Umpires calls confuses Freo coach
Umpires' calls confuses Freo coach

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says he's so confused about how AFL umpires are interpreting the game that he no longer knows what is or isn't a free kick.

Lyon has been left particularly confused over a perceived relaxing of the chopping of the arms rule, and also the growing trend of players jumping on each other in congestion.

"My interpretation is umpires are letting the game go," Lyon said on Wednesday.

"There have been free kicks that were being paid last year that aren't being paid this year.

"The saddle's back. People are being jumped on on the ground. Being ridden and jumped on by two or three, and the ball can't get out.

"Clearly they'll blow for the ball-up, but they're not paying the obvious free kicks. Hence the term the rolling maul.

"And the amount of arms that are being taken out, chopping arms ... to be honest I don't know what a free kick is or isn't anymore."

Meanwhile, Lyon says he is confident his team is as hungry as they were last year and will find their best form and consistency despite a mixed start to the season which has left them 3-2 with a tough draw still to come in the next month.

Lyon, who said Hayden Crozier, Tom Sheridan, Alex Silvagni and Garrick Ibbotson were the strongest contenders to come into the team to replace the suspended Hayden Ballantyne, said there was a fine line between success and failure in the AFL but did not question the hunger and commitment of his players.

"It has just been a little bit inconsistent," he said of his team's start to the year. "I think when you lose everything looks a little bit off. We knew we were running into a formidable team. Sydney lost to Collingwood and Collingwood have been a pretty good team and North have been pretty good. Hawthorn could easily be 3-2. Essendon could have beaten them, really had every opportunity."

"It is a fine line in this business. We are 3-2, we have played some really difficult opposition and we have difficult opposition this week and in the ensuing weeks. We need to find our best form and our consistency."

"That is a challenge but we are confident we are going to get there."

Lyon said Fremantle's Friday night opponents North Melbourne were well equipped with everything you needed to be a good team.

"North we really respect," he said. "They represent a really big challenge. They have grown. They have beaten Port Adelaide and everyone is talking about them being a premiership contender.

"They are a really good running team. Nick Dal Santo has been a fantastic addition to them, great free agency get with his ball use and leadership. They have got everything that you need, they have got ruckmen, they have got tall forwards with Black and Petrie and those sort of guys, Lindsay Thomas a small forward and they have got Gibson on the wing, the long runners and the class of Harvey and Wells."

He said the Dockers were looking to honour the occasion of Anzac Day and commemorate the club's annual Len Hall game.

"Anzac Day is a big day on the Australian calendar and we show our respects and remember," he said. "Our end of the bargain is to come and play some good football and be really positive in the way that we play and try and improve our football."

We have identified areas where we should have been a bit better (against Sydney). We need to train that today and try to bring that to life on Friday."

"I thought our skill levels were really low. Our tackling effectiveness which we have had a look at. Sydney really tackled well."

"At half time there were only three entries different and they hadn't scored really heavily but our efficiency with the ball, our skill level and decision making and leading patterns. We had 21 entries and kicked two goals so we really should have had five or six goals on the board. We turned it around in the second half but we were really a bit too late."

The West Australian

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