Dockers slow starts a result of an attitude problem: Sumich
The Dockers’ finals hopes are hanging by a thread after a disappointing 43-point home loss to Carlton yesterday, with their trend of losing the first term continuing as the Blues jumped out to a 24-point lead at quarter-time.
WA football legend Peter Sumich believes Fremantle’s slow starts are the result of an attitude problem.
With Justin Longmuir’s side having won just two of their sixteen opening terms this year, Sumich told Sports Breakfast the issue should not be proving this difficult to fix.
“I was listening to Justin in his press conference and he said he’s tried a few things, he’s tinkered with a few things. At the end of the day, it doesn’t look like it’s working,” Sumich said.
“There must be a huge attitude problem, because what did they expect Carlton were going to do in the first quarter? Carlton were going to come there and be ferocious.
“They played a soft brand of footy in the first quarter. They were caught unawares.”
Sumich laid the blame for the Carlton loss at the feet of the club’s midfield, saying the engine room should have produced a better effort with Sean Darcy dominant at the stoppages against a side lacking a recognised ruckman.
“It was very disappointing. I didn’t think they’d dish that up and I don’t think too many people did,” he said.
“They got bashed up in the midfield again. If they don’t get a big-bodied midfielder, they’ll be okay, but they won’t get to the holy grail.
“You look at yesterday, Cripps, you had Walsh running around, Cerra who’s a bigger body, so those blokes just really dominated around the stoppage.”
The Dockers’ cross-town rivals West Coast were also unimpressive in their 81-point loss to Brisbane at the Gabba, with Sumich saying he wanted the Eagles to sustain their effort on the back of a strong performance against St Kilda last weekend.
“A lot of the senior players were very, very ordinary,” Sumich said.
“It’s not so much about who they are and what they’ve done, it was effort that we were all wanting to see because of last week and it didn’t come through. Especially Sheed and Gaff and even Cripps, he went from a 13-tackle game down to one, that stuns me.
“I think some of the senior players, Simpson’s got to make a statement somewhere along the line. If he’s getting players back this week, he’s got to make a statement.”
Both WA sides will look to turn their form around this week, with Fremantle heading to the MCG to take on Collingwood at 11:45 am on Saturday and West Coast welcoming Richmond to Optus Stadium at 2:40 pm on Sunday.