Dockers still have areas for improvement
The Dockers kicked away late in a 41 point victory yesterday afternoon in Derby 56, with the Eagles at one stage having no rotations due to injuries to Luke Shuey, Jeremy McGovern (both hamstring), Alex Witherden (concussion), Jamie Cripps (ankle), and Liam Ryan (knee).
Former AFL great Peter Sumich believes albeit a Dockers win, they shouldn't get too carried away.
Sumich told Sports Breakfast the Dockers still had several areas for improvement.
“It’s a long season and things change. They struggled to get over a banged-up West Coast and a West Coast side that I think was always going to finish in the bottom four or five,” Sumich said.
“They need to improve with their ball movement still. Just even across half-back, Clark and Wilson, they still aren’t playing the football that Fremantle probably want them to play and [giving] some hard run and carry.
“There were signs of some quality ball movement when they did move it quick with some hands, but for my liking against a better side they’re still going a little bit too slow, so they can improve in that area.”
Sumich said the Eagles deserved some credit for a brave performance, but refused to chalk their injury issues up to bad luck.
“That’s why you’re getting some of these injuries now, because their bodies probably aren’t holding up to the rigours of this type of football and the intensity,” he said.
“Unfortunately, I’m at a stage where you can’t say poor old West Coast, you have to say this was coming. You had a good preseason this year, but not good enough to maintain a game style that’s very intense, and injuries are starting to come, especially muscle injuries.
“You can’t do anything about a broken ankle, that’s unfortunate for Cripps.”
After a week of intense criticism, Fremantle recruit Luke Jackson put in his best performance in purple, kicking two goals from 12 disposals and winning 17 hitouts.
“I thought it was a much, much improved game. Couple of nice marks, couple of goals, which was good for him,” he said.
“He was on Shannon Hurn, McGovern was off, so let’s not get carried away.
“He’s going to be a very, very good player, don’t get me wrong, but the education and the development of him is very important over the next 12, 24 months. He’s still a young kid learning.”
Both WA sides now have 1-2 records, with Fremantle’s next assignment coming in the form of Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday while West Coast welcomes Melbourne to Optus Stadium on Sunday.