Backs on track
Senior coach Justin Longmuir has Freo’s backline humming, despite missing the likes of Joel Hamling, Alex Pearce and Griffin Logue.
Between rounds 8 and 11, Fremantle conceded an average of 43 points per game, which ranks as the best in the AFL in that period. In the same period Carlton conceded 72.7 points per game, the third highest in the AFL.
On the rebound
One thing that makes Freo hard to score against is their ability to absorb opposition inside 50s. Freo’s rebound rate of 80 per cent leads the AFL, which means only one in five inside 50s against Freo result in a score.
Carlton on the other hand have a rebound rate of 73 per cent, which is ranked 18th in the AFL.
As expected, Freo’s Luke Ryan has been the key contributor in this area. His 68 rebound 50s in 2020 leads all players in the AFL, despite having played one less game than Robbie Tarrant (67) and Jake Lloyd (65), who are ranked second and third respectively.
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Fremantle were extremely slick when moving the ball by hand against Hawthorn. Freo’s 176 handballs was well above their season average of 121. When they moved the ball by hand, they did so effectively at an efficiency of 86.4 per cent, ranking second in the AFL in round 11.
But can we expect Freo to play in a similar way against Carlton? Justin Longmuir doesn’t think so.
“We probably over-possessed it a little bit to be honest,” Longmuir said in his post-match media conference.
“I think that was evident in the third quarter where we just went a bit handball happy, so we don’t want to be like that as much, but I thought the positioning off the ball allowed us to get through a lot with our ball movement.”
As for the Blues, they are much less likely to move the ball by hand, averaging 99.4 per game (17th in AFL) compared to 177.5 kicks per game (8th in AFL).
JL has a point on overuse…
Carlton ranks 17th for all disposals in 2020, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the Blues when you look at their ability to score effectively.
When it comes to overuse and scoring effectively, Fremantle need more than 10 disposals per goal than the Blues.
In 2020, Fremantle average 38.9 disposals per goal, ranking 16th in the AFL. Carlton average 28.8 disposals per goal, ranking fourth in the AFL.
Tabs on a roll
After Tom Papley kicked 0.3 in Sydney’s win against the Giants on Thursday night, Matt Taberner is now one of two players who have kicked a goal in every game this season, alongside GWS forward Jeremy Finlayson.
Alongside Finlayson and Buddy Franklin, Taberner’s 10-game streak with at least one goal is the equal longest current streak in the AFL.