Premiership Eagle Will Schofield believes the AFL world didn’t learn much about either Fremantle or West Coast during Sunday’s clash that “felt like a practice match”, rather than a traditional western derby.

But Schofield believes the Dockers can play finals this year and can set up their push for September over the next month with five winnable games.

The Dockers on Sunday recorded their second straight win over the Eagles – and their fourth-biggest victory in derby history – running away from the depleted West Coast side to record a 55-point win.

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Speaking on Fox Sports News’ AFL Tonight on Tuesday, Schofield said the match didn’t feel like a usual fiery derby that footy fans have become accustomed to witnessing.

“I spoke to a lot of past players during the week about what a derby feels like and for West Australian teams, it’s like a final. It’s as close to a final as you’ll get in the regular season and that first 10 minutes has this buzz, intensity and physicality. Well I saw absolutely none of that on the weekend,” Schofield, who was boundary commentator for Fox Footy on Sunday, told AFL Tonight.

“I saw barely a bump, barely a tackle, barely a physical contest from both sides. It’s not a go at either team, but it felt like a practice match.

“I don’t feel we learnt a lot about either team, even though Freo ends up winning by 10 goals.”

The Dockers sit fifth on the ladder after Round 3 with a disappointing loss to St Kilda sandwiched between their wins over the Eagles and Crows – the latter being a thrilling one-point result.

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But with clashes against the Giants, Essendon, Carlton, Geelong, North Melbourne and Gold Coast to come, Schofield said the Dockers have a great opportunity to set a push for finals.

“Fremantle win by 10 goals (against West Coast), great. But I’d like to see what happens over the next three to five weeks,” Schofield said.

“They’ve got five winnable games coming up and I think they can play finals. They should with the list they have and the build they’ve had. It’s been a really sensible measured approach and I think they should and could win the next five games they play.”

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With several players exiting the AFL’s health and safety protocols, the Eagles made a whopping 12 changes for the clash after swinging 14 the week before.

Asked if what the Eagles have endured over recent weeks is “beyond unfair”, Schofield said: “The timing’s poor. Is it fair? I’m not one to judge if its fair or not, but West Coast will continue on.

“I hope Fremantle doesn’t suffer the same fate, although with some of their outs we’ve seen with (coach) Justin Longmuir missing another week, I hope it doesn’t continue to ravage both Western Australian sides.”



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