Cyril Rioli’s freakish abilities can’t be stopped – but Fremantle will do their best to at least tame the star Hawk in Sunday’s AFL clash at Aurora Stadium.
Rioli was the match-winner last week when he kicked five goals from 10 disposals in his team’s victory over Collingwood.
Dockers coach Ross Lyon wants Rioli to be restricted to 10 touches or less again – but he doesn’t want the goalsneak to have the same impact on the scoreboard.
“I’d be happy if he has 10,” Lyon said on Friday.
“We know he’s talented and does the freakish. But you can’t stop the freakish can you?
“So defend him, do the basics well.
“No more or less focus will go onto him or their other great players.”
The Dockers entered the round two wins clear on top of the table, and three wins ahead of the fourth-placed Hawks.
But Hawthorn will start as warm favourites at their dominant Launceston base.
The Hawks have won 20 of their past 21 games at their home away from home, with Fremantle failing to beat Hawthorn in seven attempts there.
But despite the high-stakes nature of Sunday’s match, Lyon said he wouldn’t treat the game any differently.
“Opposition are really faceless in a sense every week because it’s about how you play and how you prepare. It doesn’t matter who you play,” Lyon said.
“We saw it last week when North Melbourne went up to the Gold Coast (and lost).
“So if you go on perceptions, and assumptions, and past performances, you can find yourself hurt pretty quickly.
“It’s obvious they are a very good team and we’re going to be challenged.
“Everyone talks about audits and important months. You get audited every week in the AFL, and in every training session and in every meeting.
“The good teams embrace it and enjoy the work and relish challenges and we’re relishing the challenge.”
Fremantle have struggled to perform at their best over the past five games, with the wet and slippery conditions not helping their cause.
Showers are forecast for Sunday’s match, but Lyon won’t allow his charges to use the conditions as an excuse.