Lyon backs Fyfe over ban threat
Lyon backs Fyfe over ban threat

Fremantle could be without Nat Fyfe for the rest of the home-and-away season after the Dockers star was offered a two-match suspension.

Fyfe was cited for striking Jordan Lewis in the win over Hawthorn at Patersons Stadium yesterday.

His proposed penalty was impacted by his bad tribunal record and he couldn't reduce the ban with an early plea.

It will be the second time this season Fyfe has been suspended. He received a two-match ban for high contact in round two.

Fremantle have yet to indicate whether they want to challenge the verdict and risk an extended penalty.

An incident involving North Melbourne veteran Brent Harvey has been referred directly to the tribunal.

Another Kangaroo, Daniel Wells, has been offered a one-match ban for striking and rough conduct in the clash with Western Bulldogs.

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon defended Fyfe, labelling his champion midfielder a ball player.

Fyfe's involvement in two off-the-ball clashes at Patersons Stadium yesterday came as the Dockers showed they were far from a spent force in the race for this year's premiership, toppling premiers Hawthorn by 19 points.

But Lyon hosed down growing expectations after the 17.8 (110) to 13.13 (91) victory, saying the drought-breaking win would count for nothing come September.

Fremantle shored up their stranglehold on fourth spot - a win and percentage ahead of fifth-placed Port Adelaide - in defeating the Hawks for the first time since 2010.

They have winnable matches to come against Brisbane (away) on Sunday and the Power (home) in fixtures that should guarantee a top-four position and the double chance in the finals.

Lyon said he hadn't seen anything wrong with how Fyfe handled the close attention from the opposition's main tagger.

"Nathan Fyfe is a pure ball player," Lyon said. "Like all ball players and winners, we send tags out, oppositions send tags out.

"You've just got to work your way through them.

"I think he's doing that really well. That's why that weight of numbers across the midfield is significant. If it's just left to Nathan, you're in trouble."

Fyfe has already been ruled out of Brownlow Medal contention after being suspended for a contentious bump in round two.

Fremantle broke the game open with seven of the first eight goals after half-time in the most effective display of their renowned defensive pressure since last year's preliminary final win over Sydney.

Their first victory over the Hawks in the past seven attempts also marked a return to form for captain Matthew Pavlich, who booted a game-high five goals.

"It's irrelevant really," Lyon said of beating the team's recent nemesis. "It means nothing … you can't go down the shop and buy confidence. It's got to be built from action."

Lyon said Hayden Ballantyne, who was a late withdrawal with a hamstring issue, should return against Brisbane.

"He's an animal," Lyon said. "He wanted to play."

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

More from The West