FREMANTLE remains in the finals hunt after using captain Nat Fyfe's 200th match to notch the biggest win of its season, controlling Hawthorn in Tasmania to win by 62 points.
The Dockers moved into seventh spot ahead of Richmond, Great Western Sydney and West Coast's respective clashes, winning every quarter and kicking away from the Hawks to win 16.12 (108) to 6.10 (46).
The boost in percentage against the disappointing Hawks, who were playing their first match since the announcement of the coaching handover from Alastair Clarkson to Sam Mitchell, puts the Dockers in the thick of the top-eight fight.
The 62-point margin fell just short of the team's biggest win under coach Justin Longmuir (64 points against North Melbourne in 2020) and was the club's biggest win against Hawthorn.
Fyfe was superb in his milestone game, finishing with 31 disposals and five inside 50s, capping his performance off with a set shot goal in the final term and a high-flying mark.
The dual Brownlow medallist led a young midfield that won the contested ball battle convincingly (152-127), giving their team a 59-41 advantage in inside 50s and allowing key forward Rory Lobb to star with four goals.
Young onballer Caleb Serong was released from his recent tagging duties and was among the best afield with 30 disposals, 10 clearances and eight inside 50s, using the ball with precision and creativity.
Veteran David Mundy (30 and two goals) continued his excellent season, while ruckman Sean Darcy (25 and five clearances) beat the Hawks' two-pronged ruck attack with 27 hit-outs, also drifting back to help the Dockers' defence and taking six contested marks.
HAWKS v DOCKERS Full match coverage and stats
Forward Bailey Banfield played his first game this season after a frustrating battle with ankle injuries, kicking three goals in an eye-catching performance from the free agent.
There was a period of inaccuracy for the Dockers when they booted 1.5 during a dominant third quarter, but they added two late goals and then piled on 5.0 in the final term to finish with more goals than behinds for just the fourth time this season.
The 17th-placed Hawks were best served by defender Changkuoth Jiath before the flying defender left the ground with a knee injury, while midfielder Tom Mitchell (39 and seven clearances) was prolific.
The midfield was beaten convincingly, however, with Jaeger O'Meara (14) and James Worpel (18) both well below their best against the young and even Dockers.
Fyfe's first-quarter flyer
The milestone man was instrumental in the Dockers' hot start, starting in the first centre bounce alongside David Mundy and Adam Cerra and playing largely as a midfielder to set up a 23-point lead at the first break. The champion Docker had 13 disposals and four inside 50s in the first term, getting plenty of the ball in space and setting up Rory Lobb with a pin-point inside 50. The Hawks sent James Worpel to him in a tagging role, which Fyfe was able to fight through, drifting forward when needed.
Hawks' CJ concerns
Hawthorn's best performer for three quarters was flying defender Changkuoth Jiath, but he went down with a knee injury late in the third term and did not return. His intercept marking was crucial to the Hawks hanging in the game early, finishing the match with 18 disposals and six rebound 50s. Jiath had strapping on his right knee and the Hawks will sweat on his fitness, having also lost Jack Scrimshaw to a suspected concussion earlier in the match and defender Blake Hardwick pre-game to a hamstring injury.
Freo stars' reason to smile
Two goals that would have meant plenty to Fremantle were Fyfe's set shot in the final term, and Michael Walters' 50m effort a minute later. Fyfe's inaccuracy this season has been a constant concern, but the smiling superstar was steady in popping through his first major since round 11 and was swamped by teammates. In the next foray forward, Sam Switkowski gave the ball off to Walters, who converted from 50m to cap off an improved performance, playing up the ground and winning 21 disposals and five inside 50s. It was a timely boost for the All Australian, who has faced criticism for his lack of impact in a new forward role.
HAWTHORN 2.0 4.5 5.7 6.10 (46)
FREMANTLE 5.5 8.7 11.12 16.12 (108)
Hawthorn: Jeka 2, Koschitzke 2, Moore, Worpel
Fremantle: Lobb 4, Banfield 3, Mundy 2, Switkowski 2, Treacy 2, Acres, Fyfe, Walters
Hawthorn: Mitchell, Jiath, Bramble, Koschitzke
Fremantle: Darcy, Serong, Fyfe, Mundy, Lobb, Banfield, Brayshaw
Hawthorn: Scrimshaw (neck), Jiath (knee)
Hawthorn: Oliver Hanrahan (replaced Jack Scrimshaw)
Fremantle: Connor Blakely (unused)
Crowd: 9,111 at University of Tasmania Stadium