Fremantle coach Ross Lyon pulled no punches in his assessment of his side’s 56-point loss to Hawthorn in Launceston on Saturday afternoon.

The Hawks dominated the first half to set up their comfortable victory, and Lyon was in no doubt as to where the game was lost.

“I thought we got annihilated in midfield to be frank, I felt sorry for our defence,” he said.

“They (Hawthorn) just walked the ball out (of defence), dominated clearances, ground ball, first possession and our backs were under siege.

“Our desire to compete in the midfield and work and run with them was very poor.”

Hawthorn easily won the clearance count 49-23, entered its forward 50m on 29 more occasions than Freo and, according to Lyon, these and other crucial stats told the story.

“I thought they dominated the game bar the third quarter,” he said. “We understand where we’re at, we’re trying to build a midfield. We see it as our area of weakness.

“I think our backs can stand up and the forwards got bits and pieces but we know against the best mids, of which Hawthorn is clearly one, and the most talented teams, we’re coming up short.

“If we get beaten on talent we can handle that but when it’s about hardness and effort it’s harder to swallow, so that’s where it sits, really.

“Games are won and lost in the midfield and we got obliterated in the midfield and the backs got put under enormous pressure.”

Lyon appeared to see the writing on the wall after Freo’s goalless opening term and was clearly frustrated with his players during an animated quarter-time address.

His annoyance can only have grown during the second quarter as the Hawks reduced the visitors to spectators and in the process piled on eight majors to rip the match well beyond Freo’s reach by the long break.

“I’m a part of it, I don’t separate myself because at the end of the day how they’re playing is my responsibility,” Lyon said. “They’re hungry to be led (and) we like honest feedback with each other and they were really disappointed.

“On the actions we were looking for, which is ground ball and clearances and defending, we were really bad.

“I was certainly animated and frustrated because we came here with high expectations and got snuffed out pretty quickly and we understand we want to be better than that.”

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