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Lyon goes in to bat for wayward forwards

Rory Coleman-Heard  July 16, 2017 9:35 PM

Lyon pleased with 'unyielding' Freo Fremantle coach Ross Lyon was upbeat after his side's loss, seeing a 'brightness' in the performance
AFL 2017 Round 15 - Fremantle v St Kilda

Cam McCarthy is not an automatic selection next week

PRIZED Fremantle recruit Cam McCarthy is no certainty to return for Fremantle next week, despite the club's woes in front of goal against West Coast at Domain Stadium on Sunday.

McCarthy has spent the last two weeks on the sidelines after he was suspended for a dangerous tackle on Saints defender Sam Gilbert in round 14.

Full match coverage and stats

Despite winning inside 50s 57-46, the Dockers recorded just seven marks in its attacking arc compared to West Coast's 11, kicking 5.14 in a woeful day in front of goal.

But Fremantle coach Ross Lyon insisted the make-up of his forward line was not a cause for concern, suggesting McCarthy's inexperience could count against him at match committee.  

Five talking points: Fremantle v West Coast

"I don't have automatic ins, unless you play for a long period of time," Lyon said of McCarthy. "We'll look at the balance of it.

"That game today, we were really good.

"I wouldn't pop the forwards – they were out and they were free.

"At some point the small forwards have got to hit the other forwards and the mids have got to hit them.

"It's not like they weren't in the right spot.

"It's clear what we need to work on, which is that connection piece, seeing targets – when you've got two free (players) out, don't kick it to a contest."

WATCH: Dockers' disastrous forward-half disposal

Lyon also threw his support behind maligned recruit Shane Kersten, who gathered just eight possessions and a goal against young defender Tom Barrass.

The key forward has kicked three goals from 16 disposals in two matches since returning to the senior side after he was dropped to the WAFL three weeks ago.

WATCH: Ross Lyon's full post-match media conference

"I couldn't be more pleased that he's growing," Lyon said. "He's launching, I don't think he got out-marked, he brought it to ground and he was free.

"He's playing with an incredibly youthful forward line so we'll continue to build there.

"I wouldn't have thought Shane's an issue."

Matt Taberner was strong again for Peel on Saturday, notching 27 disposals, 10 marks and five goals in slippery conditions against East Perth.

Taberner kicked six goals from 25 possessions last week and has 31 majors for the year, but Lyon said statistics didn't paint the full picture.

"What we think are big weeks and what I think are big weeks are often different," Lyon said.

"If you just go on raw numbers – goals kicked – then you'd say it's a big week but there's a lot of other things to play.

"But Matt is growing – a fierce preparer … we'll have a look at it."