|Venue:||Optus Stadium, Perth WA (4.40 pm AEST)|
|Date:||Sunday 12th August, 2018.|
|Result:||Lost by 29 points.|
|Goalkickers:||H. McKay 2, C. Curnow 2, M. Wright 2, M. Murphy, D. Thomas, M. Lobbe, D. Lang 1.|
|Umpires:||Leigh Haussen, Dean Margetts, Alex Whetton|
|Injuries:||M. Kreuzer (elevated heart rate) replaced in selected side by N. Graham|
Fremantle put a tumultuous week behind it, overrunning the Blues on the way to a 29-point victory at Optus Stadium on Sunday. But the Dockers' victory was soured by a season-ending left hamstring strain suffered by star Michael Walters late in the 15.11 (101) to 10.12 (72) triumph – which saw Ross Lyon's outfit equal last year's eight wins. There wasn't much riding on the outcome for either side, except for pride and the opportunity to respond after a challenging seven days. Questions hung over the Dockers' ability to refocus in the wake of young gun Andrew Brayshaw's horrific injuries in a wild Western Derby, while the Blues simply had to rebound after being embarrassed by the Giants last round in a 105-point smashing. In the end, both teams could take something away from Optus Stadium, although it was a largely uninspiring encounter between two outfits deep into full-scale rebuilds. After a lacklustre start, the Dockers would've been pleased they fought back after trailing the plucky Blues by 19 points in the second term, and topped 100 points for just the fourth time this season. Gun midfielder Lachie Neale (34 disposals, 10 clearances) continued his stellar campaign, lifting after a slow start to guide Freo home, with typically reliable support from evergreen veteran David Mundy (28, one goal) and hard-running wingman Ed Langdon (31, one goal). Having spent time in the WAFL this year, Cam McCarthy was lively with three majors in his best display for 2018, and Brennan Cox also slotted a pair of goals, despite some more wobbles in front of the big sticks. Amid ongoing queries about his future, uncontracted veteran Hayden Ballantyne (two goals) buzzed around and Freo's eighth debutant for the year, pressure forward Sam Switkowski, showed he wasn't out of his depth with 13 touches.
Hosting the bottom-placed Blues was a game the Dockers simply had to win after a crushing Derby defeat, and Lyon's men will feel good about themselves after putting the visitors to the sword with their best quarter of the year – a 7.3 to 0.2 third-term rout – to clinch the points. "As the game went on, I thought there was better use of the ball and making the opposition defend," Dockers coach Ross Lyon said post-match. "When we did go forward it gave our forwards a chance to be more dangerous against equal numbers and give them better opportunities. "It also allows you to put better pressure in your forward 50 and I thought we did that particularly after half-time." While the Blues remain stuck on two wins, Carlton was far from disgraced against Freo and threatened a boilover after bursting out of the blocks. But Carlton was far from disgraced and threatened a boilover after bursting out of the blocks. Despite again losing star ruckman Matthew Kreuzer to an elevated heart rate concern before the bounce, Carlton came out on a mission, catching Freo off-guard with their intensity around the contest. The Blues dominated clearances (12-5), contested ball (42-25) and inside 50s (16-11) in the opening term and could have led by more than 14 points at the first break. It was only the fourth time this season Brendon Bolton's men have had their noses in front at quarter-time, and the visitors looked threatening. Brownlow Medal chance Patrick Cripps (32 disposals, eight clearances) was powering the engine room and emerging star Charlie Curnow (two goals, nine marks) was plucking everything early, while Harry McKay booted two goals. The Blues held their ground as Fremantle turned the contest into an arm wrestle in the second term, heading to the long break with a 13-point buffer. Veteran Dale Thomas (30 disposals) showed some signs of his old self with a brilliant left-footed major from 40m to help keep Carlton ahead, but the visitors couldn't withstand Freo's run in the game-changing third quarter. "I'm absolutely filthy, as are our players, with the third quarter," Bolton said post-match. "Seven goals is unacceptable in a quarter. Pleased with the character to dig in in the last – I think we won the inside 50s (15-9) in the last we didn't totally capitalise every time – but three quarters doesn't cut it." This was the Dockers' sixth victory from the past seven clashes between the sides, and it means Carlton would have to achieve the near-impossible by winning the final two games against the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide to have any hope of avoiding the wooden spoon. - Travis King for afl.com.au.
Best players for Carlton were Cripps, Thomas, Lobbe, C.Curnow and Petrevski-Seton.
|B:||39 Dale Thomas||17 Sam Rowe||1 Jack Silvagni|
|HB:||13 Jed Lamb||22 Caleb Marchbank||6 Kade Simpson|
|C:||11 Sam Kerridge||9 Patrick Cripps (VC)||3 Marc Murphy (c)|
|HF:||4 Lochie O'Brien||30 Charlie Curnow||33 Jarrod Pickett|
|F:||46 Matthew Wright||10 Harry McKay||29 Cam Polson|
|Ruck:||27 Matthew Lobbe||35 Ed Curnow||2 Paddy Dow|
|Interchange:||5 Sam Petrevski-Seton||16 Darcy Lang||32 Nick Graham|
|38 Ciaran 'Casey' Byrne|
|Emg:||8 Matthew Kreuzer, 18 Aaron Mullett, 26 Harrison Macreadie, 36 Patrick Kerr|
-*Matthew Kreuzer was a late withdrawal due to heart condition and his season is now over, he was replaced in the team by Nick Graham.
Last Game: Nick Graham, Jarrod Pickett
7 - David Mundy (FRE)
5 - Nathan Wilson (FRE)
5 - Patrick Cripps (CARL)
2 - Ed Langdon (FRE)
1 - Dale Thomas (CARL)
2 - L. Neale (FRE)
1 - Patrick Cripps (Carl)
Patrick Cripps 7, Dale Thomas 7, Lochie O'Brien 6, Charlie Curnow 5, Sam Kerridge 5, Harry McKay 5, Matthew Lobbe 4, Marc Murphy 4, Sam Rowe 3, Ciaran 'Casey' Byrne 2, Sam Petrevski-Seton 2, Kade Simpson 2, Paddy Dow 1, Jed Lamb 1.
Round 20 | Round 22