Silvagni in line to tame Hawks' Franklin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Silvagni in line to tame Hawks' Franklin

By Justin Chadwick 25/07/2011 08:28:37 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle veteran Adam McPhee has backed Alex Silvagni to tame Hawthorn's Lance Franklin in Saturday night's crunch AFL clash at Patersons Stadium.

Silvagni is set to get the daunting task of manning Franklin after Luke McPharlin was offered a one-game ban by the AFL's match review panel for his forearm to the head of West Coast's Josh Kennedy, robbing the Dockers of their best defender.

Silvagni missed the first 13 rounds of the season through injury but made an immediate impact on his return, blanketing Brisbane skipper Jonathan Brown in the Dockers' round-14 victory in Perth.

Franklin has firmed as the favourite to win this year's Coleman medal and has 51 goals for the season but McPhee said Silvagni boasted the defensive weapons to quell the Hawthorn superstar.

"He only played half a game before he came into the senior ranks and stepped up and played on Jonathan Brown, so I'm pretty confident that he can play on Lance Franklin if that had to happen," McPhee said on Monday.

Fremantle ruckman Jonathon Griffin remains in doubt to take on the Hawks after picking up a hip injury in Sunday's one-point loss to the Eagles.

But Dockers coach Mark Harvey said even if Griffin was ruled out, Aaron Sandilands (toe) wouldn't necessarily be rushed back.

"(Griffin's injury) won't force our hand as to whether we play him (Sandilands) or not earlier. We'll just make sure he's right," Harvey said.

McPhee, who started his career with the Dockers before spending the next seven years at Essendon, returned to Fremantle last year and will notch game 200 against the Hawks.

The 28-year-old said he had been proud of the way he had fought through several form slumps in his career.

"There's a lot of ups and downs in football but the best challenge I've had is being able to get through them mentally," he said.

"It's great when you're playing your best football but, when you're not playing your best football, that's when it presents the times of hardship and really tests your mental capacity."

Meanwhile, Harvey is confident Michael Barlow will be able to play out the rest of the AFL season without disruption after the midfielder made it through the western derby unscathed.

Barlow's return from a broken leg last month lasted just one game before the 23-year-old was forced to the sidelines for the next three weeks due to soreness.

The former rookie made his second return as a sub against Sydney in round 17 before playing a full game against the Eagles, tallying an equal game-high 26 possessions to suggest he was back near his best.

"I don't see any reason why he mightn't come up. I'd envisage he'd play the rest of the year," Harvey said.

"I thought he was starting to show some real signs of getting back to his best (against the Eagles).

"His courage in the way he's gone about (his recovery) and (what he is) starting to do is on display.

"Generally, everyone within the footy club is excited about him getting back to his best."

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