Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich has praised the ability of his younger teammates to handle the big stage after yesterday's impressive 19-point win over Hawthorn.

The Dockers put in one of their most complete performances of the season, overcoming early jitters to beat the Hawks for the first time since 2010.

Veterans David Mundy and Pavlich both had a major say in the contest, as did many of the side's stars.

But youngsters Matt Taberner and Hayden Crozier also turned in valuable contributions.

Pavlich, who booted a season-high five goals against the Hawks, said the ability of the club's next tier of talent to lift against the premier sides would hold them in good stead.

"We've played some big games over the past three seasons and we've had a lot of guys step up to the mark," Pavlich said.

"It's pleasing to see a lot of the guys who have matured over the past few seasons being able to do that."

The Dockers have produced some of their best football in the past five quarters against Geelong and Hawthorn, but Pavlich insisted there was still room for improvement.

Fremantle had a string of easy kills in the lead-up to last year's finals, save for the round-23 game against St Kilda when they rested a swag of first-choice players.

This year their final month consists of games against the Cats and Hawks and tussles with Brisbane (away) and Port Adelaide (home).

Pavlich was loath to look beyond Brisbane, but acknowledged the recent tests would help in September. "Clearly, playing two top-four sides in really high-standard games (helps)," he said.

"It was good to see the crowd was loud and the intensity, particularly early, was red hot, so hopefully it puts us in good stead.

"Our form at the back end of last year was pretty good.

"We just play who we've got and the intention is go about it in a pretty uncompromising way."

Pavlich said nerves built as the finals edged closer, but the players knew they couldn't deviate from the process that has worked for them.

"No matter how many times you run out on that field you have some level of anxiety and nerves," he said. "I've done it over 300 times now and you still have that butterfly in the stomach before the game.

"If that wasn't the case, there would be something wrong."

The West Australian

Popular videos

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West