McPharlin puts hand up for Riewoldt gig - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

McPharlin puts hand up for Riewoldt gig

Justin Chadwick 01/08/2011 07:13:29 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle defender Luke McPharlin will attempt to make up for lost time by blanketing St Kilda danger man Nick Riewoldt in Friday night's AFL blockbuster at Etihad Stadium.

McPharlin said he felt partly responsible for last week's miserable 51-point loss to Hawthorn after being ruled out of the game through suspension, leaving the already-fragile Dockers without their best defender.

The 29-year-old copped a one-match ban for striking West Coast's Josh Kennedy in round 18, just a week after racking up demerit points for his high bump on Sydney's Craig Bird.

McPharlin said he felt bad for being rubbed out and was desperate to make amends by limiting the influence of Riewoldt, who ironically will also return from a one-match suspension.

"It was my first game I've missed with suspension so it was very difficult to sit back and know that I was fully fit and ready to go and unable to contribute on the field," McPharlin said on Monday.

"You do feel 'I'm one of the team, I'm one of the 22 normally every week' and to not contribute on the weekend was pretty hard to swallow.

"I've played on Riewoldt a number of times over the years. I hope to get that challenge ... I hope to get given that job. He's a super challenge and I look forward to it if I get it."

McPharlin was adamant his two recent brushes with the tribunal were no more than a coincidence.

"I've had a clean record for most of my career and I think it was just one of those unfortunate things where, a couple of weeks in a row, I did catch the eye of the tribunal," McPharlin said.

"Unfortunately, the two incidents together meant I needed to miss a game."

Fremantle will again be without ruckman Aaron Sandilands and midfielder David Mundy, while utility Matt de Boer has been ruled out for eight weeks due to a knee injury.

But the Dockers received a dose of good news over the weekend when Rhys Palmer was cleared of any serious damage to his ankle, with medical officials hopeful he'll only miss one or two weeks.

Ruckman Jonathon Griffin remains in doubt with a hip injury in a match crucial to both Fremantle's and St Kilda's finals hopes.

The Dockers are still clinging to eighth spot on the table, but tough matches against St Kilda (away), Carlton, North Melbourne (away), Collingwood and the Bulldogs (away) will test their mettle.

"I think that we've got to play all the top sides in the next few weeks and that's an enormous challenge and we don't just want to be making up the numbers. We want to prove ourselves against these top sides and prove that we could be a finals contender," McPharlin said.

Fremantle's long list of injuries could pave the way for out-of-favour midfielder Byron Schammer to make his AFL return after a string of scintillating performances in the WAFL.

"He's a terrific fellow and a great competitor. I really hope he gets his opportunity," McPharlin said.

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