Fremantle giant Aaron Sandilands says kicking goals and making an impact as key forwards when they were resting was the key to he and fellow ruckman Jon Griffin being able to play in the same team together.
The pair played just their third game as a ruck team against Melbourne on Saturday night, and got a cautious tick of approval from coach Ross Lyon afterwards. Lyon has previously been reluctant to play the big pair together, preferring to add the variety that a Zac Clarke or Kepler Bradley could give in attack.
Significantly, both Sandilands and Griffin kicked two goals against the Demons, a stats that gives Sandilands the confidence that the ruck combination could work if Lyon chooses the same path at selection for Saturday night’s elimination final battle against Geelong.
"It was great to play with Griff again on the weekend and I thought we worked pretty well together," he said.
"If we are both in the same side together we have both got to be able to play up forward and both have an impact up there. It was great that we both kicked a couple on the weekend and played our role for the team."
Sandilands denied being stung by criticism of his own play when he missed 10 weeks with another turf toe injury. He said he hadn’t seen news and opinion pieces which claimed that Fremantle might be a better team with Griffin as lead ruckman and him out of the side.
"When I was injured it was all about doing the rehab and being fit and ready to go once I was right to go again," he said. "Griff did a great job when I was out."
"It is really good to get the three game sunder the belt before the finals. The body is feeling really good at the moment."
Sandilands said the Dockers had enjoyed a good preparation so far in the lead up to the game against the Cats.
"It has been good so far. We have our main session tomorrow before we fly. Everything is going really well.
"It is great to be still in the hunt, still alive. We know we have got a massive game coming up on Saturday but it is all about getting through training tomorrow."