Defender Taylin Duman said a season-high tackle count helped Fremantle record a remarkable 34-point victory against the top-placed Geelong at Optus Stadium on Saturday.
Led by Sam Switkowski (9), Andrew Brayshaw (7) and Darcy Tucker (7), Fremantle laid 85 tackles and Duman felt that the pressure from Freo’s midfield and forwards helped make the backline tick.
The 21-year-old played his part in an impressive performance from a young defence that was missing star backs Alex Pearce, Nathan Wilson and Luke Ryan.
The defence instead relied on the leadership of Joel Hamling to lead the way for promising young players such as Griffin Logue, Ethan Hughes and debutant Jason Carter.
“It was a super win by the boys, it’s been a big week for the club and I thought we responded in great fashion,” Duman said.
“We really hunted the opposition, we went to the ball. I think we had the most tackles we had all year and we really got after them.
“(Senior coach) Ross (Lyon) said if we get good pressure around the ball from our mids and forwards, the backs will do their job and get right up on them and I felt like we did that.
“It was a really good effort from the whole team to make the ball come in (to Fremantle’s defensive 50) a bit dirtier and give the backs the best chance.”
Duman was full of praise for his fellow defenders, with the backline keeping star forward Tom Hawkins goalless after quarter time and limiting Geelong to 27-points from the opening break.
“I thought Jason Carter really stepped up today, he went hard at the contest and had some really good run and carry, Ethan Hughes as well,” Duman said.
“Joel Hamling and Griffin Logue shared the role on Hawkins beautifully.
“We had a focus during the week that we knew that they'd like to go to Hawkins, so if we could help out and chop across, we’d try and do that.
“He got away from us early but I think we came back and retained him a bit.”
One of the many highlights of the game came via Duman’s first career goal with an impressive snap from 30 metres.
“Credit to Griffin Logue, he told me to push forward a bit,” Duman said.
“I think there was a spoil in the contest, it slipped through (Gary) Ablett’s hands and I was waiting there and put it on the boot and it just snuck in there.”