Fremantle assistant coach Peter Sumich believes it is tough to single out the performances of new recruits Scott Gumbleton and Colin Sylvia as negatives in the Dockers 84-point loss to West Coast on Tuesday.
Gumbleton kicked two goals, but had only six possessions and took just two marks in a side that was totally outclassed by its cross-town rivals. Sylvia played through the midfield and managed only five touches.
But Sumich, who sat in the senior coach’s chair for the contest while Ross Lyon gained a different perspective of the game, said it was a tough day for everyone and that the pair would get further chances to impress over the pre-season.
The Dockers were smashed by the Eagles. They had 89 less possessions and only five goals in the final term saved last year’s runners up from a 100-point hiding.
Only 10 Dockers had 15 touches or more, compared to 15 Eagles, who also had 14 goal-scorers.
"To bracket them (Sylvia and Gumbleton) is going to be difficult. We'll look over the tape and go back over things but to bracket Sylvia, Gumbleton and a few others on a difficult day is pretty harsh," Sumich said.
"I think they have been outstanding in our training program, our regime.
"Like I said, it (was) a difficult day for everyone, not only them. They have some NAB Cup (Challenge) games coming up and hopefully they can press for round one.
"We're a no excuse football club. We're not going to say we're behind and they are the reasons.
"West Coast are very good. People underestimate they were flag favourites last year and had injuries. Don't take anything from them, they were outstanding."
The Dockers were smashed by 70 points by Carlton in their round two pre-season game of 2013, but recovered quickly to beat West Coast in the opening round of the season proper.
They lost only five games and made it through to the grand final (which they lost to Hawthorn by 15 points).
Fremantle heads to Etihad Stadium for its second hit-out of this pre-season, against the Western Bulldogs, before playing the Eagles again in a practice match before the official action starts.
Sumich expects at least Ryan Crowley and Chris Mayne to be added to the travelling team. However, Danyle Pearce, Hayden Ballantyne and Hayden Crozier all limped from the ground in the final term.
"There will be changes, there will two or three changes I suppose with certain players to come in," Sumich said. "We know where we're at in our training programs and we'll just continue.
"We will probably field a very strong side for that game (the practice game against the Eagles at Patersons Stadium on March 6); we'll be going into round one - that's where we are at at the moment.”
The story Dockers assistant coach says team had a difficult day first appeared on WA Today.