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Freo take it up to Crows

See the highlights from Freo's clash with Adelaide. Watch the highlights from Fremantle v Adelaide at Strathalbyn.

Nat Fyfe was at his vintage best while Fremantle’s young players showed their potential in a rollercoaster contest that saw Adelaide prevail by 10-points at Strathalbyn Oval.

The Fremantle captain was outstanding with 27 disposals and two goals, juggling time between the midfield and the forwardline.


After trailing by 29-points at half-time, Freo held a nine-point lead with two minutes to play before Adelaide surged with three late goals through Lachlan Murphy, acting captain Tom Lynch and Cam Ellis-Yolmen to get home 13.13 (91) to 12.9 (81).

Matt Taberner booted three goals and No.2 NAB AFL Draft pick Andrew Brayshaw pressed his claims for a round one debut with 14 disposals. The 18-year-old showed composure beyond his years and led the game for contested possessions at quarter time, with four at the first break and six at full time.


Rookie Bailey Banfield shone as a part of Freo’s comeback, kicking two second-half goals to go with his 11 disposals. 

Defender Alex Pearce made a successful return in his first game in 21 months since a broken leg and won his battle with Crows forward Josh Jenkins with six marks for the day.

Reigning Crows club champion Matt Crouch continued on from his All Australian form of last year for the 2017 Grand Finalists with 36 disposals, dominating stoppages and flicking the ball out to his outside runners, while link-up forward Lynch worked hard both ways.

Fremantle defender Cam Sutcliffe left the game in the third quarter with blurred vision after a head knock.


Fremantle: Freo skipper Nat Fyfe carries a large weight on his shoulders. He's brilliant in the midfield, but will also be damaging playing deep in attack. No.2 overall draft pick Andrew Brayshaw looks like an absolute gem. He's ready-made for the elite level. 

Adelaide: Link-up forward Tom Lynch will have boosted his market value. Lynch works hard both ways and is often under-rated among those outside the club. Bryce Gibbs is a brilliant addition to the midfield. His decision making is elite as are his skills by foot. The Crows looked very handy despite missing 10 first-choice players.


Fremantle: Brayshaw looks like he's ready-made for the elite level. He moved beautifully across the ground and showed smart instincts around the packs. Nathan Wilson was solid across half-back and forward Brandon Matera finished with six disposals. Inside midfielder Bailey Banfield did some nice work and kicked a couple goals. Stefan Giro had just four disposals in limited game time, while project ruckman Lloyd Meek got a taste of the elite level.

Adelaide: Bryce Gibbs was outstanding in his first appearance for the Crows after 231 games for Carlton. Darcy Fogarty – the No.12 pick in last year's draft – had limited game time in the first half, but took a nice grab and booted a goal with his first kick in the third term. Lachlan Murphy made the most of his opportunity, snagging three goals and giving coach Don Pyke something to think about with his excellent forward pressure. Experienced recruit Sam Gibson was quiet on the wing. Tom Doedee, a first-round pick in 2015, was impressive in defence as he aims to take over the role Jake Lever played. Matt Signorello and Paul Hunter didn't have much game time.


The Crows take on Port Adelaide at Alberton Oval on Saturday, March 10, 3.35pm (ACST), while Fremantle round out their pre-season campaign against West Coast at HBF Arena in Joondalup on Sunday, March 11, 4.05pm (AWST).

ADELAIDE         2.3     7.7       9.9       13.13  (91)
FREMANTLE    3.1       3.2       8.5       12.9     (81) 


Adelaide: Murphy 3,Atkins 2, McGovern 2, Lynch 2, Dear, Gibbs, Fogarty, Ellis-Yolmen
Fremantle: Taberner 3, Banfield 2, Fyfe 2, Neale, Langdon, Banfield, Ballantyne, McCarthy, Walters 


Adelaide: Gibbs, M Crouch, Lynch, Laird, Doedee, Hampton
Fremantle: Fyfe, Neale, Taberner, Mundy, A Pearce, Walters


Adelaide: Talia (ankle) replaced in selected side by Fogarty

Fremantle: Cam Sutcliffe (concussion)

Reports: Nil 

Umpires:H.Gavine, N.Williamson, C.Fleer, A.Gianagna

Official crowd: 6398 at Strathalbyn Oval

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs