Main content
United by Purple

Plan to stifle Power pays off

Watch the highlights from Freo's win over Port Adelaide. Watch the highlights of our 8 point victory over the Power

Fremantle’s pre-game focus to bring the heat against Port Adelaide was the driving factor behind their nine-point victory at Optus Stadium, according to midfielder David Mundy.

Since 2014, the Power have averaged 15 more tackles than Fremantle when the two teams met, however this statistic was reversed on Sunday with Fremantle laying 78 tackles to the Power’s 67.

Port Adelaide came into the game as the league’s no.1 clearance team and it showed in the opening term, with the Power leading the stat 20-4.

However, Freo quietened the Power for the final three quarters – winning 30 clearances to 19 – and Mundy credited the turnaround to his teammates’ pressure.

Fremantle’s most prolific tacklers were their youngest players, with the likes of Bailey Banfield (9), Adam Cerra (8), Brennan Cox (6) and Stefan Giro (6) leading the way.

Mundy laid five tackles himself to go with his 29 disposals, five marks and one goal. 

“We understand that Port Adelaide’s real strength is around the ball,” Mundy told 6PR post game. 

“We were really keen to get them in the contest.

“I think our teamwork without the ball really set us apart comparatively to what we’ve been producing the past few weeks. 

“The boys really worked hard to help each other and stifle their ball movement and run.”

Fremantle’s win came against both team’s run of form, with Freo breaking a two-game losing streak and the Power seeing their five-game winning run end.

Freo achieved the feat with a significantly younger and less experienced team, with 10 players with 30 games’ experience or less, compared to the Power’s two.

Port Adelaide’s average age was 26.07, second oldest only to West Coast in round 17 – while Fremantle fielded a team with an average age of 23.88, the third youngest for the round.

“It just shows that past form counts for nothing,” Mundy said.

“It’s about what a team produces on game day. We had a strong focus throughout the season that when we produce our best, it really stacks up and I thought we did that tonight.” 

Mundy paid credit to a decision to have injured leaders Nat Fyfe and Aaron Sandilands take training on Wednesday. 

“We wanted to lighten the mood and put a bit more onus on the players,” Mundy said about the session.

“We’re really conscious of having a young group. Going through the habitual nature of AFL football can get a bit dreary for those guys, especially as the season progresses and travelling every other week. 

“That was a bit of fun and we wanted to lighten it up a bit. From all reports those boys went really well.”

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