Friday, June 23, 2017 - 12:22 PM by Matt Barnsley

WEST Perth coach Bill Monaghan discussed last Saturday's loss to South Fremantle, where the Falcons need to improve and looking ahead to another crucial match with Claremont this Saturday at Claremont Oval.

QUESTION: They again got off to a strong start against you and just left you with too much to do by half-time?
ANSWER: I thought the first quarter for the most part we were competitive, it was the second quarter we were horrific. Everything that we had planned and things that we were doing relatively ok in the first quarter went out the window. We realigned that at half-time, reminded the players of what we had planned and what we had thought would work against South. I think we improved in the second half albeit maybe we were flattered a little bit by South’s kicking on goal. There’s a lot to learn from it. I guess a positive is that last time it was 103 points and this time it’s 40 something so we’re on the right track. There’s an improvement there but we’re obviously disappointed because we genuinely think we can beat anyone if we play our stuff well. We just didn’t do that for long enough periods.

Q: Was that as disappointed as you've been at half-time for some time? 
A: I was angry at half-time, not with my players efforts as such. I highlighted things at half-time and after the game where players' efforts are good, it’s their smartness in positioning, running and stuff like that, that disappointed me. I’m rarely disappointed as the coach of West Perth Football Club of the players but they didn’t follow instructions so we hit them between the eyes with that at half-time. To their credit, because that’s what we weren’t able to do earlier in the year. It got to half-time, we fired a shot for about three minutes in that game at South Fremantle and then we basically rolled over and they won by 100 points and it could’ve been 120. The siren couldn’t come early enough that day. Where I’m actually hoping this game goes a bit longer. Probably until about the last three or four minutes again, I thought here’s a chance we might be able to kick three or four late and get it back to 20 or 30 points. But the last five minutes is that little hump in the game where you know it's all over and you try and limp to the line.

Q: Any idea what it is that makes South Fremantle play so well here?
It’s a great surface out here it's wide and the conditions were beautiful. They’re a very skilled side and they’re a very well drilled side. So why they’re good here compared with other grounds I don’t know. I don’t know what their record at Fremantle Oval is because I only care about when we play them as such. There’s a fair bit more space here than there is at Fremantle Oval that probably suits a number of their players.

Q: How much of what happened with you unable to escape the back 50 in the second quarter was their pressure, and your players not doing as instructed or poor execution?
South are a very good side in every area. Their defence is good, they tackle well but we overused the handball. I can’t tell you right now probably until we look at the tape is that because we’re making poor choices or was it because their pressure was so good that it was forcing us to handball. I think at one stage during the second quarter one of the things we talked about at half-time was Blacky had four kicks and eight handballs, Nelson had five kicks and 12 handballs and Luke Meadows had five kicks and 11 handballs. They’re guys around the source and we did ask them to kick more and I think that improved. I don’t know whether it was all South’s pressure why we handballed or whether it was just some poor decisions. I can tell you this, I wasn’t asking our players to handball that much. At one point we had about 40 kicks and 80 handballs as a side and that’s just not the way we like to play footy. That improved in the second half.

Q: Is that something where guys like Black, Nelson and Meadows need to work more on getting the ball forward, or do they simply need more support?
They’re all fantastic players and they service well but I think if there’s something missing in the games of all of those players if you compare that to Schloithe, Kelly and Cook at South Fremantle, you don’t get a lot of goals from those guys. We don’t specifically ask them to push forward. They play a certain role but I’d love them to get on the end of a few more. It’s a really hard one, I thought the midfield battle was good but given the result given the goals that were kicked by their mids or their effect inside forward 50 that probably got us in the end and probably significantly got us. 

Q: Considering they had 64 inside 50s to your 32, Ben King and Mark Hamilton were terrific down back on Ben Saunders and Mason Shaw?
I thought they were both fantastic. Ben missed a couple of shots I think he kicked 1.2 or 1.3 but the goal he did get was a fast break got Ben out the back. I thought Ben King was outstanding and if it was just purely up to me I thought he was our best player, because I think Ben Saunders is the best forward in the competition. Hamo’s a strange one. He doesn’t find a lot of the ball and he’s much maligned I think because people look at the end numbers. He’s done some really important defensive jobs over the last month but just doesn’t find a lot of the ball. We don’t ask them to find a lot of the ball we’re trying to give them the big jobs on the bigger forwards, and Mason Shaw’s been very good all of last year and in the early games this year, so both those guys were very good I thought.

Q: Good to see Tyler Keitel again able to make the most of his chances in front of goal?
I’m a huge believer that in time, two, three, four years down the track Tyler’s going to be the best key position player or key forward in the competition. He hasn’t kicked great on goals this year and it was great to see him finish straight this week. He iced a really important kick last week against Swans late in the game as well. I was going through stats as I do and he had more scoring shots than Ben Saunders, he’s just not very accurate. So he could easily had he taken opportunities presented to him over the year he could easily be top three in the goal kicking. For a 21-year-old kid that we’re building our forward line around he’s doing a fantastic job.

Q: Back to Claremont Oval this week for the first time since a special day back in 2013. Another crucial game?
It is and I think most people think Claremont had more ability than probably their early season, take out the first three games where they won easily. But that period where they didn’t win many games I think most people think they have more ability than that. They’ve obviously had a good win last weekend beating East Fremantle albeit narrow and then they got over the line convincingly against Swans. We know they’ll be a challenge, we’re not afraid of that challenge. We know that even like in two and-a-half quarters we played well against South Fremantle so we know we can match it with sides. We just need to make sure that we play the style of footy that we want to. 

Q: Scott Simpson has done a power of work in the ruck, but is it time for Chris Keunen to get a look particularly up against Mitch Andrews?
We’ve already started the conversation but look we don’t know yet. Scott’s been doing a wonderful job. Chris has been out for a long period of time, I thought last week he made significant steps forward and I thought this week again he was strong from what I saw. I guess the problem we’ve got with Rodda, Keitel, Lourey, Hamilton and Simpson is can we afford to bring another tall in whether that’s a ruckman or a key position player. That’ll be to do with the team balance and who Claremont plays. We’ve been really happy with the way Scott’s played but we didn’t bring him here to be a ruckman. Chris has been an outstanding servant for a number of years. So he will get an opportunity at some stage whether that’s this week against Claremont I can’t tell you yet.