The West

Stop relying on big guns, Lyon tells Dockers
Matthew Pavlich was in inspiring form yesterday. Pic: AFL Media

Coach Ross Lyon has challenged Fremantle to "step up" amid the perception that the Dockers are all about Matthew Pavlich after they shook off the Western Bulldogs at Patersons Stadium yesterday.

Lifted by Pavlich's six goals, Fremantle overcame an ugly first half to kick 10 second-half goals and win 14.11 (95) to 8.9 (57), putting them within percentage of eighth spot on the ladder.

In the next three weeks, the Dockers have winnable games against Melbourne, Greater Western Sydney and Port Adelaide.

But Lyon stressed Fremantle's results had to be more about team effort and less about starring roles, urging his players to commit to the disciplines of a game plan for a full four quarters.

"I don't want it to be Matthew Pavlich, Luke McPharlin. We know what Matthew is going to deliver when we can supply him with quality ball," he said.

"Matthew, myself and the club want to get beyond Matthew. Hill, Fyfe, Lower, Ibbotson, Mundy. We want more bona-fide players at the level to deliver.

"We have a lot of 40 to 50-game players who have to start playing with a hard, consistent edge and attitude. And a hard discipline to what we want because when we get what we want and they play with a hard edge, we're a pretty good team.

"When we decide to go down a path that we are not all committed to and not disciplined to - someone doesn't centre the ball when they should, someone doesn't punch when they should - we become a mediocre AFL team."

The Dockers kicked just four goals to half-time and led by just three points after one of the ugliest halves of football at Patersons Stadium this year, as both teams placed heavy numbers around the ball and general play became one rolling scrum after another.

Fremantle then split the game open with a six-goal third term, Pavlich kicking three of them and Chris Mayne, who finished with four, also hitting the scoreboard.

"I was really frustrated, like the players were, at half-time. We all saw the stark difference between the second and third quarter," Lyon said. "That is what we are after, more of the third. There was a distinct difference.

"The second quarter, a bit of that old problem, the clearances. It was really congested. You could throw a blanket on it. It was all dirty ball. It made for a scrappy game.

"More importantly discipline. Mick Malthouse spoke about it in his article (in _The Weekend West) _about how we handball too much.

"We have recognised that and we are trying to fix it. It is going to take a bit more work on the track.

"It was really ineffective and it would have been really frustrating for forwards."

Tendai Mzungu, Matt de Boer and Clancee Pearce were willing midfield workers. Hayden Ballantyne provided some zip and Ryan Crowley shut down Bulldogs danger man Ryan Griffen.

Lyon praised veteran Antoni Grover who was substituted after a heavy mid-air collision in the third term and hoped he would be available next week.

Defender Zac Dawson was also a chance to return after five weeks out with a knee problem.

Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney said the game got away from them in the third term on the back of three quick Fremantle goals but he was happy with the effort.

"I don't regard this was a bad loss. I don't buy the theory that this is a good loss, either," he said.

"We learnt an enormous amount today and got a lot done."

The West Australian

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