Fremantle midfielder David Mundy has labelled the club’s stunning 53-point win against North Melbourne yesterday as "a big tick" because it was achieved without skipper Matthew Pavlich.
It was just the second time the Dockers have won a game outside of Perth without Pavlich since the champion forward made his debut for the club in 2000.
Mundy, who was unsure if Pavlich would recover from groin and Achilles tendon soreness in time to face Melbourne next weekend, said the whole team, and not just the patched up forward line, had stood up in Pavlich’s absence.
"He was a question mark all week so the boys really mentally prepared going in that he might not play and I think it was a really strong response, especially early when the heat was in the game and North really come out firing," he said.
"The whole team worked really well yesterday, not just the forwards. We got it in there and we kept it in there and applied a lot of pressure. That was the most pleasing aspect."
Mundy said it was "a good feeling" to have secured a finals berth with a week still left in the home and away season but the club could look no further than the Melbourne game.
"Mentally it is a good feeling. Physically I am battered and bruised and buggered from yesterday," he said. "To lock the finals away is a great result but we are not looking too far ahead. We have got Melbourne next week and it is another important game. We will be focusing on Melbourne really heavily this week."
The Dockers could still snatch a home final if they thrash the demons and Geelong loses to Sydney but Mundy said Carlton’s loss to Gold Coast at the weekend was a savage reminder of what happens when clubs get distracted from the task at hand.
"If you look too far ahead or you take too many factors like that into it you can lose focus," he said. "You only have to look as far as the weekend with Carlton going down to the Suns. We don’t want something like that on the eve of the finals. We are looking for another really strong performance at the weekend we will go from there."