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DOCKERS v HAWKS Full match coverage and stats
If Hawthorn had allowed itself to indulge once more in the thought of finals footy after last week's drought-breaking victory over Carlton, those prospects disappeared just as quickly at the hands of Fremantle on Monday night.
>> WATCH ALL THE HIGHLIGHTS IN THE PLAYER ABOVE
Instead of using last Friday's inspired performance as a springboard for the back-half of a truncated season, the Hawks instead reverted to the flat form that had preceded it in a dour 16-point loss to the Dockers.
Fremantle, on the other hand, gave its ageing opponents a glimpse of how youth can breed enthusiasm. First-round draft picks Andrew Brayshaw (33 disposals) and Adam Cerra (26 disposals, eight marks) were among the best in a comfortable win.
Another top-10 pick, Caleb Serong, also continued his impressive development and built even further on an ever-emerging NAB AFL Rising Star case with 20 disposals and six clearances.
Their influence was particularly prominent after half-time, where the Dockers kicked three unanswered goals in the third term to capitalise on their midfield dominance and completely seize the advantage on the scoreboard.
'SHORT-TERM FIX' Star forward Hogan set for shock switch to defence
Tom Mitchell (32 disposals, eight clearances) was busy around the contest, but had few helping hands on a night that could ultimately signal the end of the Hawks' fading finals hopes.
The future lies with Freo's first-rounders
When Fremantle has played well this season, it has been former top-five picks Andrew Brayshaw and Adam Cerra who have often led the way. The development of the pair hasn't necessarily been linear and, while both struggled to impact games on certain occasions throughout their first two full seasons in an AFL system, they are finally starting to deliver upon their immense potential. On Monday night, the pair were strong in the contest and classy on the outside. They also won plenty of the footy and outmuscled a Hawthorn midfield featuring Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O'Meara. Alongside a trio of top-10 picks from last year in Hayden Young, Caleb Serong and Liam Henry, the future is bright for Freo.
Does 'Frost Ball' work for the Hawks?
Alastair Clarkson likes things methodical. It's why the thought of 'Frost Ball', the term given to Sam Frost's unpredictable nature with ball in hand, in Clarkson's system fascinated many when he made the move from Melbourne to Hawthorn last October. Last week, it worked effectively as a galloping Frost run resulted in a crucial goal against Carlton that helped change the momentum of the match. On Monday night, it didn't. Frost took a nice intercept mark late in the first quarter, then took off. He shrugged one tackle, took a bounce in traffic, then ran another 20m without bouncing. He was pinged for running too far, with Fremantle quickly exposing a Hawthorn backline that was horribly out of position as a result of the turnover. Matt Taberner converted the opportunity and the 12-point swing proved costly.
The Dockers 'out-Hawthorn' the Hawks
Hawthorn built its 2013-2015 dynasty by controlling possession, controlling the tempo and controlling the outcome. That was exactly what Fremantle did to Alastair Clarkson's side on Monday night. Remarkably, the Dockers had 99 more disposals and 20 more marks than the Hawks in their ultra-impressive victory. In fact, nine of the top 10 ball winners on the ground were Fremantle players. However, they were also fierce in the contest, laying 15 more tackles and also winning the contested battle on the night. The hosts picked holes through Hawthorn by moving the ball slowly but with control, to ensure they were constantly well set defensively. The composure and maturity of Fremantle's ball movement would have perhaps been the most pleasing aspect of the victory for first-year coach Justin Longmuir.
FREMANTLE 3.1 4.4 7.4 7.6 (48)
HAWTHORN 1.1 2.4 2.6 4.8 (32)
Fremantle: Taberner 2, Darcy, Fyfe, Colyer, Schultz, Bewley
Hawthorn: Breust 2, Gunston, Sicily
Fremantle: Brayshaw, Fyfe, Cerra, Ryan, Wilson, Serong, Mundy
Hawthorn: Mitchell, Morrison, O'Meara, Sicily, Scrimshaw
Fremantle: Colyer (hamstring), Blakely (shoulder)
Hawthorn: Smith (shoulder)