Eagles, Dockers post wins that could shape a season

Happy Dockers swamp Michael Walters. Photo: AAP
Happy Dockers swamp Michael Walters. Photo: AAP

YOU’D have been forgiven for thinking Fremantle had won their first flag at Optus Stadium yesterday afternoon, such was the noise that greeted Michael Walters’ match-winning kick.

On the surface it shouldn’t have meant as much.

Two middle-of-the-road sides, round 10, an after-the-siren shot that faded and hit the post.

But tell that to the 36,383 screaming themselves hoarse.

Have we seen the last great footy side?

A loss in that game, against the wayward son returned Lachie Neale, would have been a stake through a struggling side’s heart.

But to win it, storming home in the last quarter, is the sort of stuff that can shape a season.

Nat Fyfe and Lachie Neale catch up post game. Photo: Getty

Of course, the term “season-defining win” can only really be applied in retrospect.

The win on Sunday was just reward for a tough spell of three losses on the trot.

With Stephen Hill back in full training, and Harley Bennell racking up 30+touches in the WAFL over the weekend – the clouds hanging over the port in recent weeks seem to have plenty of silver lining.

Bigger challenges await, but Fremantle are on the right road.

Eagles, Dockers show just how funny football can be

The Eagles, meanwhile, looked dead and buried when Eddie Betts soccered one through early in the third quarter.

The premiers, however, flicked the switch.

Jamie Cripps, Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling all hit the scoreboard in the space of four minutes and suddenly the Adelaide Oval crowd was edgy.

Darling, perhaps the best barometer of how the Eagles are tracking, put in his best shift for the season.

The big man presented tirelessly, hitting the packs with abandon and kicking a clutch goal at the 30-minute mark of the final term to all but seal it.

Can these Eagles boldly go where no Eagles have gone before?

Kennedy is getting better as the season goes on, and a forward line boasting him, Darling, Liam Ryan, Willie Rioli, the criminally underrated Cripps and Jack Petruccelle, spells migraine-level headaches for opposition coaches.

Jumping Jack’s flashes were a gas gas gas. Photo: Getty

Gauging precisely how hungover the premiership Eagles are this year has been interesting.

To continue the analogy – our current assessment is the Berocca, plus toast and bacon, have done their job.

The Eagles look as though they slept until midday, but are now out of bed and trying to find their dancing shoes again.

greig.johnston@communitynews.com.au