How can this be the same Freo? A 63 point loss to the wooden spooners, then a week later a smashing of a top eight side who beat the premiership favourite that same seven days earlier. Surely part of this dramatic turn around is probably a side-effect of a young, inexperienced but talented side.

But one obvious addition that sparked the forward line into life was the presence of that electric live wire number 17. Credit has to be given now for the club to take the then 21 year old in the draft. Ballentyne has the determination, heart and drive that could symbolize what this club could become. While sometimes you wish he would stay down and use his crumbing skills, his ability to attack the footy in the air and on the turf is really something. And the perfect contrast to the excitement machine was the return of another Hayden in defence. His reliable, cool head was such a relief.

Freo had winners everywhere, Sandi dominated, Haze shut down Jobe Watson, Duffield was superb, Pearce damaging, Mundy creative and Ibbitson brilliant. But it was clear the man that really had a day was Nic Suban. The youngster was in a zone, 25 posessions and two great goals including one bizare hand on face celebration. Essendon's speed has been a talking point over east all year but Freo blazed through the corrider thanks to some sensational rucking and clever roving from a number of players.

There certainly was some real excitement post game with Mcpharlin's carry off and Pavs video board message thanking fans and alluding to the 2010 season.

 

But have we heard it and felt it all before? Time will tell. One game left, GFC, no not the global financial crisis but another sort of crisis for the Docks, 1-10 all time at Skilled. Nevermind, time to enjoy this one for a few hours

 -Tyson Beattie

ontheboard