Dockers hit by injury carnage in win over Lions

Justin Chadwick |

The Dockers fought back from a slow start to beat Brisbane by 23 points.
The Dockers fought back from a slow start to beat Brisbane by 23 points.

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir says worrying injuries to Brennan Cox, Karl Worner and Oscar McDonald have taken some of the gloss off his team’s impressive 23-point AFL win over Brisbane.

The Lions kicked the opening four goals of Sunday’s match at Optus Stadium, but Fremantle piled on the next eight to secure the 14.9 (93) to 10.10 (70) win in front of 40,604 fans.

It continued a poor start to the season for Brisbane, who coughed up a 46-point lead against Carlton a week earlier on the way to a one-point loss.

The result also means both grand finalists have gone 0-2 to start the season, with premiers Collingwood losing to GWS and Sydney.

Brisbane subbed off Darcy Gardiner at half-time due to a suspected PCL injury, while Conor McKenna’s day was ended in the second half by a left hamstring issue. 

Jye Amiss takes a high mark.
Jye Amiss exemplified the Dockers’ spirit after their sluggish first quarter. (Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS)

But it was Fremantle who were hit the hardest on the injury front.

Worner was stretchered off in the third quarter after suffering a sickening incidental hit to the head while trying to mark a ball.

Teammates rushed in to check on Worner’s welfare after his heavy clash with Lincoln McCarthy as both went to mark a low ball.

Jye Amiss was forced off for treatment on his left knee minutes later after he was pushed into the goalpost while kicking a goal, but he was cleared to return and played out the match.

New recruit McDonald went down clutching at his left knee in the dying stages of the third quarter after suffering an ugly hyperextension while landing.

The fourth quarter didn’t bring much luck either, with Cox suffering a serious right hamstring injury as he tumbled to the turf, with two trainers required to help him off the field.

Scans will determine whether McDonald has suffered an ACL tear.

“They look pretty significant (the injuries to Cox and McDonald), but I’m not going to sit here and give a time frame,” Longmuir said. 

“We’ve just got to get a scan and we’ll see how we go. Fingers, toes, everything crossed for them both. 

“It’s really disappointing. It takes a bit of the gloss off a really, really good win having three guys get injured like that. 

“But it creates opportunities and we’ll have players ready to go.”

Dockers forward Michael Walters could be in trouble for his deliberate trip on Brandon Starcevich as the Brisbane defender attempted to run forward to smother Luke Jackson’s shot on goal.

Amiss (four goals) and Josh Treacy (three goals) were superb in attack for Fremantle, while Caleb Serong racked up a club-record 46 disposals to go with 10 clearances.

Eric Hipwood and Joe Daniher kicked three goals apiece for Brisbane.

Karl Worner lays on the ground after colliding with Lincoln McCarthy.
Karl Worner was one of several injury worries out of the match for the Dockers. (Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS)

The Dockers produced an error-riddled horror show for most of the opening quarter as Brisbane raced out to a 27-2 lead.

Fremantle came to life in the final two minutes of the term with snapped goals to Bailey Banfield and Sam Switkowski, with players from both sides involved in a push-and-shove after the siren.

The Dockers’ momentum continued with a five-goals-to-zip second term, with Brisbane unable to wrest back momentum in the second half despite Fremantle’s injury chaos.

“It’s two weeks in a row now the middle part of the game has been a problem for us, and I’ve never encountered that with this group before,” Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said. 

“So I’ve got a little bit of work to do on that.”

AAP