Emma Payne

Emma is a sports enthusiast with extensive knowledge and experience in the industry. She is a sports presenter at 91.3 Sport FM reporting on sporting news from around the world, with an emphasis on Australian sport.

I’m still recovering from the emotional roller coaster of Fremantle’s last game against the Cats in Geelong!

I was one of very few Fremantle Dockers supporters at Simonds Stadium last week when the Fremantle Dockers suffered a two-point loss at the hands of the Cats. Not going to lie, even though the Dockers lost (after leading by 34 points during the game) I was pleasantly surprised that they only lost by two points. The young Dockers really held their own out there against an experienced Geelong side, so I think there were definitely a lot of positives to come out of the game. It was just a shame that their efforts couldn’t be rewarded with the win.

There are some BIG inclusions this week to face St Kilda. Sandi’s back! Sandi’s back! Freo welcome back the ‘Tower of Terror’ Aaron Sandilands, along with skipper Nat Fyfe, who is returning from a bruised sternum, Brady Grey, who was out with a hamstring injury and Ethan Hughes, who hasn’t played since round 11. The sad news is that the Dockers lose Stephen Hill with a calf injury and Josh Deluca with an ankle injury. Shane Kersten and Connor Blakely have both been omitted, Blakely was dropped this week for missing a training session to go surfing… *face palm*

I was extremely pleased with both of Freo’s debutants last week, Josh Deluca and Sean Darcy. They both stood up in their own way and can both be great players if they continue to get the game time. Darcy was impressive in the ruck getting hit-outs to advantage and also using his body well around the ball. With Darcy and Deluca playing their first game last weekend, five of Fremantle’s six debutants this season were on the field which is a good sign for the Dockers’ rebuild. They all worked well together and nearly got one of their best wins of the season, and that was without two of Freo’s best players in Sandilands and Fyfe. Promising signs for Freo supporters!

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In saying that, we do need to see a lot more from Shane Kersten (if/when he gets back into the side) and Cam McCarthy. They managed just ONE mark between them last week, McCarthy got one goal and Kersten kicked two behinds. If they are going to be Fremantle’s main forwards, they need to start getting more of the ball and performing better inside 50. Fremantle’s defence and midfield is working well, yet they get little result for effort when they kick into their forward line. McCarthy seems to play behind his opponent, he needs to use his body more and get in front, and give the midfielders more of a chance to hit a target inside 50.

The Saints have three inclusions to their squad this week with Jack Steele, Ben Long and Daniel McKenzie making the trip west. St Kilda have lost 11 of their last 12 interstate games, and lost their last seven games at Domain Stadium. They will be looking to snatch a rare win on the road in their lead up to September.

I think the Fremantle Dockers deserve a win after last week, and they need to beat Saint Kilda to keep their finals window ajar. I am tipping the Fremantle Dockers to beat St Kilda by 19 points!

Let us know your #AFLFreoSaints predictions at @TweetPerth @EmmaPaynes