FREMANTLE defender Roger Hayden has lamented the uncharacteristic lapse in skill execution and decision making that cost his side dearly against Richmond on Saturday night.

With the Tigers predominantly playing a zone defence, Fremantle’s forwards were able to find space when the ball was turned over in the midfield, but often went unused or didn’t convert when they did mark the ball.

“It was disappointing because we pride ourselves on our skills,” Hayden said.

“We’ve got a really good bunch of blokes who can hit targets, but at important times during the game we couldn’t do that.

“In the last quarter we missed a couple of set shots and made a couple of decision-making errors and we paid for it.

“Late in the first half, as well, there were a few opportunities that we missed because we took the short option instead of the long one over the top”.

It was a young Fremantle side which ran out onto Etihad Stadium, but Hayden said that was no excuse.

Alex Silvagni was one of those inexperienced players and held red-hot Tiger forward Jack Riewoldt to just one first-half goal in his 12th AFL match.

It can be a cruel game for a defender which proved to be the case when Riewoldt got loose late to finish with five, but Silvagni earned high praise from his back line teammate.

“Jack got a couple of easy goals from free kicks, but I thought Alex was sensational – I take my hat off to him,” he said.

“He kept at him all night. I think he’ll take a lot of positives out of that and rightly so.

“We knew their main focus would be Riewoldt so we did try to shut him down and he’s ended up with five. I think we can take some positives from the performance as a defence.”

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