Dockers coach shuts down Fyfe's critics

Justin Chadwick
Nat Fyfe (left) has been criticised for his defensive effort in Fremantle's loss to Port Adelaide

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir has leapt to the defence of Nat Fyfe, believing the skipper has been unfairly criticised for what was actually a defensive lapse from his teammates.

Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes labelled one of Fyfe's defensive efforts as deplorable in the Dockers' 29-point loss to Port Adelaide.

Cornes highlighted a clip from the game that showed Fyfe fail to follow Sam Powell-Pepper at a boundary throw-in, with the Power midfielder running on through the pack of players to kick a goal.

But former Fremantle coach Ross Lyon said the two Dockers players on the defensive side of the pack were the ones responsible for stopping Powell-Pepper's run.

Lyon said critics want to "destroy" ball hunters like Fyfe without understanding that there are other players who might not be doing their job.

Longmuir believed the criticism of Fyfe was off the mark.

"I saw the edit on Twitter actually, and I agree with Ross's synopsis of that stoppage clip," Longmuir said.

"It's pretty much exactly the way we reviewed it with our team.

"There were a lot of culprits in that clip, there were a lot of things we could have got right to help Nat defend Powell-Pepper. I don't agree with the comments (from Cornes) at all."

Fremantle (0-3) will be aiming to post their first win of the season when they take on in-form Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.

The hype surrounding emerging Suns star Matt Rowell has been growing by the week, but Longmuir doesn't want his team to focus too much attention on the midfield gun.

"We've just got to make sure we're not getting carried away on the hype of just Matt Rowell," he said.

"We need to make sure we prepare for the midfield as a group and get the job done as a collective as much as trying to take out individuals."

Dockers ruckman Sean Darcy (knee) and Stephen Hill (corked calf) are in line to return against the Suns.

Connor Blakely and first-year midfielder Caleb Serong are also in the selection mix.