Fremantle’s second ever trip to Canberra was always going to be a tough game, and despite some strong play, they were unable to overcome an in-form Greater Western Sydney Giants side.
One of the positives that the Dockers can take away from their 31-point loss is the performance of rookie draftee Bailey Banfield.
The UWA Bachelor of Commerce student was given orders by coach Ross Lyon to limit the star Giants midfielder Daniel Shiel.
Speaking in the lead up to the game, assistant coach David Hale praised the 20-year-old’s skills.
“He’s been very effective as a tagger… he did a really good role on Hall last week and Merrett the week before and he’s enjoying that challenge playing against the really good players.”
Banfield showed grit during the game, limiting Shiel and keeping defender Lachie Whitfield to six disposals in the first half.
He also was able to showcase his attacking skills, collecting 17 disposals and kicking the first goal of his AFL Premiership career.
The experience that Banfield has developed coming up against some of the best players in the game so early in the season will prove invaluable as he continues to develop in his first AFL campaign.
Speaking to the Fremantle Dockers after the game, he was keen to learn from the loss, and was looking to progress and adapt his game going forward.
“I think every game it gets harder as people start to figure out who you are and especially with my role.
“I think you just take something out of every game and keep learning and that’s all you can do.”
Meanwhile, fellow Bachelor of Commerce student Connor Blakely was also a contributor to the match, coming from the interchange with 16 disposals and two tackles to his name.
On the other side, UWA alumni Matt de Boer created problems for his old team in a strong display.
The former Docker, who was dumped by the club in 2016, has now risen to the Giant’s leadership group.
The Claremont product bested Dockers’ captain Nat Fyfe for a goal in the third quarter, and was unlucky not to score a second, finishing the match with 21 disposals.
Graduate Officer, UWA Sport Marketing, Communication and Events