Jackson stands up in Darcy's absence
Peter Sumich has praised Fremantle ruckman Luke Jackson, who produced another strong performance in the Dockers’ win over Melbourne at the MCG on Saturday.
Jackson lost ruck partner Sean Darcy to a hamstring injury in the second term but produced another strong performance against his mentor Max Gawn and Demons recruit Brodie Grundy, winning 19 disposals, 15 hit-outs, eight clearances, and kicking a goal.
Sumich told Sports Breakfast the 21-year-old was “outstanding” against his former side.
“He’s just warming to the task. Very slow start to the season and we were all over that, myself especially, but as I said, you get paid the big bucks, you want production straight away,” he said.
“It’s taken him three or four weeks into the season to get going, and now he’s really up and going.
“He’s in great form now, his ground-level play is outstanding, so we just expect a solid performance each week. You don’t expect [best on ground] each week, but a solid performance.”
The Dockers picked up their fourth win in a row with the 7-point upset win over the Demons, with Sumich saying a finals berth was now a realistic possibility.
“They have something about the MCG to their liking with playing Melbourne, don’t they?” he said.
“Fremantle seemed to slow the game down, that’s what I picked up, and really stifle Melbourne. Great tactics by Justin and the match committee.
“That’s why it was a low-scoring game, especially in the first half, but they’re back on track now, Fremantle.”
West Coast welcomed back Tom Barrass, Shannon Hurn, and Elliot Yeo to put in a more spirited performance against Essendon on Saturday night but still went down by 50 points, with Sumich saying the club needed to experiment more at the selection table to find out about their list.
“I think there was a big improvement, I think the effort was better,” Sumich said.
“There’s a few players that played on the weekend that have had a bit of a go, and you must understand what you think of them, and you might just reverse the role and put another two or three in.”
“Hurn, there would be question marks on why you bring him straight in … I just think you give everyone an opportunity because he might not be there next year.”