Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 10:26 PM by Chris Pike

WEST Perth premiership coach Bill Monaghan's reaction to Saturday's 52-point qualifying final loss to South Fremantle and how he expects the Falcons to bounce back in this Sunday's first semi-final against Peel Thunder at HBF Arena.

QUESTION: What were your initial thoughts leaving Fremantle on Saturday after that game?
ANSWER: I was extremely disappointed. We've worked hard to get our season back on track after a tardy start and we were confident that if we played our best footy we could match it with South on the weekend. Then 10 minutes into the game it looked like it was going horribly wrong but the positive is that for a significant part of the first quarter and then the second quarter we were able to steady the ship. That's not always easy to do when one side is running rampant. For about a 30-35-minute patch we kicked 4.4 to three points and we probably butchered another couple going inside forward 50 where it felt like halfway through the second quarter we'd probably done enough to be in front. But they kicked a couple of easy goals and went into half-time confident and we were a bit deflated. We were then deplorable in the third quarter. I was extremely disappointed with our overall effort but you have to pick out what we did wrong and try to rectify that. You also need to look at the positives of what we can do at our very best and we'll plan hard for that, and show the players some of the good things we've done during the year and hopefully we can turn around and be mentally strong on Sunday against Peel.

Q: It must have been frustrating in the box because you had so many of your usually reliable players making mistakes that were uncharacteristic of them?
A: South's pressure was very good and whilst tackles are one measure of that and they didn’t make a huge number of tackles, the fact that they forced us into handballing and overpossessing meant that they did an extremely good job. But what was disappointing was the number of errors we me made with no pressure on us whether that was field kicking errors, decision-making errors, dropped marks in the goal square, smothered kicks from full-back and exiting defensive 50 with no one on us and missing targets by 20 metres. They are the things that are most frustrating as a coach because in some ways they are uncoachable. It's hard to berate a player for making a mistake when they already feel bad enough. We've showed vision to the players and I had four or five pieces of vision where we moved the ball extremely well up to a certain point and we had three on one inside forward 50 and the ball got smothered, or we didn’t get far enough back from the man on the mark or we just missed simple targets or messed up with one too many handballs. One of the things we talk about to our players is that we all make mistakes and it's part and parcel of the game, but if you make them doing the right thing then they are forgivable. There's a couple where the process the player went through to deliver the ball was just unacceptable so we will address those things. They are errors that we can't accept but we make mistakes and history's littered with sides who have performed poorly and we just need to find a spark and some belief within the group to say that that's not what we want to go out on and rectifiy it this week.

Q: This is why finishing third was so important to get another chance and you are still only two games away from a grand final, and three from a premiership?
A: It's 23 weeks and 20 games to get the ladder sorted for the finals series and we were lucky enough to win enough games to come third. We have earned the right for a double chance and we are really thankful for that because I would hate our season to finish on the note it did on Saturday. I'm sure the players will dig deep and up here at Joondalup against a talented Peel side with lots of attacking options and a good defence, we are going to need to be at our best.