We need continuity: Harvey
Fremantle coach Mark Harvey has demanded more consistency from his team after overcoming a patchy performance against Gold Coast to take back-to-back wins into a much-needed bye.
The Suns gave Fremantle a significant scare in the first half at Patersons Stadium on Saturday, leading narrowly at the first two changes before the home side kicked nine of the game’s last 10 goals to win by 50 points.
Harvey said his players showed poor intent in the first half and they were flattered by the final scoreline, but improvement will come as the 8-6 side embarks on a tough run home after the bye.
“We’ve had some indifferent performances over the last two months [and] we want more continuity in what we’re doing,” Harvey said after the match.
“In time we’re going to get better. Some of the guys have just been re-introduced into the team and sometimes that will have an effect in some way, shape or form.
“But I fully understand there were 50m penalties, and some poor tackling, some poor intent and giving them too many chances.
“That’s where we need to improve and in time hopefully we can sustain and make sure that’s not an issue.”
Fremantle is missing key clearance players David Mundy and ruckman Aaron Sandilands, but the team will be boosted by the return of Adam McPhee, Nick Suban and Michael Barlow after the break.
The tide appears to be turning for the injury-hit club, with goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne and utility Tendai Mzungu returning against the Suns to kick three goals each in the second half.
Significantly, for the first time in more than a month, there were no fresh injuries to come out of the match.
Captain Matthew Pavlich played his 250th game on Saturday, kicking three goals and winning 25 possessions in a solid performance.
Harvey said he used the champion skipper’s milestone to lift his side at half-time and the 29-year-old was still developing as a leader.
“Pav’s got a unique ability to be able to kick the goal when you need him to, create the decision that no one else sees [and] to be in the right spot at the right time,” the coach said.
“But I said, ‘the most important thing Pav, from a team aspect, is the way that you embrace your teammates when they’ve done something well and when you put your fist in the air on the back of not only what you’ve done, but what the team’s done’.
“Great leaders have that aura about them and I think he’s really starting to develop in that area and he’s really lifted over the last couple of weeks.
“He has to aspire to make sure that in the end it’s not recognised just as the amount of games that he played.”