Fremantle say they’re excited at having to play for a place in the AFL’s top four against Port Adelaide.
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says he’s thrilled by the prospect of playing off for a place in the AFL top four against Port Adelaide next week, after his Dockers cruised to victory against Brisbane on Sunday.
The Dockers ran out 15.16 (106) to 6.12 (48) victors over the Lions in front of a 17,473 crowd.
Fremantle now need to avoid defeat at Patersons Stadium next Saturday to cement fourth position.
“The reality is it’s sudden death for the top four next week,” Lyon said.
“We’re really thrilled with that. We’re excited by the challenge. We accept the challenge as Port do.
“It will generate a lot of interest at our home ground.
“They’re going to ask some questions of us and we’re going to ask some serious questions of them.”
That the Dockers won so comfortably after taking the longest trip in the AFL and without three of their most important players in Nat Fyfe (suspended), Michael Barlow (broken thumb) and skipper Matthew Pavlich (late withdrawal with a quad injury) illustrated the difference between a top-four side and the 15th in the ladder.
Without their attacking spearhead Pavlich, small forwards Hayden Ballantyne and Michael Walters both kicked three goals for the Dockers but could have had a couple more each, with kicking at goal the only negative aspect of their performance.
This profligacy may cost Fremantle if they lose to Port Adelaide next week as the Power boast a slightly higher percentage.
Lyon insisted he is not interested in the “hypotheticals” of points percentage, but warned his side that a repeat of their third quarter performance, when they were outscored 2.3 to 1.3, could cost them in the business end of the season.
“We tried to be a bit cute, they turned the ball over and scored,” Lyon said.
“There was too much handball trying to be cute. It was a really valuable lesson for us.”
“They (Port Adelaide) are clearly in impressive form – they’re a real threat. Hopefully we won’t turn the ball over as much.
“You don’t sneak your way into the top four. You’ve got to win your way and we’re excited by that.”
The Lions posed very little scoring threat with specialist tagger Ryan Crowley stopping Irishman Pearce Hanley from having any meaningful impact in the game.
All-Australian contender Tom Rockliff was once again a ball hawk for the Lions, amassing 45 disposals but had little effect on the game, as his two inside 50s attest.
After a mostly forgettable game, Ashley McGrath, the Lions’ last remaining Premiership player, gave the home fans brief reason to cheer by kicking a fourth quarter goal in his 214th and final AFL match.