Luke Ryan kicks the ball during Fremantle's clash against Carlton in round four, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

FREMANTLE hopes it will learn a valuable early-season lesson from its inability to finish off Carlton in Saturday's heartbreaking loss and be better placed if it is contending in finals, according to gun defender Luke Ryan. 

Meanwhile, captain Alex Pearce has claimed that the umpire who paid the controversial dissent free kick in the dying moments at Adelaide Oval was not certain immediately after what Dockers defender Jordan Clark had said.

The Dockers reviewed their performance on Monday and watched the final four-and-a-half minutes as a team, identifying what went wrong after conceding three Carlton goals and letting a nine-point lead slip. 

They have now put the controversial circumstances behind them after a touched kick was paid a mark to Carlton's Matthew Cottrell and in-form Freo half-back Clark gave away a subsequent free kick for dissent.

"We were pretty flat Saturday night and Sunday, and today we came in did a little flush and had a really good, solid review," Ryan told on Monday. 

"We watched the last four-and-a-half minutes, and structurally we did it pretty well and the organisation was really good. But it was just probably our execution with the ball when we had our chances. 


"We only took one mark in the last four-and-a half minutes. So, we've just got to take pride in our execution with the ball, and also keeping it in and not letting the ball spill out and let them speed up and get another opportunity going forward."

"It's good to [learn that lesson] this early in the year and not so much later in finals if we are playing in them … so who knows, it could be this week against Port or it could be in a final. 

"Hopefully that never happens again, and we can really finish the game out and get the four points."

Clark has told the Dockers he was berating himself for allowing Cottrell to take a crucial mark in the final minute when the umpire responded by penalising him for dissent, gifting the Blues a second goal and taking the game out of Fremantle's reach. 


Fronting the media on Monday, Pearce said he had spoken with the umpire concerned immediately after the incident to seek clarity on why the free kick had been paid. 

"I chatted to the umpire straight afterwards and he didn't know what he (Clark) said," Pearce said. 

"It was just that the way it was said.

"I was able to get clarity from the umpire immediately afterwards. They’re never going to change their decision. 

"There were some conversations with the umpire directly afterwards and it kept on going."

The AFL has conceded it made in error in awarding Cottrell a mark, given the ball had been touched, but backed the decision to penalise Clark for dissent.

On the defender's role in the controversial finish, Ryan said the Dockers had supported their teammate and did not expect him to change his approach to how he plays. 

"Clarky's good. We're getting around him and we're telling him not to listen to any noise outside the four walls," Ryan said. 

Jordan Clark in action during Fremantle's clash against Carlton in round four, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"We just get around him and move on and we love him playing on the edge, so we're not going to make him change.

"It's not that one instance that cost us the game, so we just get around him and support him."

Responding to criticism of Clark on social media, football manager Joe Brierty told ABC Radio: "To have someone that brings your character into question on Twitter who really has no credibility whatsoever is really frustrating and disappointing.

"Jordan is a quality young man, and a fantastic person who's done an enormous amount of work for our club on and off the field.

"We stand behind him (Clark) with our fans knowing the quality of the person he is."