Dockers brace for repeat of Swans' chip-mark tactics

·2-min read

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir says his players need to be ready for a repeat of Sydney's chip-mark tactics when the two teams lock horns at the SCG on Saturday.

The Swans found a major chink in the Dockers' armour in round 18 last year on the way to posting an upset 17-point win at Optus Stadium.

Sydney trailed by as much as 23 points in the first half, but coach John Longmire made a major tactical shift after the main break to turn the contest on its head.

The Swans racked up a staggering 49 uncontested marks in the third quarter alone on the way to posting the 11.16 (82) to 9.11 (65) win.

Sydney unleashed similar tactics in last week's 29-point loss to Collingwood, with the Swans racking up 132 marks in that game.

Longmuir has put his players on guard for a repeat tactical effort from the Swans, and he feels last week's 69-point win over Hawthorn was good preparation.

"Yeah we need to keep an eye on that," Longmuir said of Sydney's tactics.

"The way Hawthorn like to move the ball ... in some ways gave us a little bit of a precursor of what we're going to get this week, in terms of being able to shift the ball, change angles, that type of thing.

"It was disappointing last year when we allowed (Sydney) to take over 40 marks in a quarter of footy, we didn't adjust quick enough.

"Last week Sydney did that a little bit. I don't know whether it was just because it was against Collingwood, but we need to be ready for that."

Fremantle veteran Nat Fyfe returned from a foot injury via the sub role last week, and Longmuir is yet to decide whether the two-time Brownlow medallist is ready for a full game.

The Dockers haven't won at the SCG since 2011, with their most recent appearance there resulting in a 59-point loss in 2018.

Fremantle produced their most impressive display of the season last week against the Hawks, with the Dockers' speedy ball movement and cleaner skills proving crucial in tallying 18.9 (117) - the highest score under Longmuir's reign.

The win improved Fremantle's record to 3-5 ahead of a crucial three-game stretch that takes in matches against Sydney, Geelong and Melbourne.

"It's been as basic as trusting ourselves with ball in hand and taking a little bit more time," Longmuir said of last week's improved performance.

"Earlier this year I felt like we were rushing ourselves in possession, and we were putting perceived pressure on ourselves.

"So what we're trying to do at the moment is just allow players to play what's in front of them, and play with more freedom of mind and just trust themselves a little bit more, like they did all pre-season."