‘We’re on here’ was the thought that went through Michael Frederick’s mind when Fremantle kicked two quick goals to open the second half against Narrm (Melbourne) at the MCG on Saturday in Sir Doug Nicholls Round.
The Dees led by as much as 30 points just before half time before Freo steamrolled home to win convincingly by 38-points.
Freo raced out of the blocks in the second half after senior coach Justin Longmuir’s address that assured the group they were still in the contest despite lowering their colours for 15 minutes in the second term, seeing the Dees kick six straight goals.
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Fremantle then kicked 13 of the last 14 goals and never looked like giving up the ascendancy after they took control of the game.
Frederick returned to form with two goals and 17 disposals with his creativity also having an impact on much of Freo’s forward advances.
“Yeah of course,” Frederick said when asked if he always believed Freo could win.
“I think we’ve got a great side out there. Losing Switta (Sam Switkowski to suspension) wasn’t the best but it’s the next man in mentality.
“As forwards, our pressure was just on. It didn’t look like we’d miss in the second half. We just kept repeating that and got some good looks going forward.”
Lachie Schultz kicked four goals to lead all players while fellow smalls Michael Walters and Travis Colyer also hit the scoreboard.
But Frederick said it was the team defence that stood out.
“It’s been massive for our smalls this year to hunt and pressure and we brought that in all of our forward 50 entries,” Frederick said.
“We’d been going so well together for the whole year, it was great to see Trav and Sonny get on the board and Shoota (Schultz).
“All the other stuff (outside of goals) that is what we value so much.”
The win ended Melbourne’s 17-game winning run as well as Freo’s two-game losing streak, with a dip in form threatening to derail Freo’s season.
Fremantle are now back on track but face another test in the second-placed Brisbane Lions next Sunday at Optus Stadium.
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“Justin Longmuir said (post-game) to stay composed, to come in on Monday and put our focus onto Brisbane,” Frederick said.
“He also wants us to stay in the moment and enjoy it, get around each other and celebrate but it’s feet on the ground straight after.
“When we get back to work on Monday, we’ll focus on Brisbane, which is another big task.”