The West

Dockers face brutal review of Saints debacle
Matt Taberner (L) and Matthew Pavlich look helpless as Fremantle suffer a stunning loss to St Kilda. Pic: Getty Images

Fremantle's review of Saturday's dismal loss to St Kilda will be brutal as players try to find answers after losing to the bottom team, captain Matthew Pavlich has warned.

The Dockers were stunned after succumbing by 58 points to a team which had lost its previous 11 games.

Fremantle were uncompetitive and conceded 118 points - their third-highest score since Ross Lyon joined the club as coach.

The Dockers' score of 9.6 (60) was their lowest of the season, and was bolstered by four goals in the final quarter.

Pavlich said he couldn't remember the last time the team had played so poorly. He anticipated a savage review of the performance once the players returned from their four-day break.

"We'll review and keep each other accountable to the actions that we displayed out there," Pavlich said.

"It won't be a nice meeting I wouldn't have thought.

"But that's the way it is. We'll be harsh on each other. We'll be honest, then group together and move forward.

"It just displays how brutal the AFL competition is. If you're a little bit off, and we were a long way off, a side like St Kilda can bob up and teach you a lesson.

"Right from the first bounce we were off and there's no excuse for that whatsoever."

The Dockers would have gone into their bye in equal top spot with Sydney and Geelong if they'd beaten St Kilda.

The Swans play Hawthorn on Saturday night at the MCG and if the Hawks win, they will join Sydney and the Cats on 13 wins.

Port Adelaide's win over Melbourne yesterday saw them draw level with Fremantle on 12 wins, but the Dockers remained in the top four on percentage.

Their percentage fell by 9.2 per cent though, in a match where they were widely tipped to thrash the Saints.

But Pavlich denied the Dockers had underestimated their opponents.

"I don't think so. We've tried to mitigate against that a fair bit in the past two months when there's been, from the outside world, winnable games," Pavlich said.

"We've tried really hard to maintain a real focus on the here and now and not get carried away. We did that again leading into the game. It was just disappointing the way we played."

Fremantle should field a stronger team when they play Carlton at Patersons Stadium on Thursday week. Hayden Ballantyne will return from suspension, while Aaron Sandilands (back) and Stephen Hill (quad) are strong chances to play.

Pavlich said the team was well below full strength.

"The facts are Hayden, Aaron, Stephen, Michael (Walters) and Garrick (Ibbotson) are all out. They're pretty important players and arguably all in our best 22," Pavlich said.

"They're the facts. But it doesn't matter how talented or important those players are, no one could have saved us from the effort and intensity we displayed out there."

"We'll be harsh on each other. We'll be honest, then group together and move forward."" *Matthew Pavlich *

The West Australian

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