Western derby 52: Fremantle Dockers coach Justin Longmuir says West Coast Eagles handed them ‘reality check’

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir admits West Coast gave his team got a reality check as they overcame a host of injuries to their biggest names to record the sixth-biggest win in derby history.

The 20.12 (132) to 11.7 (73) came after a dominant second half and West Coast’s seasoned players changed the game.

Fremantle entered the game having won their past three matches but Longmuir said the Eagles taught them a lesson. West Coast won the clearances 40-31 and that allowed them to drive the ball inside 50 to their experienced forwards.

“We do have a fair way to go,” Longmuir said.

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“I never thought after winning three games in a row we were the end product. We had too many inconsistent players today against a side that had even contributors all over the ground.

“We’re still in a development phase. We’ll take the lessons from today. Individuals will learn from it and look to improve certain aspects that they need to.

“Overall we need to get better in the contests as a team. We can’t rely on too few and we need players under pressure to be able to execute their roles better.

“We couldn’t handle them around the contest. They got well on top. They were able to use their numbers and we succumbed to their pressure. That’s disappointing.

“They had weight of numbers on their side. We had more passengers than them. It was a bit of a reality check for us.”

Fremantle suffered a second-half smashing at the hands of West Coast.
Camera IconFremantle suffered a second-half smashing at the hands of West Coast. Credit: Paul Kane/via AFL Photos

Simpson praised young defender Heath Chapman’s effort to fight through a shoulder injury after several huge knocks and is confident he will play again this week. But Ethan Hughes requires scans on the shoulder injury that prematurely ended his day, while Luke Ryan is no certainty to return from a calf injury.

Longmuir said he empathised with Dockers fans who watched the game from home and saw West Coast kick nine goals to two in the second half.

“I understand the disappointment,” Longmuir said.

“I wouldn’t have liked to have watched what they would have watched. We need to get more consistent across all positions on the field. We’re relying on too few to do too much at the moment.

“We need to get more consistent at executing our roles but we also need to get more consistent in the contest and get better. There’s no sugar coating it. We need to get better as a club and as a team.”


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