Dockers vow not to sledge Marc Murphy

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    vFremantle have vowed not to direct any vicious sledging at Marc Murphy on Sunday as the Carlton AFL skipper deals with the fallout of verbal abuse from St Kilda players.

    Murphy was left fuming after St Kilda players allegedly sledged him about his wife during last week’s Blues-Saints match.

    Fremantle play Carlton on Sunday at Domain Stadium, and Dockers forward Shane Kersten says his team will steer clear of the issue when they face Murphy.

    “Personally, I don’t think it’s on,” Kersten said on Tuesday.

    “I’m not one to go out and sledge people. If there’s a little bit of sledging, it’s all in good humour.

    “I’m sure we’ll have a briefing this week. But we’re not a team that goes out to try to target players in that way to get under their skin or anything.

    “If they’re a good player and if we’re looking to tag them, then that’s what we’ll do.

    “We don’t need to go over and above to try to win a game.”

    Kersten said the young nature of Fremantle’s squad meant they probably couldn’t afford to get involved in sledging even if they wanted to.

    “Obviously being young, we don’t go and say too much because it might come back to bite us in the backside,” Kersten said.

    “We just leave it to our actions and try to play some good footy.”

    Kersten said troubled midfielder Harley Bennell still had the full backing of the player group despite hitting the headlines yet again for the wrong reasons.

    Bennell fronted Fremantle’s hierarchy on Tuesday in relation to his bizarre actions on Saturday while watching a WAFL game.

    The 24-year-old twice interrupted the three-quarter time huddle of the match between Peel Thunder and Swan Districts to speak to his cousin Traye Bennell.

    The club are yet to comment on whether they’ll hand down a punishment.

    “We, as a playing group, are sticking by him,” Kersten said of Bennell, who was ejected from a Virgin Australia flight last month for being drunk.

    “He’s one of our brothers.

    “We’re not a club to go and hang our brothers out and leave them to dry.

    “We’re fully behind him at the moment.

    “He’s been in good spirits around the club the last few days.”

    The Dockers (5-3) are on the cusp of the top eight after snaring five wins from their past six matches.

    Kersten, who was traded to Fremantle from Geelong at the end of last season, struggled in the early rounds.

    But he has hit his straps over the past three rounds, booting six goals during that period to cement his place in the forward set-up.

    © AAP 2017
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