Pav boots five in Dockers win over Lions
Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich booted five goals as the Dockers overcame the loss of defender Luke McPharlin and ruckman Aaron Sandilands to post a crucial 23-point AFL victory over Brisbane at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night.
McPharlin, who had been in All-Australian form this season, limped off late in the second quarter with a groin injury, while Sandilands, playing his first game in a month, was forced off in the third quarter with a possible recurrence of his foot injury.
The Dockers also lost midfielder Michael Barlow (general soreness) and defender Tendai Mzungu (calf) before the bounce, but Pavlich’s heroics were enough to inspire his team to the 12.16 (88) to 10.5 (65) triumph.
Pavlich (28 possessions) was a constant threat up forward and through the midfield, while Greg Broughton (32 disposals, two goals) was also crucial.
“It was a tight tussle, it wasn’t a pretty game to watch, but it was a good effort considering we had two guys go down. We were pretty depleted,” Pavlich said after the match.
“It was all about getting back to our brand of football.
“It’s been really inconsistent over the last six weeks … so we needed to show intent.
“We do need everyone playing their role and tonight I think we saw that.”
Fremantle’s first win since round nine will ensure they remain in the top-eight for at least another week, with the added bonus of taking on struggling Gold Coast at home next Saturday.
Brisbane midfielder Simon Black (33 possessions) was at his prolific best, but Jonathan Brown (two goals) was quiet after booting two early goals.
Fremantle defender Alex Silvagni, playing his first match of the season, deserved credit for that, keeping Brown goalless when moved to the Lions Goliath following McPharlin’s injury.
Brisbane skipped out to a 25-10 lead in the first quarter courtesy of Brown’s explosive start.
McPharlin had a slice of revenge when he took a ripper grab on top of Brown’s shoulders, and a monster 57m goal from Pavlich closed the gap to eight points by quarter time.
Two more goals to Pavlich gave Fremantle a three-point lead midway through the second quarter, but the Lions responded with the final two goals of the half to regain the momentum.
Injuries to McPharlin and Sandilands put Brisbane in the box seat to pull off an unlikely victory, but Pavlich refused to budge, booting two crucial goals in the third quarter to give the Dockers a three-point buffer heading into the final term.
Fremantle dominated the inside-50 count 17-2 in the final term, but the Dockers’ inaccurate kicking in front of goal ensured the Lions remained within striking distance right to the end.
Fremantle coach Mark Harvey confirmed Sandilands had re-injured his big right toe and would travel to Melbourne for surgery for a procedure that would rule the 211cm ruckman out for about four weeks.
“Possibly we might stitch it this time and that might be a better process, as in (stitching) the ligament,” Harvey said.
McPharlin is expected to miss two weeks with his groin injury.
Brisbane coach Michael Voss was pleased with the effort of his side for the most part.
“It was reasonable for three quarters, but we were certainly overrun in the end,” Voss said.
“We were kept in the game from some poor kicking from Freo.”© AAP 2013