Dockers extend dominance over Eagles - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers extend dominance over Eagles

By Tim Clarke 05/04/2008 10:31:19 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey hailed the courage of his young guns and the class of his captain after they broke their 2008 duck in the most satisfying fashion with a 14-point win over arch rivals West Coast.

With Matthew Pavlich's five goals winning him the Ross Glendinning medal for best on ground, rising star Rhys Palmer was almost as impressive with 24 possession and constant drive from midfield to carry the Dockers over the line 12.15 (87) to 10.13 (73).

Harvey revealed after the game Palmer had received twenty staples in a head wound suffered in the first quarter, but returned to dominate in just his second game in the AFL.

And with mid-level players including Roger Hayden and Antoni Grover also excelling, Fremantle's 1-2 record was looking a lot better than the Eagles' as the dust settled.

"We remained composed ... I thought the group really did everyone proud in the way they went about the game, and continued to fight off West Coast challenges," Harvey said.

"The derby always has a finals type build-up and puts enormous external pressure on everyone.

"So to see some of our younger players and mid-range players have big influences on the outcome of the game was very satisfying."

After being controversially left out of the season opener against Collingwood, Palmer has shone since - and did so against the Eagles despite an early knee from Brent Staker.

"Rhys had 20 staples in his head from that knock and (Ryan) Murphy ripped the webbing in his hand and had fifteen stitches," Harvey said.

"They are the great courage and attitudes you look for in players, and not once did they waver in that, or show any sign of that."

In the 27th home and away meeting between the two teams, there had seemed little doubt that the Dockers would get up, breaking out to a near five-goal lead before half time after three second-quarter goals from Pavlich.

But three goals from Eagles' second gamer Ben McKinley hauled the lead back to ten at the final change and Beau Waters' goal around the body set up a classic finale.

With the Eagles hammering on the door, Quinten Lynch, Brent Staker and Shannon Hurn all missed chances to give them the lead - and Pavlich made them pay with an audacious leap for his fifth.

And although Lynch was handed a second after a 50m penalty in the goal square, the Dockers repelled the challenge to give them a fourth win in five attempts against the Eagles.

After a 74-point spanking by Adelaide last week, Eagles coach John Worsfold said similar problems - poor decision making and skill errors - had haunted them again.

"In a 15 minute period in that second quarter I think they kicked five goals and that was the game well and truly," Worsfold said.

"We turned the ball over and they got easy rebound goals on us, at least three of those five were just from our errors.

"And I don't think it is new players making mistakes, it is players that have been around for along time making more errors - and that is what we will address."

As for Harvey, the Tigers at Subiaco are his next and only concern.

"The competition is so tough and we have got a long way to go. You look no further than Richmond because you have got to be able to put regular wins on the board," Harvey said.

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