‘Holy hell’: Fyfe cops brutal ‘shiner’ during defeat
Fremantle Dockers captain Nat Fyfe walked off Marvel Stadium with a horrific swollen eye after his round one encounter against the Essendon Bombers on Saturday.
Fyfe was unable to see out of his left eye after copping a nasty blow during the final quarter in Melbourne, the swelling considerably impairing his vision.
The 28-year-old - playing his 174th match for the Dockers - was undeniably affected by the black eye, his decision-making tapering in the closing minutes.
Despite the blow, it was a stellar performance from the 2019 Brownlow Medallist on Saturday afternoon - Fyfe managed a team-high 26 disposals and six intercepts during the narrow loss. His battle with Bombers star Jake Stringer was particularly enthralling.
Essendon fought off a stirring late charge by Fremantle to open their AFL season with a six-point win.
Debutant Sam Sturt kicked two of his three goals as the Dockers slammed through four majors in Saturday afternoon's final term, but the Bombers grimly hung on for a 9.9 (63) to 8.9 (57) win.
In Justin Longmuir's first game as senior coach, Fremantle started poorly but finished strongly, with Andy Brayshaw missing a late shot on goal which would have made it a point the difference with just under two minutes left on the clock.
Former Richmond premiership player Jacob Townsend booted two goals in the opening quarter as Essendon jumped out to a 19-point lead at the first break. John Worsfold's men led by 26 points at halftime but managed just two goals in the second half to leave the door open for the visitors.
Watch every match of every round of the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season LIVE & On-Demand with KAYO. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
Dylan Shiel starred for the Bombers with 35 possessions and eight clearances, while Townsend finished with three goals.
Meanwhile, Sturt tallied three majors for Fremantle in a promising debut.
The sight of Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson watching from a corporate box at Marvel Stadium raised questions on social media given the restrictions around attendance.
But with the Hawks taking on the Dockers in round two, the league clarified that clubs could nominate one scout to attend a match if one of next week's opponents was playing.
Originally published as 'Holy hell': Fyfe cops brutal 'shiner'