Jeremy Sharp celebrates a goal during Fremantle's clash against Richmond in round eight, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

FREMANTLE has made the most of its second trip to Victoria for the year, brushing off a spirited Richmond outfit to post a 54-point victory.

As players shielded their eyes from the Sunday afternoon sun, Fremantle enjoyed a seven-goal final quarter to ultimately win 15.13 (103) to 6.13 (49) on the MCG.

TIGERS v DOCKERS Full match coverage and stats

In a physical contest, emotions boiled over in the dying minutes, resulting in a melee deep in Fremantle's attack initially between Nat Fyfe and Nathan Broad, and resulting in a Jye Amiss goal.

A career-high four-goal haul from Josh Treacy led the way for the Dockers up forward, while young midfield duo Hayden Young (30 disposals, two goals) and Caleb Serong (38 disposals, 601 metres gained) set the game alight.

It took 10 minutes for Fremantle to break through for its opening goal, finding it difficult to navigate Richmond's defensive structures early. The Tigers were somewhat willing to concede marks outside the Dockers' forward 50 arc with the aim of shutting down higher percentage opportunities closer to goal.

The class of Amiss (two goals, 12 disposals), however, forced some cracks in that established defensive unit, before Treacy and Michael Frederick (15 disposals, six score involvements) warmed into the game.


Fremantle was willing to be patient in order to establish control, opting to use short kicks coming out of defence and repeatedly switching across the width of the ground to keep Richmond's defence on its toes. As a result, the Dockers finished with 130 marks compared to the Tigers' 97.

At times it was a strategy that worked well, but in other moments the visitors found it hard to break out of that slow, stagnant movement and simply trapped themselves deep in defence.


In an effort to get the ball moving faster in the second quarter, some sloppy ball use began to rear its head for the Dockers. Unfortunately for Richmond, however, it couldn't punish on the turnover, torching the ball when kicking inside 50 and recording just four behinds from six forward entries for the term.

Luke Ryan was impenetrable for Fremantle, taking 15 marks and registering a career-high 39 disposals in defence.


Returning from a calf injury, Jayden Short (28 disposals, eight marks) picked up right where he left off, attempting to rally his side, while Nick Vlastuin's intercepting ability shone through once again with nine for the game.

After kicking the opening goal of the game via Mykelti Lefau (two goals, eight disposals), it took the Tigers until the five-minute mark of the third term to register their second. Hugo Ralphsmith, working hard into attack from his wing position, took a strong mark and, importantly, went back and slotted the much-needed major.

It spurred a strong patch from Richmond, able to trap the ball in its front half with a high press and kick another within two minutes by way of Tyler Sonsie. In the end, however, it simply wasn't enough to genuinely threaten the Dockers on the scoreboard.

Hayden Young has arrived
Initially landing at Fremantle for the 2020 season as a rebounding defender with a piercing left boot, Young's move to become a permanent midfielder this year has been a revelation for the club. While his size offers a point of difference to fellow onballers Andrew Brayshaw and Caleb Serong, Young's ability to transition from an in-and-under role at the contest, to a running outside option is damaging, and it was well and truly on show against Richmond on Sunday. After gathering 12 disposals and four clearances in the opening quarter, he finished the game with 30 disposals, eight clearances, and 11 score involvements to go with two last-quarter goals in a best-on-ground performance.


The easiest of goals
After the half-time siren, Docker Sean Darcy became the first multiple goalkicker of the game in unusual circumstances. With a stoppage on the paint of Fremantle's attacking 50 on the eve of the break, Darcy was paid a free kick for being held as he contested the ball up milliseconds before the siren sounded. Tiger Thomson Dow, on hearing the siren, dropped the footy instead of giving it to Darcy, leading the umpires to call a 50m penalty and walk Darcy to the goalsquare, all in front of an irate Richmond-heavy crowd.


Nat the sub
Fremantle opted to make two-time Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe the sub for the match, causing many an eyebrow to raise. But the decision is in keeping with the club's sub choices throughout the season, with fellow experienced midfielder Jaeger O'Meara having started three games as the sub already this season. It was a way for the Dockers to manage Fyfe through the coming week, where they now face a five-day break before taking on the ladder-leading Sydney on Friday night.


RICHMOND           1.3     1.7     4.11       6.13 (49)  
FREMANTLE          3.4     6.8     8.11     15.13 (103)  

Richmond: Lefau 2, Sonsie, Ralphsmith, McIntosh, Mansell
Treacy 4, Young 2, Darcy 2, Amiss 2, Walters, Sharp, Johnson, Frederick, Banfield

Richmond: Baker, Short, D.Rioli, Martin, Vlastuin
Young, Ryan, Serong, Brayshaw, Clark, Treacy

Richmond: Nil
Darcy (tight calf)

Richmond: Kamdyn McIntosh (replaced Sam Naismith in the third quarter)
Nat Fyfe (replaced Sean Darcy in the third quarter)

Crowd: 32,252 at the MCG