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Dockers aim to become super stingy at home

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22nd April, 2021
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Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir has set his side the challenge of becoming even stingier at home as they prepare for the arrival of strugglers North Melbourne.

The Dockers improved their record to 3-2 with a fighting 12-point AFL win over the Adelaide Crows at Adelaide Oval last week.

Fremantle are a perfect 2-0 at home so far this season, beating GWS by 31 points in Round 2 and backing it up with a 15-point win over Hawthorn in Round 4.

The Dockers gave up an average of just 68.5 points per game over those two matches, but Longmuir wasn’t satisfied.

“We’ve still got to defend Optus a little bit defender,” Longmuir said.

“We defended really well against Adelaide last week, but we haven’t defended Optus as well as we would have liked at times. That’s our challenge this week.”

The Dockers now have a run of three straight games in Perth, starting with Saturday night’s clash with North Melbourne.

The Kangaroos sit dead last with a 0-5 record and a paltry percentage of 45.4 per cent.

But North Melbourne have shown more fight over the past two weeks in losses to Adelaide and Geelong.

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Longmuir won’t be taking the wooden spoon favourites lightly on Saturday night.

“North Melbourne have been improving week in week out,” Longmuir said.

“It’s not easy to go down to Geelong and be ultra-competitive.

“They pushed Geelong all the way. They were in front of Adelaide at three-quarter time.

“We’ve got respect for what they’re trying to do. We understand they’re improving every week and we’re ready for it.

North Melbourne coach David Noble suggested Ben McKay was the most likely candidate to match up on Fremantle’s Matthew Taberner, who kicked four goals against Adelaide last week.

“He has been really solid … he has been in terrific form,” Noble said of McKay, who is fresh from keeping reigning Coleman Medallist Tom Hawkins to one goal.

Noble also suggested the North coaching staff would have their hands full trying to negate the influence of Fremantle’s impressive midfield.

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“It’s a combination isn’t it? (Nat) Fyfe’s dangerous, (David) Mundy is in great form and then you’ve got (Andrew) Brayshaw who’s still learning his craft so we probably need to do a bit of work on all three,” he said.

© AAP