Give Sandilands a fair go: Harvey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Give Sandilands a fair go: Harvey

Justin Chadwick 30/03/2011 06:18:20 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey has again called on AFL umpires to better protect ruckman Aaron Sandilands, claiming the 211cm giant is often illegally impeded at ruck contests.

Several times last year Harvey questioned the legality of tactics used by rival clubs to curb Sandilands, with the 28-year-old often held down by the opposing ruckmen to allow a third player to come over the top and win the tap.

Harvey, who will come up against his former assistant Chris Scott in Saturday night's home clash with Geelong, urged the umpires to closely monitor the ruck situation.

"Look, the interesting part about the ruckmen now ... is that the umpires have got to recognise whether the ruckman is being held down," Harvey said on Wednesday.

"We'll be watching that closely.

"I mean I'm not taking the mindset of how they umpire Aaron, but there's a lot of tactics that the opposition use against him and we're fully aware of it, but he manages to overcome a lot of them.

"... I hope the umpires are watching."

Harvey said his team were desperate to atone for last year's 69-point semi-final loss to Geelong.

"We haven't forgotten the final last year ... that's in our memory," Harvey said.

"You know, we got put out of a finals series and a lot of effort had gone under the bridge throughout the season to get to that point and we would have liked to have put up a better performance than what we did."

Scott, who served three years as an assistant coach at Fremantle before taking the helm at Geelong late last year, was quick to praise the Dockers' set-up earlier this week.

Harvey returned the favour on Wednesday, saying Geelong still deserved to be regarded as a genuine premiership threat despite boasting an ageing squad and losing star midfielder Gary Ablett to Gold Coast.

"Absolutely, they've got 19 premiership players still on their team and they're developing some young players in and around the team for when that transition happens," Harvey said.

"They've got some good young players coming along, they're right at the forefront of the top four."

But Harvey dismissed suggestions Scott's inside knowledge of the Dockers would greatly benefit the Cats on Saturday.

"Yes he has some more in-depth opposition knowledge than he normally would have but that doesn't mean a hell of a lot really," Harvey said.

"... We've changed a few things since Scotty's gone there so we'll wait and see."

Geelong are set to regain the services of skipper Cameron Ling, Paul Chapman and Tom Podsiadly from injury, but Joel Selwood remains in great doubt after copping a heavy blow to the head in last week's one-point win over St Kilda.

Dockers forward Matt de Boer could return after shaking off a minor hamstring complaint, but defender Alex Silvagni is still at least a week away from resuming after last week's brief stay in hospital due to a stomach virus.

"He's lost a couple of kilos and lacks energy at the moment," Harvey said.

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