Coach Post Match – Todd Curley Round 11

Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 7:31 AM by Chris Pike

WHAT South Fremantle coach Todd Curley had to say following the Round 11 WAFL victory for the Bulldogs over Peel Thunder despite the absence of Ben Saunders, Mason Shaw, Blaine Johnson and Shane Hockey ahead of the Round 12 bye and Round 13 clash with East Perth.

QUESTION: Coming off the loss last week and then being without a host of key players, you'd have to be happy with that performance?
We were really pleased. It was a bit of an arm-wrestle there for the first 15 minutes, then we were able to get a bit of score on board which was reward for working pretty hard early. We were really pleased and we did run out of gas a bit late with a few sore boys and Mason hurting himself 30 seconds before the first bounce and pretty much playing no part. But across the board I thought it was a pretty even performance and some of our leaders, like Schloithe and Suban, really stood up for us.

Q: You say you ran out of gas there at the end, but it was a still a pretty emphatic result against the premiers of the last two years who had won their last couple of games?
Yeah we are pleased, don't get me wrong but we are obviously trying to practice to make sure we are at our best for the whole game. We spoke to the players after the game and I think they put so much effort into the first three quarters when they were pretty organised that it turned into a bit of a 50-50 in the last quarter. But you do your work early and that helps you still get a good result if you end up getting tired.

Q: Very different forward-line without Mason Shaw, Ben Saunders and Blaine Johnson, but you were still able to kick a winning score?
We still kicked 16 goals and maybe left a couple out there and it was a different challenge for us. It seemed to work for us and I thought Zac Strom came in and played a good role for us. In hindsight it was lucky he came in after Mase went down but we were able to kick a score and our use of the ball was much better we certainly used the ball much better which not only helps you score, but it helps you defend a bit a bit as well.

Q: I assume you brought in Zac Strom to play down back but he had to play forward and then Chad Pearson and Noah Strom stood up again against Peel's talls?
No Zac was always coming in to play forward and was never going to play back. We were really pleased with the role he played and he gives us another big body forward and can pinch hit in the ruck as well, and he's pretty mobile. I thought he was pretty good. Then the young blokes did well down back. Noah Strom just continues to grow, Steve Edwards was back to his really good form and if you look across the board, Dragovich did well playing inside again, Bewick did a great job for us on Pearce and there were more guys who stepped up and played their bit.

Q: A run-with role is not something you usually employ, but Shaun Bewick's job on Danyle Pearce really worked well considering how prolific he has been for Peel?
Certainly I thought Shaun was able to restrict him and also help us a bit offensively as well. It wasn’t just a lockdown role. He was just asked to play accountable footy and get off him when you can. We were pleased with it and certainly had full confidence in Shaun. He is obviously really selfless and prepares well. It was pleasing for him.

Q: What did Mason Shaw do in the pre-game?
We're not sure. He pulled up on his last kick at the end of the warm up and had a bit of a spasm somewhere in his leg. He came off and got a bit of treatment and they thought it freshened up, but then he went out and was a bit restricted. He should be right after the bye because we don't think he's hurt anything, it was just a spasm. But we certainly didn’t want to risk him by leaving him out there and letting him do something. Hopefully he's fine but it did put a bit of strain on the rest of the group.

Q: Would you be hoping you will have both him and Ben Saunders available in two weeks' time?
I'm pretty sure Saundo should be pretty good. He was touch and go this week, and then we've got the bye next week so he has the chance to put in a good block of training. He should be just about available and being cautious this week with Shawry should hopefully see him be available as well.

Q: Blaine Johnson's an interesting one, would he have been in the gun at selection if he had been available to play this week?
He clearly hasn’t been at his best the last three or four weeks since the State game but he has some stuff that he needs to sort out. When he's ready, he'll be back. There's no time frame on it, we just support him which we have been doing. It's a pretty close player group so the boys will get around him and when he feels he is ready and up and going, he'll come back in.

Q: No Shane Hockey again either in the midfield and you got on top of Peel in that area without him, but do you expect him back after the bye?
We think so. He just pulled up tight during the week at training and at this time of year, we just weren’t prepared to take any risk with him. He was pretty keen to play but the medicos said the risk was high so we just tap him out this week and he should be good to go.

Q: It's been a tough stretch since the State game in terms of fixtures with a five-day break thrown in and some injuries mounting, is this the ideal time for a week off?
I think the boys' effort was pretty good and there's a few sore boys. Sometimes it's the second week after a short break that catches up with you. They'll recover well and then we have a pretty tough four-week block after the bye so we'll get ready for that.