Senior coach Ross Lyon said Fremantle would continue to consider their options regarding team balance and potentially stick with four tall forwards for Sunday’s clash against St Kilda at Optus Stadium.
Fremantle selected Jesse Hogan, Rory Lobb, Matt Taberner and Cam McCarthy in the same line-up against Gold Coast and Lyon said there was reason to stick with a similar lineup for round three.
Lyon said that Fremantle’s tall forwards provided more than their height, highlighting McCarthy’s run and pressure and Hogan’s ability to move into the midfield.
Fremantle have also utilised the 207cm Rory Lobb as a back up ruck support for Sean Darcy.
“It’s certainly topical and I think that (team balance) is the best question as that was the question we had at match committee for a long period of time,” Lyon said.
“It was really difficult but it’s certainly not why we won or lost the game.”
McCarthy, who currently sits second in the Coleman Medal with seven goals this season, covered 14.6km in round one - the second highest for Fremantle and Lyon said he provided a similar effort in round two.
“It was always an interesting equation but it comes down to how you view Cam McCarthy, he was the key to that puzzle,” Lyon said.
“We thought he ran, moved and pressured as well as anyone else who would have come into the team.”
Lyon added that Hogan’s midfield contribution against Gold Coast was crucial for Fremantle, finishing the game with 12 contested possessions, three clearances and eight score involvements.
Hogan’s switch into the middle in the third quarter was a key driver to Fremantle’s three goal to none term.
“Fortunately Jesse was there as our midfield needed a lift,” Lyon said.
“We had a couple of players who were down on the game and he actually went in and helped swing the momentum.”
Lyon said that Fremantle would still consider the likes of small forwards Brandon Matera and Sam Switkowski for selection against St Kilda.
Matera missed round one due to suspension, allowing first-year player Lachie Schultz to debut, and Switkowski played limited minutes on the weekend for Peel in a practice match on his return from a hamstring injury.
“Brandon’s had a wonderful summer but football and AFL is about opportunity,” Lyon said.
“Unfortunately, he left the door open and we felt that Schultz took his spot. Now Switkowski is coming back, Matera is there as well.
“We’ll have a look at that and we need to look at St Kilda, I watched their game and we’ll have a good look again with Leigh Montagna, our opposition analyst, and get to work on them.
“We’ll get to that (the selection decisions) at the right time.”