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Scratch match talking points

Brandon Matera spoke to Docker TV after Sunday's game. Brandon Matera chats to Docker TV after Freo's win over West Coast.

Fremantle won a pre-season practice match against West Coast by 29-points at Lathalin Oval on Sunday.

The two sides will be back at it again this weekend at HBF Arena as a part of the JLT Community Series on Sunday 11 Match.

Here are six takeaways from Sunday’s game.

A new leader in action
It didn’t take long for 22-year-old Alex Pearce to be given his first task as a member of Fremantle’s leadership group, stepping in for absent captain Nat Fyfe in the coin toss. For the record, Pearce called correctly and chose to kick with the breeze, with Fremantle kicking five goals to three in the opening term.

Engine purring
Fremantle named an experienced midfield along with some new faces as Aaron Sandilands, David Mundy, Lachie Neale and Michael Walters teamed up well with first and second year players Andrew Brayshaw, Adam Cerra and Sean Darcy.
Fremantle’s experienced line-up shone against West Coast, with Freo looking to include Nat Fyfe for this weekend’s game while West Coast are likely to see Luke Shuey and Andrew Gaff return.

Freo’s midfield future
There was a small glimpse of what could be the future of Fremantle’s midfield, with new draftees Andrew Brayshaw and Adam Cerra lining up side by side during the second half.
Cerra played half a game in his first Fremantle appearance, while Brayshaw earned even more game time after impressing in JLT1.

One ruck model?
A big selection-based question heading into round one is whether senior coach Ross Lyon will select developing ruckman Sean Darcy in the same side as Aaron Sandilands. If Sunday’s game is any indication, Lyon is likely to opt for one ruckman instead of two, with the pair not playing on the field at the same time. Instead, Sandilands and Darcy rotated on and off the bench with tall forwards such as Matt Taberner helping to shoulder the ruck load.

Hammer time
Joel Hamling picked up where he left off last season, coming into the Freo side and holding the Eagles forwardline to account taking a number of intercept marks and spoiling in the contests. After missing Freo’s first JLT Series clash with Adelaide to attend a family wedding, Hamling returned to the key defender role that he held down so well for 22 games in 2017.

Banfield applies the pressure
Fremantle rookie Bailey Banfield continued to push a case for selection, kicking two goals in a pressure forward role to follow up his two-goal effort against Adelaide in JLT1.
Assistant coach Michael Prior noted that Fremantle’s ability to apply pressure up front has improved this pre-season.
“Today and last week, something that has really stood out is our forward 50 pressure and our ability to lock the ball in,” Prior said.
In previous years, a rookie listed player required a senior list promotion prior to being eligible for selection however, a rule change heading into the 2018 season now allows Category A rookies, such as Banfield, to be available for selection.

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