We will play to our strengths: Mayne

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Footy Finals 2015 - Bryce Luff

PERTH FRE­MAN­TLE could add ex­tra height to their for­ward line for Fri­day night’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal clash, should the weather re­main clear.

Dock­ers tack­ling ma­chine Chris Mayne, who will play his 150th game this week­end, said wind and the threat of rain led the Dock­ers to favour a smaller for­ward line in their nine-point qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal win against Syd­ney.

The move left most of the lead-up work to skip­per Matthew Pavlich, with back-up ruck­man Zac Clarke also spend­ing time for­ward and boot­ing one goal.

Michael Wal­ters and Hay­den Bal­lan­tyne were highly in­flu­en­tial with three goals each in their re­turn to the side, with the lat­ter also set­ting up Clarke for an easy tap-in.

But the Dock­ers did ap­pear in need of another op­tion to aid Pavlich, par­tic­u­larly when Syd­ney’s de­fence be­gan to get on top and move the ball ag­gres­sively. “I back the coaches in,” Mayne said. “I think on the week­end (against Syd­ney) they said it was go­ing to rain and we went with that con­cept.

“We’ve got some ter­rific talls ready to go – Alex Pearce, Matt Taberner – but hav­ing Bal­las (Bal­lan­tyne) back was ter­rific. He didn’t miss a beat.”

De­spite fin­ish­ing the home and away sea­son in pole po­si­tion and record­ing a week one fi­nals win, pun­dits re­main un­con­vinced the Dock­ers have what it takes to claim the premier­ship tro­phy.

Most of the ar­gu­ments have cen­tred on Fre­man­tle’s at­tack­ing prow­ess, with the side av­er­ag­ing 84 points a game for the year.

But with a de­fence that has let in, on av­er­age, just 71 points per game this sea­son, Mayne said he was con­fi­dent the Dock­ers could get the job done.

“We’re good at stop­ping sides and we’re do­ing enough to get over the line,” he said.

Pic­tures: An­drew Ritchie

www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d443578

Ac­tion from Fre­man­tle’s re­cent qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal win over Syd­ney.

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