AFLW: Fremantle Dockers coach Trent Cooper says forward Gemma Houghton was almost sent into the midfield | Ralph Lauren

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Known for boasting one of the best forward lines in the competition, Fremantle’s strength through the midfield could soon earn the same external plaudits.

Dockers head coach Trent Cooper revealed he contemplated deploying key forward Gemma Houghton through the middle to maximise her impact in challenging conditions but decided against the move due to Fremantle’s midfield domination.

 “When the conditions are like that, Gemma Houghton isn’t going to show her running bounces and a few of our other players but it brings in a few others.

“Kiara Bowers loves playing in the wet and Hayley Miller was really good through there as well.

“We did discuss how we could use Gemma and Gabby O’Sullivan and if we could use them in a different way which was a possibility, we could have thrown them up on the ball but we felt we had control so we didn’t need to do that.”

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While Fremantle only finished with two goals from 13 scoring shots, Houghton snapping one around her body, Cooper believed West Coast were too defensive to threaten victory.

Kiara Bowers was dominant in the midfield
Camera IconKiara Bowers was dominant in the midfield Credit: Paul Kane/via AFL Photos

“After the first half of the first quarter, we probably dominated proceedings, we just couldn’t get in on the scoreboard,” Cooper said.

“Credit to West Coast and the way they defended, they got a lot of numbers back which made it difficult to get shots on goal.

“They had at times 14 or 15 players back behind the ball.

“As frustrating as it was, we didn’t feel any danger they were going to score on the other end.

“It didn’t feel like they were going to break it open.

“I was pleased we finished as strongly as what we did.”

An announcement from the AFL on round three fixtures is imminent but Cooper said the uncertainty concerning their upcoming opponent wasn’t an issue.

“We need to prepare ourselves to play as well as we can,” Cooper said.

“It’s not too big of an issue for us.”

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