Fremantle are banking on rock-solid defence to overcome their attacking woes as they brace themselves for battle against the AFL’s scoring kings.
The Dockers booked a home preliminary final with a gritty nine-point win over Sydney last week.
The Swans were restricted to just two goals in the opening half, before finishing the match with just 60 points.
It continued a common theme for the Dockers, who have established themselves as the league’s stingiest defence this year.
But their inability to post high scores themselves remains a big concern as the race for the AFL flag heats up.
Fremantle will take on either Hawthorn or Adelaide in a preliminary final. And they could face West Coast in the grand final.
The Hawks were the league’s leading scoring outfit during the home-and-away season, while West Coat and Adelaide ranked second and third respectively.
In contrast, Fremantle were 12th with an average of 84.4 points per game.
However, Dockers forward Chris Mayne said the club’s scoring troubles weren’t a concern within their four walls.
“We’re the best defence in the competition. So we’ll just stick to what we’re good at,” Mayne said on Tuesday.
“We’re good at stopping sides, and we’re doing enough to get over the line.
“Of course we’d like to score more goals, I don’t think any football club wouldn’t.
“But … what we do is find a way to win.”
One thing the Dockers have on their side is freshness.
The bulk of the side’s best 22 were rested by coach Ross Lyon in the final round of the home-and-away season.
And with the Dockers not scheduled to play again until Friday week, Mayne expects the players to come out all guns blazing in the preliminary final.
“It’s been a long year. It’s been gruelling,” Mayne said.
“We’ve been going to war every week against opposition sides that are fighting for the same kind of end result.
“When you get an opportunity to get your body fresh and get up for the next week, the players definitely take the opportunity to freshen up for sure.”
Mayne has booted 27.16 this season to sit third in Fremantle’s goalkicking charts.
But his 121 tackles – a team best for the Dockers – is the stat he’s most proud about.
The 26-year-old will notch his 150-game milestone when he runs out for next week’s preliminary final.
Star Dockers midfielder Nat Fyfe, who has battled a leg issue in recent weeks, was seen on crutches on Monday.
But Mayne says it’s nothing more than a precaution.