Sean Darcy and Jack Williams compete in the ruck during Fremantle's clash against West Coast in round six, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

FREMANTLE ruckman Sean Darcy has conceded the Dockers were shown up by a tougher and more physical West Coast in Saturday night's Derby loss, with the team challenged to quickly rediscover its brand against the Western Bulldogs.

Meanwhile, the club is confident Hayden Young will remain available after he was benched in the fourth quarter against the Eagles with minor hamstring tightness, with the important midfielder completing a light session with teammates on Monday.

Darcy, who returned from a knee injury against the Eagles, said the team needed to own its poor showing against the Eagles this week and rebound against the Bulldogs in a crucial clash on Saturday night at Optus Stadium.

"We're pretty disappointed. We got beaten pretty comprehensively in the contest, so it was a pretty long review. There were some things we didn't like and didn't get right," Darcy said on Monday.

"Full credit to West Coast, they were hard and they were tough and physical, so they probably showed us up in in that. We've got to reflect and we've got to own it. We’ve got to be grown and mature and own what we did wrong.  

"They were more physical and more tough than we were throughout the game.


"I don't think our first five games have reflected that. I think we've been pretty tough and pretty physical. So we've got to get back to bringing our brand and it starts with this weekend and starts with Wednesday on the training track."

Fremantle was beaten 132-108 in the contested ball count, with one of their major strengths ripped away by a hungry West Coast team that didn't hesitate when the ball was there to be won.

"We were probably waiting for someone to get the job done," Darcy said.

"When the ball was in front of us, getting there and winning the ball was something that we were really good at for the first five weeks of the year, but we probably took about a backward step on the weekend."


Darcy returned from a knee injury and interrupted preparation to play his first game of the season against West Coast, and the 25-year-old conceded it will take time to find the right balance with ruck sidekick Luke Jackson. 

"We were getting in the way of each other a little bit, which halfway through last year we weren't doing, so it's always going to take a bit of time building that chemistry," he said.

"Then especially with Jye (Amiss) going down really early, that affected how we work together. So yeah, it will take a little bit of time, but I think once we get up and going, it will be great.

"We are very different in the type of player that we are, so whichever opposition we're coming up against, we will work out who takes the ruck."


Amiss jogged laps on Monday as he starts his concussion protocols, while Young joined the midfield group for a light session at the club's Cockburn base.

Asked if he expected Young to be available, Darcy said: "He pulled up pretty well. He was out there running today and looks pretty good. So he's feeling pretty good."

Change is expected, however, after a shock Derby defeat that saw the club concede seven unanswered goals to start the game and another run of five in a dispiriting third quarter.

Defender Heath Chapman appears ready to play his first AFL game this season after completing his third match in the WAFL since returning from a hamstring injury, and the first without managed minutes as Peel Thunder beat West Coast's WAFL team.

Heath Chapman in action during a practice match between Fremantle and Port Adelaide at Fremantle Oval on March 2, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Karl Worner, who has resumed after a nasty round one concussion, and Corey Wagner are other backline options if the Dockers look to inject different rebounding options into the 23 after their ball movement stagnated against the Eagles.

Fleet-footed draftee Cooper Simpson was an emergency for the Derby and booted 2.4 for the Thunder, while big-bodied midfielder Will Brodie (33 disposals and seven inside 50s) is a standout midfield option if change is needed to the onball brigade.

The Dockers have the option of either recalling Matt Taberner to replace Amiss or handing a club debut to former Essendon forward Pat Voss, who kicked 3.3 and took six marks for Peel.