Freo lacking class: Harvey
Fremantle coach Mark Harvey says his side continues to be served by too few and is lacking class after suffering its first Western Derby loss in four years.
Harvey lost his first derby as coach on Sunday with his team struggling to cope with West Coast’s forward press, eventually going down by 33 points at Patersons Stadium.
It was Fremantle’s second straight loss after last week’s final quarter capitulation against Richmond and Harvey was again left to ponder a lack of depth, particularly in the midfield.
While David Mundy and Nat Fyfe continue to lead the way in the centre and Aaron Sandilands again won a mountain of hit-outs (45), injuries to key midfielders Michael Barlow (broken leg) and Anthony Morabito (knee) are starting to hurt the team.
“We appear to have not enough class at the moment in our side and we are putting ourselves under pressure with disposal,” Harvey said after the match.
“We got beaten, it’s the first time for three years by West Coast and good luck to them.
“We’ve got to make sure that we move on this week, we’ve got a six-day break and play Port Adelaide (at AAMI Stadium).”
With an extensive injury list that included 14 players in the build-up to Sunday’s derby, Harvey said he would have to work with the players at his disposal.
Hayden Ballantyne, who was withdrawn late with a hamstring injury, could return next week against the Power, while Tendai Mzungu (knee) will be assessed this week.
Harvey said he would look to “reinforce some positivity” in the group.
“At this stage we work with what we’ve got and the responsibility is [on] the players in the team at the moment to improve and for us to improve them,” he said.
“We’ve got to give them confidence, make sure the hard work is done and then get back to what we did over the first five rounds.
“You just give them confidence, that’s the easy answer. Keep the chemistry of the team and the morale of the team going, and work off each other and be demanding of each other.”
Harvey praised the work of second-year star Nat Fyfe, who had 28 possessions and two goals, including a goal-of-the-year contender from the boundary line in the third quarter that briefly ignited his side.
However, Stephen Hill, Fremantle’s leading inside 50 player, was held to 16 possessions and one forward entry by West Coast onballer Luke Shuey.
“He’s still working through his career,” Harvey said of Hill. “The opposition know a lot more about him now, so he’s got to go beyond the tricks that he evolves with and how he plays the game.”
Harvey said he would also have to work through a drop in offensive productivity from rebounding half-backs Greg Broughton and Paul Duffield, who had 15 and 13 possessions respectively.
West Coast was forced to withdraw in-form midfielders Andrew Embley (hamstring) and Daniel Kerr (adductor) after the final team sheets had been submitted on Sunday, with the pair injured in the warm-up.
Harvey said Fremantle would “seek clarification” on the rules this week.
“I think it’s a bit more than a medical certificate as to why (they didn’t play),” the coach said. “It’s not a reason why we got beaten.”