Dockers' finals chances take a pounding - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers' finals chances take a pounding

By Justin Chadwick 13/08/2011 08:54:37 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey concedes his team have little choice but to rely on other results going their way in order to scrape into the AFL finals this year.

Harvey criticised his team's lack of intent following their 30-point loss to Carlton at Patersons Stadium on Saturday, in which Blues small forward Eddie Betts booted six goals and Chris Judd further enhanced his Brownlow medal chances with 34 possessions, eight clearances and a goal.

Fremantle's fourth loss on the trot will leave them at least two points adrift of eighth spot by the end of the round, with tough games against North Melbourne (away), Collingwood (home) and the Western Bulldogs (away) to round out the season.

The Dockers desperately need teams such as Essendon, Sydney and North Melbourne to fall flat over the final few rounds, but Harvey seemed more despondent than optimistic when asked about his team's finals chances.

"I guess you watch the games (involving other sides around the top eight) a little bit closer and perhaps sometimes you might be barracking," Harvey said.

"We have to make our own luck in three games and we've got to win two of them, and that mightn't be enough.

"(We) must win next week."

Carlton coach Brett Ratten praised his group's cohesive nature after the 16.19 (115) to 12.13 (85) win, which ensured the Blues remained in fourth spot for at least another week.

But with tricky assignments against Hawthorn and St Kilda to come either side of a bye, the Blues could be knocked out of fourth spot by in-form West Coast by season's end.

Third-placed Hawthorn posted a stunning 165-point win over hapless Port Adelaide on Saturday but Ratten said he wasn't fazed by that result ahead of Friday night's top-four blockbuster against the Hawks at Etihad Stadium.

"I didn't hear that other score (involving Hawthorn) but I'm not worried about that," Ratten said after the match.

"We're not worried about what West Coast do (either), they can do what they want.

"We can only control what we can control and that's probably been our motto this year."

Judd and Betts were sensational against Fremantle but the Blues boasted plenty of other winners across the ground, with Marc Murphy (31 disposals), Bryce Gibbs (29), Mitch Robinson (29), Chris Yarran and tagger Dennis Armfield all making strong contributions.

"I thought the assistance and probably even the communication at ground level was very good," Ratten said.

"Players were really assertive to each other to make sure that we got things in place."

Harvey said not only was his team outclassed, but the intent wasn't at an adequate level in the early stages.

The Blues led by 57 points late in the match before taking their foot off the pedal.

But Carlton will sweat on the availability of utility Brett Thornton, who was taken to hospital after copping an accidental fist to his face in a marking contest, which caused immediate swelling underneath his left eye.

Returning Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands, playing his first game in six weeks and wearing basketball-style boots to protect his troublesome big left toe, tallied 15 possessions, 24 hit-outs and two goals but lacked his usual ground coverage.

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