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Latest News

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Freo could go tall for Swans clash

Travis King - afl.com.au  August 9, 2017 2:55 PM

Ross Lyon spoke to the media ahead of Saturday's clash.

Emerging Fremantle ruckman Sean Darcy is no certainty to return against Sydney on Saturday afternoon, while Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says tall Matt Taberner could be recalled for the daunting trip to the SCG.

Darcy was rested from last round's win over Gold Coast after six impressive games to start his career.

The raw 19-year-old averaged 33 hit-outs and nearly 12 disposals, when the club managed him against the Suns.

Veteran ruckman Jonathon Griffin competed strongly in his place, and the 31-year-old could lead the crucial clearance battle against the Swans' big man combo Kurt Tippett and Callum Sinclair.

"I thought Jon Griffin after an initial slower start really worked his way into the (Suns) game, we were really pleased with Jon's effort," Lyon said.

"We need to see how Sean is with his movement and mobility, because we managed him for a reason, that there had been some soreness, so he needs to get through training to come in."

Fremantle will be forced into one change with Brady Grey (hamstring) facing two-to-three weeks on the sidelines.

Taberner could play his first game since round 11.

The forward-ruck had a three-week purple patch in the WAFL recently, booting 13 goals and averaging 11 marks, but couldn’t force his way into the line-up.

"We're still looking at it (Grey's replacement). We've got options to move around. Do we go tall or small?" Lyon said.

"Is it Josh Deluca, is it (Ryan) Nyhuis, is it Taberner? They're all the options we're looking to weigh up and balance the team up.

"We really respect (Taberner's) preparation and his effort, and over a period of time at this club he's earned a lot of respect and created some opportunities, and he's continued to do that.

"So he's certainly in the mix this week, but there's no guarantees."

Peel had the bye last round, but injury-plagued star Harley Bennell is set to ramp up his game time this weekend.

It will be his fourth match back for the Thunder, and the 24-year-old is still pushing to play at senior level this season.

"The aim is to get him to play AFL football this year, and if he keeps progressing in the manner that he is, he will," Lyon said.

"He's growing every week.

"You'll see another progression in output and time on the ground this week. If that keeps tracking … there's still a few (games) to go."

The youthful Freo side snapped a four-game losing streak at Domain Stadium last round and have generally been highly-competitive on the road – a trait Lyon wants to continue against a Swans outfit which has won 11 of its past 13 games.

"You want to be an 'anytime, anywhere' club, and we certainly think we've made some inroads interstate," he said.

"We've had a couple of blowouts at Adelaide and Brisbane, but we've had some wonderful performances at the MCG, down at (Simonds) Stadium and at GWS until the last quarter.

"We're looking to go to compete, and it's a real measure to see where we're at.

"Their mindset is going to be really strong building to a finals campaign, so it's a really big challenge."

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