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Praise rolls in for next men in

Highlights v Port Adelaide - Rd 13 Watch the highlights between Fremantle and Port Adelaide in round 13.

Michael Walters was full of praise for Fremantle’s inclusions as Freo recorded their third-consecutive victory with a 21-point win against Port Adelaide on Saturday at Optus Stadium.

After the highs of a four-point win away to Collingwood in round 11, Fremantle were left reeling at the bye with the loss of star players in defender Alex Pearce and ruckman Rory Lobb.

But Walters felt that replacements Griffin Logue and Sean Darcy, as well as Stephen Hill who returned from injury, played a crucial role in steering Freo to victory against the Power.

“We just want to see a really strong team effort from everyone,” Walters said. 

“That’s the beauty about this team, it’s a young group but we have a lot of players in the WAFL playing good footy - if anyone goes down with injury, it’s next man in who plays their role.

“When we had injuries to our players like Rory Lobb and Alex Pearce, we definitely needed everyone to stand up and play their role and I thought that the players that came in did that. Sean Darcy, Stephen Hill and Griffin Logue.” 

It would have been hard to find a bigger test for the 21-year-old Darcy in his first AFL game since round two, going up against formidable ruck duo Paddy Ryder and Scott Lycett.

While Port seemed to have a goal to wear Darcy down, the 21-year-old stuck with the duo to keep the hitout count close and help Freo win the clearances 40 to 31. 

“They’re one of the best ruck duos going around and he stood up against them and played his brand of footy,” Walters said. 

“Coming into the game, all we wanted him to do was to just compete and I thought he did that. 

“But also, Brennan Cox went in the ruck and competed as well, so I thought that those two played well against a phenomenal ruck duo."

Logue had some ups and downs in his return from injury but the 21-year-old was far from overawed in his first game in almost two years. 

The defender smashed a number of his career-best stats with 24 disposals, 13 intercepts, eight marks and five rebound 50s.

“Oh man, the way he played…and you can see it in his training. He works his butt off to get the best out of himself,” Walters said.

“To see him come back and play the way he did is a credit to him, it’s a credit to all of his hard work. He’s a good person but also he’s a good player as well.

“I’m glad he’s got rid of that hair but he’s a young boy and he’s big and strong. On the back end of Alex Pearce going out and he came in and played his role to a tee.”

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