Flabbergasted. Obliterated. Players looking pristine at halftime.
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon did not mince his words after the Dockers’ AFL performance matched the atrocious weather on Friday night at the MCG.
Their 48-point loss to Collingwood represented a big step back for the Dockers, who had followed their shock 0-10 start to the season with three straight wins to show signs of life.
Fremantle only kicked 1.4 in the first half against Collingwood – equalling their lowest score at the main break in Lyon’s five seasons as Dockers coach.
After a much better third term, they were only 22 points down early in the last quarter.
Lyon noted they were a flukish chance, but Collingwood kicked the next five goals to ensure the win.
“From our end, everything went wrong, but Collingwood made that happen,” Lyon said of the first half.
He added their poor start boiled down to two simple points.
“Our midfield got obliterated, it didn’t compete in the manner we expect around the ball,” he said.
“Then when we did get the ball, there were times where we were in reasonable position … we finessed and turned it over and they scored.”
To top it off, Lyon was less than impressed with what he saw in the rooms at the main break.
“We looked at the guys at halftime and they looked pristine … we were non-competitive,” he said.
“The other team really got to work around the coal face and walking out of stoppages.
“I just said ‘look, we’ve got a bit of a hole, we need to work our way through’ and at halftime we just set it up to compete.”
Such a poor start was particularly galling to Lyon because the side knew what was coming.
Collingwood had endured a bad week, with president Eddie McGuire under pressure because of his role in the Caroline Wilson fiasco.
“It’s obviously a step back – really disappointed – Friday night footy, MCG, we’d spoken about that,” he said.
“I’m flabbergasted, in some respects, what we dished up in the first half.
“They were a club under siege, obviously, with Eddie being put through the ringer and they seemed to be galvanised, obviously.
“They responded in a manner we’d like to see ourselves respond.”
Fremantle are having a terrible run with injuries and limp into their mid-season bye with 17 players sidelined.
Lachie Neale hurt his shoulder against Collingwood, but Lyon is hopeful it was not consequential.
“All clubs have their challenges. Obviously, it’s significant, but that’s life,” he said of their injury crisis.
Fremantle struggled in the ruck and Lyon said Jonathon Griffin would definitely return for their round-16 game against Melbourne in Darwin.
One big positive against Collingwood was tall defender Sam Collins, who impressed in just his fifth senior game.