Fremantle coach Justin Longmire described the team’s shock in round one losing St Kilda as a wake-up call but did not want to make major changes to the game plan or the new line of aspiration.
Fremantle entered the match as favorites against a St Kilda side who had lost a key group of players to injury but lost 10.7 (67) to 7.10 (52). The Dockers had a 65 in the 50s, but their final goal came seven minutes into the third quarter.
Nat Fife were quiet with only nine possessions and one behind, Matt Tabberner was taken out after kicking a goal with one of his nine touchdowns and Josh Tracy finished with three disposals and only one goal.
Fremantle moved Fife forward as part of a new forward line and Longmuir admitted nothing was going right.
“Obviously the result says it didn’t work the way we would have liked,” said Longmuir.
“Before we jump to any conclusions, I’ll go over it and look at our posts. We’ve been kicking quite a few outnumbers and asking our attackers to compete against an outnumbered.
“We can make better decisions but sometimes but there are times when the facilitators are under pressure and they just need to get it out there and we need to do more of it. Some of it is down to not being daring on the field.”
The midfield also battled without Fyfe as St Kilda won by the saves 35-29 despite Dockers winning by 27 strikeouts.
Former Dockers coach Ross Lyon enjoyed winning his first game with the Saints despite being a big underdog.
Fremantle paid dearly for slow ball movement in a changing era as teams try to get the ball into the field as quickly as possible. The Dockers were finalists last season as a conservative team, and Longmuir said a lot needs to be discussed this week.
“It’s a wake-up call. We need to make sure we act in the right way,” said Longmuir.
“It’s the first round. There’s a build on the first round and we’re disappointed but we’re not going to throw the kid in the bath water. We have to make sure we’re really rational in the way we go about reviewing the game and give some things time to act. We’re not going to rush out and change too much on the back of one performance.
“I don’t mind chopping the ball up but there has to be some way to that. I thought we went to the side to occupy the ball and that’s not how we want to play. We need to strike the right balance between making the opposition defend and not being gritty enough.”
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