In bad news for the rest of the competition, champion Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands says he’s getting closer to reaching peak fitness after two solid games under his belt to start the season.

Sandilands had 54 hitouts and 19 disposals against Sydney on Saturday, and that followed his dominant performance against Geelong that was instrumental in Freo’s round 1 upset of the defending AFL Premiers.

But after an interrupted pre-season, he said he was still not quite at his best – yet.

“I’ve got a couple of games under my belt now, and hopefully I’ll get a bit more match fitness,” he said.

“I’m not far off the mark and I’m starting to feel good.

“I’m nearly there.”

Sandilands didn’t get to lock horns with star Sydney ruckman Shane Mumford after the Swans’ withdrawal before the start of Saturday’s game.

But the three-time All Australian said that didn’t change how Fremantle approached the match.

“We play to our structures and it was a late call when Mark Seaby came in to replace Mumford, but it didn’t affect the way we went about what we wanted to do,” he said.

Sandilands said Fremantle had made it a focus to get off to a good start against the Swans, just as the club had done a week earlier when it kicked the first five goals against Geelong.

But things didn’t quite go to plan.

“We let them get off to a very good start and we had to work too hard to get back into the game after that,” he said.

Sandilands will now get set to face another of the AFL’s best ruckmen when Matthew Luenberger and the Brisbane Lions visit Patersons Stadium this Saturday.

“You come up against a quality opponent every week and you look forward to these challenges,” he said.

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