Dominant derby one of Pavlich s best
Matthew Pavlich and Paul Duffield celebrate another Fremantle Dockers goal. Picture: Lincoln Baker / The West Australian.

Defender Paul Duffield says yesterday’s eight-goal performance by Matthew Pavlich is up there in terms of the best game the Fremantle captain has ever played.

Pavlich dominated his direct opponent Eric Mackenzie to outscore West Coast off his own boot in the Dockers crushing 65-point western derby win at Patersons Stadium.

The 30-year-old booted four goals in each half, with several moments underlining his class.

His clutch goal from 50m out on the stroke of half time extended Fremantle’s lead out to beyond five goals and was the beginning of the end for the Eagles.

He later soared over Luke Shuey, Ryan Crowley and Beau Waters to take a spectacular contested mark two minutes into the final quarter.

Pavlich coolly converted from the grab for his eighth goal to finish the round as the outright leader in the Coleman Medal race with 55 majors for the season.

It was just the fourth time in his 274-game career the six-time Doig medallist has booted eight or more goals in a single game.

“Eight goals is a big effort,” Duffield said.

“He was really dominant all day, but he’s last six to eight weeks have been fantastic.

“When the captain of your football club is playing that well, it’s a great thing for everyone else... hopefully he can continue that form for the rest of the year.”

The Dockers have now won five matches in succession heading into a tough road trip to face Adelaide at AAMI Stadium this Saturday.

Duffield said it seemed the playing group was finally coming to grips with coach Ross Lyon’s game plan.

“I thought we started the year pretty well, all things considered, and then fell away a little bit in the middle there,” Duffield said.

“We’ve sort of found our groove again.

“Certainly the last four to five weeks have been much closer to how we want to play consistently.”

The West Australian

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