Friday, June 30, 2017 - 7:23 PM by Matt Barnsley

WEST Perth's longest-serving coach Bill Monaghan discussed the heartbreaking loss to Claremont at Claremont Oval, what he liked and didn't, and what his thoughts are heading into this Saturday's clash with Subiaco at HBF Arena.

QUESTION: You gave yourselves a chance with a strong finish, but what are your first reactions to that game?
I think first of all most of the scoring over the whole day was done at one end. They got away from us a little bit in the third quarter, which we set ourselves a bit of a task and there was an arm wrestle but 2.7 in that last quarter and at least two out on the full hurt us. We were coming and coming, I guess they were brave in the end and competitive but we left our run too late. We’re gutted it’s a two-point loss, but 12.16 to 14.6 tells the story. Our kicking at goals has been poor all year, it’s probably the first time its cost us in a game. Strijk hitting the post and a couple of others should have been able to hit the target. A lot of attention will be put on Corey Chalmers shot after the siren in a little patch that should he should’ve got a preferred lie or something, it was in a terrible patch of ground that was a tough kick. Claremont may have thought that they were robbed if we had have got up but in the last 20 minutes it was all us. I guess you have to give the players some credit but it’s a loss we have to deal with and move on.

Q: From the point you got within a goal, you had five shots on goal so you had your chance?
Yeah we did, there were a couple of really gettable ones and again it’s not laying the blame at anyone but I think we got 5.8 between Strijk and Keitel. Those two kick 8.5 and it’s significantly different and even that one of Blacky’s he actually had or could’ve marked 20m out literally dead in front. I thought Claremont had one shot on goal from about halfway through the last quarter that could’ve put them four goals up and we were able to go down the other end. Basically we were in our half for the last 10-12 minutes, missed shots are a part of the game and in the end it’s probably the stat that got us. 

Q: Everyone realises that Corey Chalmers isn't to blame, but he will likely blame himself. How do you deal with that?
It was the first thing I said to the playing group afterwards, there’s potentially people who will look at that shot and say ‘Corey could’ve kicked the winning goal, do we blame Corey?’ The fact is that’s a tough kick and football is made up a series of little events over a course of four quarters. I can probably find something that happened in the first minute of the game more significant than that and we go back they kicked five straight in the first quarter and took about 30 uncontested marks. When I reflect upon the game and critique upon the game that’s probably where the game was won and lost. All of a sudden we keep them to two or three in the first quarter and we started the second quarter well and they kicked the last couple at the end of the second quarter. It’s probably those things that are more important for us and Corey needs to know that and I’m sure he does that it’s far from his fault albeit we would love him to kick it.

Q: This is yet another thriller against Claremont, it tends to happen most times you play them in recent years?
I don’t really know why other than both sides have got some really good players and the ball seems to go up and down the ground a fair bit. I don’t think there’s any rhyme or reason to it, we’ve been on the end of a couple of wins of late and probably a bit similar to what happened this week we’ve snuck out to fairly hefty leads and they’ve run us down late. The shoe was on the other foot, so I’m sure there’s a lot of Claremont people saying ‘There’s a bit of justice!’ There may be justice in it there may not, at the end of the day it’s a two-point loss and we need to work out why and find out ways that we don’t let that happen again.

Q: Kody Manning looked sore at three quarter-time, but he spent time in the middle and forward in the last quarter and was almost a match-winner?
Kody’s an exceptionally talented player who can do it at both ends of the ground. We lost Joe Morrow halfway through the second quarter with what looks like a fracture in his hand, it’s about our fifth or sixth fracture for the year. It’s not been great but you’ve got to remember what we did in the last quarter clearly a rotation down. In a normal game that doesn’t have much influence but when you’re only losing by two points that might have had a significant impact. I thought Kody and probably across the board we lifted, that’s what Kody can do. He can have a big effect on the game with his kicking and strength around the ball and I thought Corey Chalmers was good. I thought VB battled hard through there, Nelson really stood up in the last quarter. I asked our quality players to have an influence on the game in the last quarter and I think they did. After quarter-time I thought Nick Rodda did a fantastic job on Maister but Maister took him the cleaners in the first quarter. Kris Shannon after half-time went onto CJ Oakley after he had a big influence in the second quarter I think he did a fantastic job. Look most of the things we did worked but like I said the first quarter I was really disappointed with the way we were unable to stop their ball movement.

Q: Horrible news for Joe Morrow to again be out injured having just got back?
He’s a wonderful fella and he’s a wonderful player. I think we saw he took three or four really strong grabs let's just hope that for his sake as much as ours that it’s not something that’s going to be the rest of the season. He’s only been back for a couple of weeks. He hurt his shoulder a couple of weeks ago against Swans and really struggled last weekend against Souths. Hopefully it’s not as bad as they think or it can be pinned and can get him back on the park pretty quickly. 

Q: What did you make of the ruck in that game and does both the Mitch Andrews played well against you and Chris Keunen's form in the reserves help his cause next week?
First of all I thought Chris made another stride forward with his performance, I spoke to him at length on Thursday night when we didn’t pick him to say he’s getting really close and we still view him as potentially our number one ruckman so that’s not the issue. We just didn’t want to pick him before he’s ready so in a game like this it gets down to the wire and he’s not quite 100 per cent it could have been a liability to us. He really stepped it up Hamo kicked the first goal of the game, whilst Andrews clearly won the ruck knocks the stoppage count was about even in the end. It was mainly the centre that we found they got us a little bit. I thought when Simpson he went into the ruck in the second half even Lourey at times just to be able to compete with Mitch, he’s probably if not the best ruckman in the competition he’d be getting close to it. I thought they fought hard against him but I thought he was clearly the best ruckman on the ground.

Q: Obviously doesn't get any easier next week against a fresh Subiaco on an 11-game winning streak?
It doesn’t get any easier but we need to find a way to beat Subiaco and the players need to buy into that and they need to perform at a certain level. One thing you know when you play Subiaco is you have to be at your very best. You can match it with them for a while so that’s going to be a great challenge that when we get an opportunity that we take them and that we restrict them during the periods of time that they’re in control. That’s the same with every side but Subiaco seem to get challenged a lot but sides can’t go with them for the four quarters. That will be our greatest challenge.