Fremantle coach Ross Lyon believes his team needs to do more to support targeted star Nat Fyfe to ensure opponents like Carlton’s Simon White are made to earn their roles tagging him.
Usually a defender, White was given the role to run-with the Brownlow Medal favourite during Fremantle’s 42-point win over Carlton at Domain Stadium on Saturday night, and he did a good job, limiting the effectiveness that Fyfe had from his 23 possessions.
Lyon would like his Dockers players to take note of the treatment that their tagger Ryan Crowley used to receive from opponents as a signal of how hard they need to make the job of tagging Fyfe going forward.
Lyon also confirmed Fyfe had to battle through the corked thigh suffered last week thanks to a knee by Hawthorn’s Sam Mitchell.
“No one told me the cork was an issue, but it was strapped. He took a while to get going during the week and he couldn’t kick more than 30 metres for a fair bit, but he’s pretty tough,” Lyon said.
“He played and he got a close tag again. I thought he worked through it but we’ll get better as a team supporting him. I thought it was OK but I think we need to do more. There’s been some great teams that support.
“Geelong in their period was super at supporting (Gary) Ablett. It’s like Ryan Crowley. He used to go to tag, but he used to come off black and blue so if you’re going to play on Nathan you should come off black and blue.”
Meanwhile, Carlton coach John Barker was pleased with the application that White showed in his role on Fyfe.
“Whitey is one of those players that when you give him a job, he does everything he can to get it right,” Barker said.
“He has character and a big body too, which we think helped him in that situation. He got a lot of help from his teammates but what you get to realise very quickly against a team like Fremantle is that you can’t beat them by stopping just one player.”