Coach Post Match – Todd Curley WA Day

Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 9:16 PM by Matt Barnsley

WHAT South Fremantle coach Todd Curley had to say following the Bulldogs 145-point WA Day Foundation Derby win over East Fremantle and looking ahead to this Saturday's home clash with Peel Thunder.

QUESTION: You would have been hoping and expecting to bounce back, but not to that degree?
ANSWER: Definitely not, but I think a few of the things we practiced we certainly were better at.  Obviously it was as good a four-quarter performance that we’ve put in for a while. It was good to bounce back.

Q: You must be pleased that again you showed when you had a team down, you were really able to ram home your advantage?
A: I think scoreboard pressure’s important as much as we say the scoreboard is always irrelevant until the end. I think if you can get scoreboard pressure on early then obviously, there’s not that pressure of trying to come from behind. Then the things that you’ve probably planned during the week then you’ve got to start trying to fix things. Our boys trained really well over the break and I thought their preparation before the game they were pretty eager to make up for the couple of weeks before.

Q: Your clearance work was pretty impressive to watch?
A: I thought we were really good around the ball, really clean early and we were able to get some good spread. I thought our forward pressure was really outstanding in the first 15 minutes of the game. It sort of set the tone. Our inside 50s we generated we defended them really well and that perceived pressure just builds and builds. We were able to kick straight which made a huge difference as well.  

Q: When you play well, your pressure in the forward-line is always really high and that's probably the best it's ever been?
A: There’s no doubt the pressure from our forwards was very good but I think we defended much better as a team. Sometimes as a defender you look up and if the mids and the backs have set up really well and there’s no obvious target that extra time of trying to find another target gives your forwards an opportunity to hunt. So I thought our defence as a team early, especially in the first quarter and first half, was really good.

Q: How good are you left feeling after a performance like that?
A: I think it's pleasing for the players they were really focused and driven on continuing to build and we’ve got a huge challenge this week coming up in front of us. They want to keep practicing good habits and it will be a big challenge for us this week.

Q: Using a midfield resting in the forward-line worked a treat. Ashton Hams in the first quarter, Shane Hockey in the second, Tim Kelly in the third and Haiden Schloithe in the last?
A: Obviously we’ve got a five-day break leading into this week. As we spoke about before scoreboard pressure early allowed us to be able to make sure we got some good rotations through that midfield knowing that we had a five-day break ahead. If we don’t start well it obviously restricts our ability to do that. To their credit they didn’t go down and rest, sometimes it would be easy just to go down and think it’s a quarter for me to have a rest but they had an impact on the game which was great.

Q: What can you say about that performance from Tim Kelly?
A: He’s had a great year but he’s got a great support cast. I think when we play well we have everyone play their role. There’s no doubt that they all played their role but it’s great for him. It gives him a chance to show there’s more strings to his bow than midfield and he’s worked super hard to make himself better. He’s obviously working hard and got some results it won’t always be his week so you’ve got to cash in when you can I suppose. 

Q: There's just not an area of his game he's not brilliant at right now?
A: Yeah he is in great form and you’ve got to make the most of it. He’s worked really hard in the gym to get stronger and on his kicking to improve. You get what you put in and he’s worked extremely hard.

Q: How important was it to not let your foot off their throat all afternoon?
A: When things start going your way you can start to build and pressure builds on the opposition. They had a lot of young players in and when you start like that it's really hard for them. It was important that we started well.

Q: Is there much you learn in a game like that or does it just show how well you can play when at your best?
A: Obviously you look at the things that you did well. With no disrespect to the opposition they were very young and had some key players out. It would’ve been a really tough day for them and they would’ve been restricted in what they could do. We understand that the scoreboard looks great but we were probably more pleased with the way we prepared the way we went about it. It would have been easy in that situation sometimes to go away from the things that have got us into that position. I didn’t think at any stage we went away and started thinking selfishly. So that’s a real positive for us.

Q: How do you now deal with the short break to take on Peel on Saturday?
A: We’ve generally been pretty good off a short break. Look it’s an opportunity and I think we’ve pretty much got out scot free in this game, no one is sore or anything. We’ve been around long enough and we’ve planned for it, we’ve had a couple of weeks off and I think we’ll be ready.

Q: Take out the preliminary final last year and you've generally played well against Peel of late?
A: We've definitely had some really good games against them. They’ll have some really good experienced AFL players and then they’ll have some young guys that are trying to make their way and get an opportunity at the next level. Their form's been really strong in the last six weeks, they’ve been really good so we know they are a big test.