No win situation: Lyon
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says his team was in a “no win” situation against Greater Western Sydney on Sunday, with the 95-point margin still seen as sub-par by critics.
The Giants’ average losing margin in the month leading up to Sunday’s game was 113 points, and Fremantle appeared to be coasting towards just its second ever triple-figure win when it burst out of the blocks in the first quarter.
Inaccuracy in the second term proved costly, however, with the home team booting 2.13 before eventually winning 18.24 (132) to 5.7 (37), lifting its percentage from 97.6 to 105.06.
Brownlow medallist Gerard Healy said Fremantle needed to win by at least 100 points to record a “true victory”, but Lyon said his team would take the win and move on ahead of a trip to AAMI Stadium to face Port Adelaide next Sunday.
“You’re on a ‘no win’ here today, so you tick it and move on,” the coach said on Sunday night.
“Obviously the accuracy could have been better. They (GWS) are a really young team and you fight that human nature of complacency.
“[We were] probably just a bit sloppy defensively in the third and then just our ability to take some opportunities in front of goals would have rounded it off nicely.”
Lyon praised the Giants, who played three first-gamers, and said their willingness to fight in the third quarter and kick four goals was “terrific”.
However, he said his team’s failure to keep its “foot to the throat” had been a concern after entering half-time with a 59-point lead.
“I was a bit animated at three-quarter time, just because some basics were not adhered to and they were a little bit costly,” Lyon said.
“Even just talking about rotations, people staying on too long, four 50-metre penalties, all of those things add up.
“We’re a club that tries to practice excellence and do it at every moment so I thought we missed an opportunity there for a patch.”
Key forward Kepler Bradley kicked three straight behinds from set shots in the second quarter before eventually kicking his first goal early in the fourth term.
The former Bomber received the loudest cheer of the day from the crowd as he ran to the bench and he saluted the fans before an animated conversation with Lyon on the phone.
Lyon said he had simply been disappointed with Bradley’s failure to centre the ball earlier.
“We’d focused on centring the ball and he just delivered a handball to a ruckman flat-footed,” the coach said.
“Sometimes you see coaches get a little bit animated. Kepler’s been terrific and worked hard. I just wanted it centred.
“You get away with it today, but are you going to get away with it against Port Adelaide next week? I’m not sure.
“The misses are irrelevant, I don’t execute people for skill errors. The crowd and the media do that.”
Lyon expected sharpshooter Chris Mayne (calf), key defender Zac Dawson (knee) and young star Nat Fyfe (shoulder) to push for selection next week.
The coach said midfielder David Mundy had been substituted in the third quarter because of a combination of gastro and a tight hip flexor.