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Fremantle look to reset after dirty western derby loss

3 minute read

Fremantle have slumped to their third straight loss after suffering a shock 37-point loss to West Coast in a one-sided western derby.

JUSTIN LONGMUIR, coach of the Dockers during a Fremantle Dockers AFL training session at Victor George Kallis Oval in Perth, Australia.
JUSTIN LONGMUIR, coach of the Dockers during a Fremantle Dockers AFL training session at Victor George Kallis Oval in Perth, Australia. Picture: Will Russell/Getty Images

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir is adamant there were no excuses for his team's western derby flop, saying his players simply got smoked in the contest.

West Coast led 46-3 by early in the second quarter of Saturday's match on the way to their shock 16.9 (105) to 10.8 (68) AFL win.

The Eagles won the contested possession battle 132-108, leading to a 48-40 win in the inside 50m count.

Fremantle kicked just 10 goals from the match, continuing a worrying scoring lull during which they had kicked just nine goals in each of the previous three matches.

But it was the contest work that worried Longmuir the most.

"Probably from the 20-minute mark in the first quarter for about two-and-a-half quarters, we got smoked in the contest," Longmuir said.

"Behind the ball they were able to halve contests or win contests.

"And in front of the ball they just smoked us - led us to the ball and anticipated surge contests wins quicker than us.

"And around the ball, at stoppage, we got our hands on it, but that pressure was too good and we didn't trust ourselves against their pressure, and we coughed it and let them walk out the front."

The Dockers won their opening three games to shoot into early flag contention.

But heartbreaking losses to Port Adelaide and Carlton - when Fremantle coughed up the lead in the dying minutes of each game - severely dented the Dockers' momentum.

Longmuir said those disappointing losses weren't an excuse for their poor display against West Coast.

"I'm not going to sit here and use that as an excuse," Longmuir said.

"I thought we had a good week prep and we got beaten by what we prepared for tonight, We just weren't good enough, so I'm not going to use that.

"Look at our game over the first five weeks. We've been very good at contests, been very good with our pressure, been very good with our ground ball, and all that was off tonight.

"We've had close losses, we've had good wins, and now we've had a really poor defeat.

"We'll review like we reviewed all our other games, work out what went wrong, reset and go again."

Hayden Young finished the match on the bench, but Longmuir is hopeful the midfielder will be fit for next Saturday night's crunch home clash with the Western Bulldogs.

"He had a tight hammy," Longmuir said.

"The game was done and it wasn't worth risking. So hopefully we dodged a bullet there."

Jye Amiss will miss the match after being concussed in the opening minutes against West Coast.

Matt Taberner, who was rested this week, is expected to replace Amiss.

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