Young gun Nat Fyfe plays his first pre-season game against Carlton. Image courtesy of adelaidenow.com.au
Carlton bucked the trend of teams losing when playing two matches in a row in the short-form NAB Cup games, so Mick Malthouse will be taking an unblemished record as Blues coach in to Saturday night’s clash with Fremantle at Etihad Stadium.
The Dockers go in to this match well and truly understrength after splitting their opening two matches in the NAB Cup. They beat Geelong in their first match at Patersons Stadium before an early West Coast blitz saw the Eagles get up in the derby clash. The big loss, literally and figuratively, is ruckman Aaron Sandilands who is likely to be out for some time with a hamstring problem. Jonathon Griffin and Zac Clarke, who have both showed plenty of promise on occasions, will shoulder the ruck duties and both are likely to see significant time in the seniors until Freo’s main big man comes back.
Ross Lyon has plenty of other injury concerns including prime movers Chris Mayne (ankle) and Stephen Hill (arm), while Anthony Morabito is gone for the season with his knee injury. Freo rested plenty of its big guns in the opening round, so its senior players will need game time in the remaining rounds of the pre-season. After missing a fair chunk of last season with injury, Nat Fyfe turns out for his first run in 2013, as do David Mundy and Ryan Crowley.
Key forward Jarrad Waite is the main concern for Carlton heading in to the start of the premiership season. He’ll miss this weekend’s clash with a calf injury, and after a series of injury-plagued seasons, he’s unlikely to be rushed. Young defender Andrew McInnes is recovering from a knee injury and won’t be seen any time soon.
Fremantle has lost its past two matches against Carlton, and surprisingly those defeats were both at Patersons Stadium. The last time the teams met under the roof in Melbourne, the Dockers snuck home by nine points in 2010.
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