Luck's a charm for Dockers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Luck's a charm for Dockers

Laine Clark 27/03/2011 04:45:56 PM Comments (0)

The portents were good for Fremantle ahead of their AFL season opener against the Brisbane Lions - yet coach Mark Harvey still had his doubts.

"It was interesting. I was walking along the Brisbane River (on Saturday morning) and ran into a statue of Confucius - and it said 'visitors prosper'," Harvey said with a smile.

And indeed they did at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Despite trailing by 17 points in the final term, Fremantle picked up where they left off from 2010's surprise finals tilt to clinch an unlikely two-point win.

Michael Walters' amazing banana kick from the boundary line in the dying minutes sealed the stirring victory against a gallant Lions that finished without Jonathan Brown (facial fractures) and key utility Brent Staker (knee).

Yet Harvey was the first to admit he thought the Dockers looked gone.

"Yeah, particularly when they got about three goals up and I thought time was running out," Harvey said.

"They (Lions) had a lot of momentum and there was a stage when I thought we just weren't clean enough trying to get back into the game.

"The reality is you win games when you shouldn't.

"A lot did not go right for Brisbane - it was the one that we got away with.

"But to their (Fremantle's) credit they hung in there...we showed some character."

The Lions did it tough after Brown, Staker and impressive debutant Claye Beams (ribs/hip) were sidelined to limit the hosts to one man on the interchange.

But Harvey still drew plenty of positives from a side that had a decent injury list of their own.

Indeed the Dockers racked up their second straight Gabba win, after enduring a 15-year drought, despite being without seven first-choice players - Anthony Morabito, Michael Barlow, Garrick Ibbotson, Tendai Mzungu, Matt de Boer, Alex Silvagni and Roger Hayden.

"It was a hard, tough game. That's what happens in the first round - everyone is fresh and ready to go," Harvey said.

"It may not have been the greatest spectacle but it drew everything out of everyone."

Oddly Harvey did not want to wax lyrical about Walters' heroics.

"One of 22 players could have had that shot on goal," he said.

"When you put yourself in that situation you have to finish - someone needed to lift the team.

"He had a quiet night and it was a significant goal.

"It is a big tick to be able to kick a goal under that pressure at that time of the game.

"Sometimes it can be the making of a team but it is what the individual learns from it, and whether he does it again in coming weeks."

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