AFL: Taberner stands tall as Dockers overrun Dons

Matt Taberner plays Essendon. Picture: Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images
Matt Taberner plays Essendon. Picture: Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images

FREMANTLE is outside the top eight only on percentage following another come-from-behind win, this time against Essendon at Subiaco Oval on Sunday.

The Dockers rallied from 27 points behind in the second quarter to overrun the visitors 17.14 (116) to 11.13 (79).

Matt Taberner repaid the selectors for his recall to the senior side, finishing as the game’s leading forward with four goals.

He was also in form in the air, taking nine marks.

Coach Ross Lyon said Taberner’s return was reward for effort, with the tall forward having kicked 15 goals from six WAFL games this season and providing assistance in the ruck.

“To Matthew’s credit he has worked really hard off the rookie list but sometimes you get opportunities when maybe you shouldn’t be playing and that can give you a false sense of where you are at,” he said.

“So what happens when you go out for a period of time, you tend to take stock if you have football character and personal character and work on those things.

“Credit to Matthew, he did that and he got rewarded today.

“He will have bigger challenges. I watched Richmond (Saturday) night and they were intense.

“So it’s a big challenge coming for him next week but we would like him to back it up.”

Fellow forwards Shane Kersten and Cam McCarthy continue to build, with both finishing with two goals each.

Skipper Nat Fyfe worked his way into the game to finish with 26 disposals and two goals.

Lachie Neale (40 disposals, one goal and five tackles), Brad Hill (37 disposals and a goal) and Connor Blakely (29 disposals) worked hard all day, while Michael Walters’ move into the midfield was a successful one.

While he failed to hit the scoreboard, his extra class in the contest proved important.

For Essendon, Joe Daniher finished with three goals while East Fremantle product Cale Hooker kicked two.

The Dockers sit in ninth position on the AFL ladder, level with St Kilda and Port Adelaide for wins but way behind on percentage points.

Fremantle travels to the MCG to tackle sixth-placed Richmond on Saturday.

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