Saints win tough battle against Dockers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints win tough battle against Dockers

By Adam Cooper 18/04/2010 09:56:05 PM Comments (0)

Top spot on the AFL ladder will have to wait for Fremantle, but coach Mark Harvey says the Dockers can take plenty from pushing St Kilda and their start to the 2010 season.

The Dockers were within reach of moving to the top of the ladder for the first time in the club's 16-season history when they trailed by one point at three-quarter time at Etihad Stadium on Sunday night.

But Fremantle were unable to continue their run of strong finishes and the Saints kicked the first four goals of the last term and won 16.12 (108) to 14.9 (93).

Fremantle's players looked despondent in the rooms after the game, and Harvey said they were disappointed to lose given the effort they put in during the lead-up.

But Harvey said the Dockers - who finished 14th last year but began this season with three wins - could draw solace from pushing the unbeaten Saints, who won the corresponding game last year by 83 points.

"The fact that we have been wiped off the park against St Kilda, particularly on the road, so just to get some confidence from that knowing that we're getting closer to these top sides is important," Harvey said.

"We are progressing quite well.

"What we should gain from that is to know we can take it right up to most teams.

"Self-belief and motivation and how far you want to go, you've always got to have a focus on otherwise you get distracted and you get beaten."

Fremantle did well to keep the scores level by half-time, as St Kilda were poised to kick away in the first and second quarters with bursts.

That position was reversed in the third term, when the Dockers led by seven points, but St Kilda finished the quarter stronger and dominated from there on.

Harvey said Sunday night's result, along with the round-three win over reigning premier Geelong - was evidence the Dockers were doing things right.

But where St Kilda successfully covered the absence of the injured Nick Riewoldt and suspended Justin Koschitzke through Brendon Goddard and Stephen Milne (five goals each), Harvey rued a lack of impact from Fremantle's smaller forwards.

Matthew Pavlich was the Dockers' only dangerous forward and did well from limited opportunities, as he booted five goals from 10 kicks roaming across the forward line.

Harvey was also buoyed by Fremantle's improving results on the road.

The Dockers host winless Richmond at Subiaco Oval on Anzac Day.

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