Essendon great Matthew Lloyd has tipped Fremantle to miss finals again this season due to their lack of a dominant key forward.
Rory Lobb looked dangerous early for the Dockers during Sunday’s 10-point loss, but was quickly blanketed by St Kilda’s spare in defence.
Fremantle even attempted to send defender Heath Chapman into attack late to try and provide a focal point but the Dockers still fell short.
The Dockers are a chance of regaining Matt Taberner from a hamstring injury for Sunday’s derby but it’s unlikely Josh Treacy will be available for selection after injuring his ankle playing for Peel Thunder on Saturday.
Even so, Lloyd holds concerns for Fremantle’s key forward stocks and their ability to play finals this year.
“Since Matthew Pavlich, they have not had a dominant key forward and it’s an issue and it’s probably why they’ll miss the eight again this year,” Lloyd said.
“Rory Lobb hasn’t been the answer. They’ve tried Jesse Hogan. They’ve tried Shane Kersten.
“Josh Battle had the game of his life. He was mopping up everything because there’s no one that concerns you if you’re a St Kilda defender.
“They got lucky against the Adelaide Crows. That was a one-point game but there were some horrible turnovers. I think it has to do with who has the presence in their forward line that you have confidence kicking to.”
Fremantle only took three marks inside 50.
Down the other end, St Kilda spearhead Max King overcame two touches in the first half to emerge as the match winner.
“It’s great for a young kid to kick four goals after half time, three in a real burst to get the Saints going,” Lloyd told afl.com.
Fremantle’s third quarters have also come under scrutiny after conceding six goals in both third terms against Adelaide and St Kilda.
The Dockers have been outscored by a total of 65 points across two third quarters this season, ranked comfortably last behind Carlton (-36).
Fremantle have also suffered fatal third quarter drops offs in contested ball differential, points against from stoppages, inside 50 differential and opposition scores per inside 50.
“It’s definitely something we’re going to be looking at,” midfielder Andrew Brayshaw said.
“We thought the energy was up at half time, but we still really weren’t able to maintain that lead…and St Kilda made us pay up at the other end.”