FREMANTLE coach Justin Longmuir has described his team’s opening round loss to St Kilda as a “wake-up call” but promised not to overhaul the Dockers’ game style on the back of one defeat.

An ineffective tall forward line and conservative ball-movement that lacked dare were major concerns to come out of Sunday’s 15-point loss to the Saints, who were exceptional in coach Ross Lyon’s return. 

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Nat Fyfe was goalless in his first game as a permanent forward, while tall trio Josh Treacy, Matt Taberner and Luke Jackson did not take a mark inside 50 between them and combined for two goals.

The Dockers went inside 50 a massive 40 times in the second half for just two goals, with Longmuir conceding the team would need to review how it serviced its tall forwards and how that group competed.

“Clearly the outcome says it didn’t function the way we would have liked,” the coach said. 

“Before we jump to any conclusions, we’ll review it and have a look at our entries.

“We’re disappointed, but we’re not going to throw the baby out with the bath water.

“We’re going to make sure we’re really rational with the way we go about reviewing the game.

“We’re not going to rush and change a lot on the back of one performance.”

Longmuir said the Dockers’ lack of scoring power on Sunday was due partly to a lack of dare up the field a lack of “fast-play opportunities”, which would be reviewed and tweaked. 

“I don’t mind us chipping the ball around, but there’s got to be some method to it. I thought we just went lateral to occupy the ball, and that’s not how we really want to play … we need to get the balance right,” he said.

“It’s a wake-up call and we need to make sure we react the right way. We’re on a pretty short turnaround, six days into North Melbourne, so we need to regroup and get on with it.”

Coaching against his former club, Lyon said the round one win was important to build belief and give reward to a group that had worked hard in their first pre-season under a new coach.

With up to eight players from their best line-up missing, the Saints revealed a daring and disciplined game style that contrasted heavily under the Marvel Stadium roof. 

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“Our game style is an up tempo, run and work game style, and hopefully that was evident,” Lyon said.

“It was really contrasting styles tonight, which was quite interesting. I think if we play another team that’s up tempo it will be ballistic, it will be last man standing.”

Lyon said his return to the game day coaches’ box felt “a bit surreal” and he was proud of the way the coaches prepared for Fremantle and operated as a group on Sunday.

The win was no more special, however, coming against the team he coached to a Grand Final in 2013.

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“We’re all passing through, right? I played a role at that club at that time, and it was what it was,” he said. 

“I have fond memories, but I’m the St Kilda coach now. I’ll enjoy this moment and then move on. There’s not too much looking back to be honest.”