massive. After recording a 31-point loss against Sydney in round two, Fremantle has had few concerns, having won three in a row to sit fourth on the ladder after round five. Despite winning the round 22 derby last year, Fremantle has an inferior record against West Coast, which could give the Eagles plenty of confidence.
THE WHITEBOARD: Can West Coast kick a winning score? The Eagles ability to kick a high score in the opening three rounds was one of its main attributes, yet the Eagles have scored just 18 goals in the past two weeks and could find it equally difficult this round against Fremantle. Statistically, Fremantle has the second best defence in the competition and it is no wonder with the likes of Luke McPharlin in red hot form. His likely opponent, impressive youngster Andrew McDougall, will face another tough task, leaving much of the Eagles’ scoring attacks to crumbing forwards Phil Matera and Ashley Sampi, with Freo’s Roger Hayden and possibly Dion Woods as their opponents. At the other end, Fremantle managed to post its highest score for the season last round, with key forward Troy Simmonds and smaller running types Jeff Farmer, Byron Schammer, Paul Medhurst and Des Headland registering 15 goals between them. But the real highlight will be in the middle – think West Coast’s Ben Cousins, Chris Judd and Daniel Kerr up against Fremantle’s Peter Bell, Paul Hasleby and Matthew Pavlich,
AND THE WINNER IS…..Fremantle: Although these battles have not always been favourable for Freo, form in recent times – and especially this year – is swaying towards a fifth derby win. With several question marks lingering over West Coast’s defence and attack, on top of the loss of Gardiner in the ruck, Fremantle’s strength and evenness across the board is likely to come out on top, particularly with virtually a full-strength side to choose from. Fremantle by 23 points<===== ur kidding!