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Strong start makes the difference

Watch the highlights from Saturday night's win. Watch the highlights from Saturday's win over St Kilda at Optus Stadium

A focus on pressuring the opponent was crucial to Freo securing a 30-point win against St Kilda at Optus Stadium on Saturday, according to Connor Blakely.

A week after being overwhelmed against Richmond at the MCG, Blakely said Fremantle placed a significant importance on starting strongly against the Saints.

The result was Freo kicking seven goals to one in the first half.

“Obviously last week against Richmond was a disappointing result so we're really happy to get back out there and get on the winner's list,” Blakely said. 

“It was a little bit scrappy the whole night but we got on top in the first half.

“We made that our focus after last week where we had four tackles to quarter time.

“Tonight I think we had 13, so we really ramped that up and it all flows from that forward pressure.”

St Kilda responded after the main break to cut Freo's 36-point lead to 14 points at three-quarter-time.

Blakely said the Saints made Fremantle pay for their mistakes in the third.

“The third term, we didn’t have as many kicks and we didn’t spread the ball as much as we wanted,” Blakely said.

“If you’re turning it over your defence is out of line. I think they were able to enter a few times into the forward 50 and capitalise on those opportunities.”

The 22-year-old added it was important that Fremantle responded and held on for the win.

“You’re always going to be challenged by teams as the AFL is so fierce and tight," Blakely said.

“It got pretty close so the way we were able to respond was really pleasing."

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