Fremantle defenders Brennan Cox and Luke Ryan are earning a reputation for being as tough as nails and it showed in Freo’s 16-point win against Hawthorn on Monday night.
Freo’s backs held the Hawks to 32 points in the clash, with Cox, Ryan and fellow defender Ethan Hughes all making life difficult for the Hawthorn forwards with seven marks each.
Ryan continued to make a case for All Australian selection with 21 disposals, six intercepts, seven rebound 50s and 558 metres gained while fellow half back Nathan Wilson returned to his best form with 21 disposals and nine intercepts.
The night was also one of Cox’s best performances since making his switch to a full-time backman in 2020.
He joked about Freo’s young backline and said he was learning off players like Ryan.
“I still feel like I mucked up a bit but I’m still trying to learn from the more experienced players, although there’s not too many out there,” Cox said.
“We’re just trying to learn as much as we can off each other.
“Luke seems to be growing and being more of a leader out there. I’m trying to learn off him as much as I can.”
Cox said he was forming a good chemistry with Ryan, his housemate.
“They’re calling us the bash bros at the club, I don’t know how we got that nickname!” Cox said.
“It’s Tay (Duman) as well. We lived together for a bit. There’s definitely that little bit of chemistry.”
Cox was full of praise for Freo’s young midfielders, led by the likes of Andrew Brayshaw (33 disposals), Adam Cerra (26 disposals, eight marks) and Caleb Serong, who led Freo with six clearances.
“(Brayshaw and Cerra) have been brilliant all year, the way they get the ball, they’re cool, calm and collected when they use it,” Cox said.
“Andy gave me a couple today so I’ll give him a shout out.
“Caleb Serong is putting together a really nice year and the way he uses the ball is just brilliant.
“Matthew Taberner (two goals) is always getting his hands on the ball. I reckon the whole team, today, they really hunted the ball and got it forward, which makes it easy for us defenders.”