Fremantle turned up at Etihad Stadium looking for a pleasant Sunday stroll and copped a hammering from the Western Bulldogs instead.
Coach Ross Lyon was left to ponder his side’s preparation after the slick Bulldogs jumped the lethargic Dockers in a seven-goals-to-nil first quarter – their first goalless opening term since their 2013 grand final appearance – on the way to a 65-point thumping.
“They were up for a street fight really and we were out for a nice Sunday stroll and we got what we deserved,” Lyon said.
“We always win and lose (together) but I take responsibility. It must have been something in the preparation that allowed our players to present with a (poor) mindset and an inability to work.”
Star onballer Nat Fyfe’s ordinary performance was a reflection of his side’s largely indifferent day out.
The Brownlow medallist, who Lyon insisted wasn’t hampered by injury, managed just six possessions by halftime and finished with 15 touches.
The Dockers lost the disposal count 498 to 340 and had 43 fewer contested possessions than the Bulldogs – a situation Lyon labelled embarrassing.
“Quite simply, I thought their midfield out-tackled and out-worked ours and any ball we did get was dirty ball,” he said.
“So therefore their running backs were able to bounce out on us and they had good days … I thought they had clean ball going in.
“In all fairness if their accuracy had have been better it might have been more convincing, but I thought at halftime we gathered ourselves a bit and fought on until the last 10 minutes where it fell away again.
“We’ve got some concerns coming out of it.”
Fremantle’s day was further soured when former skipper Matthew Pavlich was reported for a high bump on Easton Wood in the second quarter.