Dockers ready for physical Hawks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers ready for physical Hawks

By Justin Chadwick 30/08/2010 03:48:36 PM Comments (0)

Anthony Morabito says Fremantle's young guns will be ready to deal with any bullying tactics in Saturday's AFL elimination final against Hawthorn at Subiaco Oval.

The Dockers' band of talented but lightly-framed first and second year players were physically outmatched in a demoralising 82-point loss to the Bulldogs in round 17.

Morabito expects battle-hardened Hawthorn to unleash similar tactics but said Fremantle were now better equipped to deal with it after the Bulldogs pasting.

"This time around we are ready. I think in the Western Bulldogs game they targeted us a bit and we sort of went back into our shells," Morabito said on Monday.

"But now we've got that little bit more experience that we know if they are going to come at us then just go back at them just as hard.

"It was just their older guys, just got into us a bit.

"It sort of put us off.

"It was a game we learnt a lot about ourselves."

The Hawks crushed Fremantle by 116 points two weeks ago but Morabito said little should be read in that match given the Dockers rested seven key players and had a host of others out injured.

"Two weeks ago wasn't really a true indication of where our side's at at this stage of the year," Morabito said.

"For the majority of us we haven't played them yet, so it's like coming up against a new team."

Morabito said last week's six-point victory over Carlton, which secured the Dockers a home final, had given the group a taste of what was to come against Hawthorn.

"Last week for us felt as if we were going in to play our first final, so it's take the edge off of this week," Morabito said.

"It's not as big a deal now.

"But obviously not playing finals since 2006, it's going to be a pretty huge game for us."

Morabito, snared with pick No.4 in last year's national draft, gathered 18 possessions and kicked a goal against the Blues to win the round 22 nomination for the Rising Star award.

The 18-year-old has missed only one game this year - when he was rested against the Hawks - and said the week off had given him a vital boost heading into the finals.

"Our fitness staff know what they're doing so when they told us to have the week off obviously I felt amazing ... I felt the best (I had) all year," he said.

Hawthorn will welcome back midfielder Luke Hodge from a knee complaint, while the Dockers were dealt a blow with the news of Hayden Ballantyne's season-ending foot injury.

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