Lyon backs Pav for Roos
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon is confident Matthew Pavlich will be available for next Sunday’s crunch game against North Melbourne, despite the skipper battling a long list of niggling injuries.
Pavlich held his lead in the Coleman Medal with three goals in Saturday’s 22-point win over Richmond, but he received treatment throughout the match for groin, hamstring and Achilles tendon complaints.
The star goalkicker also appeared to suffer a corked calf in a marking contest midway though the first quarter but played out the match, helping drive Fremantle back into the top eight for the first time since round eight.
Lyon said Pavlich had been in doubt for Saturday’s match all week after experiencing hamstring and Achilles tendon tightness following last Saturday’s loss to Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.
“It’s a credit to Matthew; he finds a way. He didn’t train all week,” Lyon said.
“We didn’t think he would play.
“We had specialists come in and work with Matthew. The sports science division and medical team just find a way to get players up.
“We’re pretty confident he’ll play (against North Melbourne) … he looked quite dangerous.”
Lyon said Aaron Sandilands was on standby to play on Saturday if Pavlich pulled out. The star ruckman ended up replacing Jon Griffin, who tweaked a groin in the final on-ground warm-up.
Nat Fyfe also suffered a minor ankle complaint in the last quarter, while Tendai Mzungu nursed a shoulder injury.
“Everyone was extremely tired because I thought our effort was immense today,” Lyon said.
“I thought it was a really commanding performance that we should get a lot of confidence out of.
“The scoreboard was five goals, but it really felt like most of the day it should have been more.
“They publicly said they wanted to derail us, so it’s good to have a powerful response to a public challenge.”
Fremantle needs to win its next two games, against North Melbourne and Melbourne, to guarantee a finals berth following Carlton’s percentage-boosting win over Essendon.
The Blues face Gold Coast and St Kilda in their run home.
“I’ve seen Carlton are winning and winning well and they look like they’ll win their last two,” Lyon said.
“Do the Saints shut up shop now and rest Nick (Riewoldt)? Do they start playing their kids and tap out some of the pros?
“Who knows what they do, but it doesn’t interest me. We can only control ourselves and we’ve got our destiny in our own hands.
“We’ve got two games of footy and the next important one is against North Melbourne. You’ve got to earn the right to play finals, so let’s all get it on.”