Harvey takes pot shot at Ratten - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Harvey takes pot shot at Ratten

By Justin Chadwick and Greg Buckle 25/08/2010 05:50:01 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey has accused Carlton counterpart Brett Ratten of inflaming tensions between the two AFL clubs ahead of Friday night's blockbuster at Subiaco Oval.

Harvey was left fuming after Ratten questioned the Dockers' wisdom of resting seven players, including skipper Matthew Pavlich, in last week's 116-point loss to Hawthorn in Tasmania.

Ratten said the Dockers had taken a big risk in resting so many players at once but Harvey defended his decision and effectively told Ratten to mind his own business.

"Well perhaps he should pick our side," Harvey said sarcastically when asked about Ratten's comments.

"They underestimated us last time we played them (when Fremantle won by nine points) and it looks like they're doing that again.

"If he wants to inflame the game ... bring it on, we'll find out."

Carlton midfielder Shaun Grigg tried to hose down tensions by saying what the Dockers do with their selections is up to them.

But the message failed to reach Harvey before his outburst.

"All I know is I just saw Luke Hodge get up and speak on Monday night ... and he said 'they rested me in round 21 before the 2008 finals series and it was the best thing they could have done for me'," Harvey said.

"Whether the guys have missed a week or three weeks, it doesn't matter.

"... the guys who didn't play last week, they could actually play better."

Harvey confirmed Pavlich, David Mundy, Anthony Morabito, Nat Fyfe, Adam McPhee, Stephen Hill and Roger Hayden would all return against the Blues, while ruckman Aaron Sandilands is also a certainty to come back from a foot injury.

Hayden Ballantyne, Chris Mayne, Paul Hasleby, Ryan Crowley, Alex Silvagni and Des Headland are also pushing their cases for a return after recent injuries.

When Fremantle beat Carlton at Etihad Stadium in round 13, the Blues were upset by McPhee's niggling tagging tactics against Chris Judd.

But Harvey hinted the Dockers also had the right to feel aggrieved after that match, with Judd's elbow to the head of Pavlich just one incident that went unpunished.

"Just make sure that we're watching everything - Sandilands, Pavlich, Hill, etc, those guys," Harvey said in an attempt to ensure protection for his players.

Harvey hoped his war of words with Ratten wouldn't overshadow the game.

Fremantle will secure a home final if they beat the Blues, while Carlton must beat the Dockers and rely on Collingwood to beat Hawthorn to lock in a top-six berth.

"The build-up to the week should be positive, building the game up, not necessarily dwelling on the politics of the game," Harvey said.

"That's how I see it because this is a final before the finals."

And while Harvey was clearly peeved at Ratten's comments, he was still in a mood to unleash his token joke of the week.

"The one thing I am concerned about is that they have sent over their forward scout earlier ... I'm concerned about that. (Former Blues president) John Elliott is in town," Harvey said.

"I believe part of his dossier is to forward scout, so I'll be looking for him tonight at our training session."

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