AFLW 2022: Fremantle Dockers remain undefeated after dominating fellow premiership fancies Collingwood

Headshot of Eliza Reilly
Eliza ReillyThe West Australian
Fremantle’s Roxy Roux celebrates a goal in the first term of the Dockers’ win over Collingwood.
Camera IconFremantle’s Roxy Roux celebrates a goal in the first term of the Dockers’ win over Collingwood. Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos

Fremantle have emphatically stamped their premiership credentials after comprehensively outclassing fellow flag fancies Collingwood, extending their unbeaten run to four matches with a 31-point win on Thursday night.

The 5.8 (38) to 1.1 (7) scoreline doesn’t begin to reflect the Dockers dominance, Fremantle ploughing through the dam wall in the final quarter to end Collingwood’s seven-game winning streak at Victoria Park.

Just 12 points separated the two top-four outfits at the final break before Fremantle charged home with three final quarter goals, finally getting reward for 40-10 inside 50s.

The most enticing battle played out in Fremantle’s forward arc, the Dockers creating ample opportunity only to be continually repelled by Collingwood’s structured back five.

Fremantle
Camera IconFremantle Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos

The Dockers tackling pressure was immense, laying 78-50 and winning ample reward.

The game was won in the midfield as captain Hayley Miller continued her inspirational run of form, inspiring her side with the first goal of the final quarter to go with 19 disposals - 10 of which were contested.

Kiara Bowers was at her brilliant best again, notching 26 touches and five clearances.

“We’ve gone from having one genuine A-grade midfielder to having two now which relieves some of the pressure on Kiara. Hayley’s form is ultra-consistent,” senior coach Trent Cooper said.

Fremantle star Kiara Bowers was at her usual best.
Camera IconFremantle star Kiara Bowers was at her usual best. Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos

While Fremantle’s backline held Collingwood to their lowest-ever total, the Magpies final score of the game coming at the eight minute mark of the second quarter.

Cooper’s decision to send forward Aine Tighe (14 touches, six marks) into defence was a masterstroke, holding Collingwood key forward Sabrina Frederick goalless, a job that would usually be reserved for Janelle Cuthbertson - who missed with concussion protocols.

While 2021 mature age draft selection Jess Low was equally influential, restricting Collingwood livewire Chloe Molloy to two touches.

“We definitely made it (defence) a focus this week,” Cooper said.

“We knew Collingwood were a really strong defensive side and we knew we weren’t going to kick a lot of goals so we challenged our backline to keep Collingwood to three because we thought we could only get four ourselves.”

Mature-age draftee Jessica Low did a sensational job on dangerous Collingwood forward Chloe Molloy.
Camera IconMature-age draftee Jessica Low did a sensational job on dangerous Collingwood forward Chloe Molloy. Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos

The Dockers threatened to tear the game apart in the third quarter, piling on 13 inside 50s to one.

It was a near replica of the second quarter where Fremantle sent the ball inside attack 14 times to Collingwood’s one.

But Miller was the sole beneficiary of two testing quarters, intercepting a handball and converting on the run from 45 metres in immediate response to Britt Bonnici kicking Collingwood’s first in the second term.

Bonnici (25 touches, five inside 50s, 488m gained) was Collingwood’s best while Jaimee Lambert (18, five clearances) had an intriguing battle with Bowers.

Cooper said the Dockers will make a minimum of two changes as they prepare to battle the Western Bulldogs off a four-day break on Tuesday.

SCOREBOARD

FREMANTLE 1.1, 2.3, 2.7, 5.8 (38)

COLLINGWOOD 0.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1 (7)

Goals — FREMANTLE: H Miller 2, R Roux, G Houghton, E Antonio

COLLINGWOOD: B Bonnici

Best — FREMANTLE: H Miller, A Tighe, K Bowers, E Antonio, J Low, R Roux

COLLINGWOOD: B Bonnici, S Rowe, J Lambert, R Schleicher, S Livingstone

INJURIES – Nil

Crowd: 1257 at Victoria Park.

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