Dockers not fazed by Eagles forwards - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers not fazed by Eagles forwards

Justin Chadwick 18/07/2011 04:50:53 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle veteran Antoni Grover claims West Coast's vaunted AFL forward set-up doesn't faze him one bit, saying it's easier to match up on talls rather than smalls.

West Coast's relentless pressure, especially in their forward 50m, has been a key to their success this year, helping transform last year's wooden spooners into a genuine top-four threat.

The Eagles are likely to rotate tall targets Quinten Lynch, Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling, Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui through their forward line in Sunday's western derby at Patersons Stadium.

Grover backed Fremantle's back six to cope with the heavy workload, saying the excellent form of Luke McPharlin and the recent return of Alex Silvagni gave the team confidence they could get the job done and reverse their 33-point loss to the Eagles back in round eight.

"I'd rather play on a taller forward line than a smaller one," Grover said on Monday.

"I think the main aspect of our defence is that we're a very competitive group.

"It doesn't matter who we come up against, we're going to give it our best shot.

"(McPharlin's) been terrific.

"In my personal opinion he's in All-Australian form. It gives me great confidence going out standing side by side with him and I know the other defenders think the same.

"Silvagni's back in the side now and he's been terrific since he got back."

Grover said it was imperative for the Dockers' back six to remain cool under pressure if they were to negotiate their way through West Coast's disciplined forward press.

"Skills under pressure will be the key. Having the options ... so getting the right structure where you have the options to dispose of the ball," Grover said.

"Their pressure skills are at the top echelon."

Fremantle's gritty 11-point win over Sydney on Sunday lifted the Dockers into sixth on the table, momentarily out of reach of chasing teams such as St Kilda, Melbourne, North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.

But with Fremantle facing arguably the toughest run home in the competition, Grover said a win against West Coast would prove invaluable to their finals hopes.

"It's very important," Grover said of the derby result.

"You just have to look at the bit of a logjam that's in and around us. We're going to have to make sure we make every post a winner."

Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands is rated a 50-50 chance to return from a toe injury against the Eagles, but defender Roger Hayden remains in doubt after suffering a leg injury against the Swans.

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