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Thursday, July 30, 2020 - 10:30 AM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle coach Todd Curley spoke after Saturday's hard fought eight-point victory against West Perth at Joondalup's Provident Financial Oval.

QUESTION: It obviously wasn’t the prettiest game but in a lot of ways a pretty brave win by your team?
ANSWER: I thought we started pretty well and just didn’t take advantage. We kicked 1.5 from set shots in the first quarter and I think they kicked two goals from only three inside 50s to that put us under pressure. And then their pressure was pretty good and they got on top of us for large portions of the game as well, but in the end we hung in and found a way. That's the most important thing.

Q: At this point of the year given the amount of time we've had off are you just happy to take the four points and worry about your game style later on?
A: Well we did play some pretty attractive footy last week and I thought the conditions were pretty tough today for both teams so it was always going to be a bit more of a scrap. In the end we were able to convert when we needed to. No doubt it's important to win because you certainly don't want to be chasing this year and you want to try and be playing from in front both on the scoreboard in games, and on the ladder. To jump out 2-0 is a really pleasing start.

Q: You've now only conceded seven goals across the first two games so defensively you must be delighted with what you are doing?
A: Obviously we are happy when the opposition don't score, but the conditions were tough for both teams today even though I thought our backs were pretty good for the most part. Our forwards didn’t convert but did get opportunities and there was probably a patch there in the third when we thought the game was in the balance and they started to get on top around the ball. It was pleasing that we were able to make a couple of little changes in the last quarter to get it back a bit more on our terms. To finish into the breeze and find a way, we were really happy.

Q: Jimmy Miller looks like he's a real find and whether he's giving you a target up forward or pinch hitting in the ruck, he's started really well?
A: He was good again today. He certainly competes and he only turned 23 today so he is still a young man. Then there's obviously Datson, Russell, Hamersley, Abbott and Benny Rioli has only played two games with. There's also Dent and you can keep on going through our team and there's quite a few blokes who haven’t played a whole lot of senior footy. That means they might be a little up and down at times but as long as they keep having a crack and keep trying to improve then that's all we can ask.

Q: It seems to be a trend since the AFL has returned and now it's creeping into the WAFL that the scoring is significantly down and it's not just because of the shorter game time. Any ideas why?
A: It's probably hard for us because we did score pretty well last week and had seven or eight opportunities in the first quarter today. Then when the conditions got a bit tougher it became harder to move the ball, and ultimately score. It's hard to go coast to coast or hit multiple targets when it's pretty gusty like it was out there. It wasn’t wet, but the gusty wind can make it hard and that explains our game anyway. At our level we've only played a couple of games back so we'll just see what happens in the next couple of weeks, but we're certainly not trying to make it an ugly, dour affair. We are trying to play our way and sometimes it doesn’t work as well as you'd like.

Q: Your game style has been an attacking one and I can't imagine that's changed?
A: No and I'm sure the other teams are trying to keep scores low either. But at the end of the day all we have to do is score more than them and we've been lucky enough to do that over the last couple of weeks. Hopefully we can keep that going.

Q: What is it about South Fremantle playing at Joondalup because you've now won five in-a-row here and 20 out of 28 as a club since 1994?
A: I really have no idea to be honest, but it's a really good ground to play at and I think it suits the way we like to play. South Fremantle had a good record even when I was coaching here so for whatever reason sometimes you feel a bit more comfortable on certain grounds. I'm thankful that this is one of those for us at the minute.

Q: You never want to lose your captain and a champion for any game, but Steve Verrier was a handy replacement to make sure you didn’t miss them too much?
A: He only missed last week because he had a funeral of a family member so there was no issue about him coming straight back in. But losing Main and Schloithe wasn’t ideal because they are two pretty handy players. I thought that for us to dig in and still win the game with them missing was important.

Q: Haiden Schloithe did hurt himself early in the game last week and was noticeably hampered the rest of the game, but bravely played on to ensure you didn’t lose a rotation. It was important he did that but might not have helped him try and get up this week?
A: It was funny, he got hurt pretty early and then really struggled in the first half but then it felt like he freed up and moved better in the second half. He's a really important player for us and the opposition always has to put a really good defender on him so he did a great job for us last week. We don’t think that impacted him for this week but we're also really considered that we wouldn’t risk Haiden or Dylan. One week to miss is fine and we weren’t prepared to take the risk, and we trust the rest of the group to come in and make up for their absence. We don’t want to rely on individuals as a group and we need to find a way, and we did that today.

Q: Do you expect them both to come back next week?
A: I think so. All expectations are that they will be right go. If they played sore this week then they might carry that soreness for a few weeks or even the whole season so we thought it best they sit out and get right.

Q: Big challenge against a Claremont team who you got to know so well late last year, but that's 10 months ago now?
A: I haven’t seen a whole heap of them but obviously they had a great win against Subi and then won again against Swans. We played them three times within about five weeks last year and they were all really competitive and great games. All the games we've had against them the past few years have been pretty good and close games which could go either way. We look forward to it, can't wait and hopefully we get a nice, fine day and another big crowed at Fremantle Oval.