Western Bulldogs overrun injury-hit Fremantle Dockers in AFL
Two-time Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe has been among four Fremantle stars to succumb to injury during the team’s 28-point AFL loss to the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium.
In a devastating three-minute period in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s match, Fremantle lost Fyfe (dislocated shoulder), defender Brennan Cox (torn hamstring), and ruckman Sean Darcy (hamstring strain).
Defender Griffin Logue (concussion) had already been subbed out following a sickening third-quarter collision with Aaron Naughton.
Two-time Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe has been among four Fremantle stars to succumb to injury during the team’s 28-point AFL loss to the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium
Fyfe dislocated his reconstructed right shoulder in a heavy collision, while Cox could barely walk after tearing his right hamstring.
Cox appears unlikely to play again this year, while the club will anxiously await the scan results on Fyfe’s shoulder.
Darcy’s right hamstring injury wasn’t as serious as Cox’s, but it’s expected he will miss at least several weeks.
The Western Bulldogs led by 14 points at the time of Fremantle’s triple injury blow in the final quarter, and they went on to secure the 13.15 (93) to 9.11 (65) in front of a crowd of 32,875.
‘I think it’s positive that it popped back in on the field,’ Dockers coach Justin Longmuir said of Fyfe’s injury.
‘(Cox) did his hammy. It doesn’t look positive at this stage unfortunately. We’ll get it scanned, but it looks high grade.
‘He’s disappointed. He’s our only back to have played every game this year.
‘He’s going to be really disappointed, we just cross our fingers and hope it’s not as bad as it seems at the moment.
‘Hopefully Sean gets some good news and he only misses the week with the bye coming up.
‘We’ll wrap our arms around our injured players and make them feel like they’re still part of the group.
‘But we need to move on a well. We’ve got a six-day break and a Gold Coast team that’s coming off the bye. We need to move on pretty quick.’
Forward Mitch Crowden will also undergo scans after suffering a hit to the shoulder.
The Bulldogs were left with an injury concern of their own after ruckman Stefan Martin was subbed out at halftime with a left shoulder issue.
‘He’s hurt his shoulder and he’s a bit ordinary,’ Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said.
‘The good thing is we don’t play next weekend. Hopefully he’s a sneaky chance against Geelong.’
Star Bulldogs midfielder Marcus Bontempelli was crucial in the win with 27 disposals, seven clearances and two booming goals, while Jack Macrae racked up 35 disposals.
Naughton snared 13 marks, including five contested, in a phenomenal aerial effort.
But his goalkicking let him down badly and he finished with 1.5.
Rookie Dockers forward Josh Treacy booted three goals in a breakout game, while David Mundy tallied 30 disposals and eight clearances.
Dockers defender Nathan Wilson could be in strife after purposely striking Cody Weightman in the groin after giving away a free kick.
Fremantle suffered a pre-match blow when spearhead Matt Taberner was a late withdrawal after failing to recover from an ankle injury.