FREMANTLE'S unbeaten run has continued with a hard-fought 13-point win over the Western Bulldogs, but it has come at a cost with Brownlow Medal fancy Nat Fyfe on report for tripping.

The Dockers' seventh victory didn't come easy, with the plucky Dogs levelling the scores with six minutes to play after trailing by 34 points in the second quarter.

Despite seven goals from Tory Dickson and a cracking performance from captain Bob Murphy, goals to Michael Walters and Matthew Pavlich – a wonderful snap from the skipper – in the last minute sealed the 15.11 (101) to 14.4 (88) win at Etihad Stadium.

Five talking points: Western Bulldogs v Fremantle

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon was pleased with the way his leaders stood up when they needed to but blamed a lack of scoreboard pressure for the predicament they found themselves in after holding a comfortable lead. 

"I thought it was a real good game, it was an up tempo game, a pretty high-tempo game, a high scoring game, lots of entries for us," Lyon said. 

"You're not always going to be at your very, very best.

"I thought our leadership and will to win when we were under more pressure than we probably should have been was really strong."

Click here to watch Ross Lyon's full press conference

But the main storyline of the day rested with Fyfe.

After heading into round seven as the medal favourite with bookmakers and leading the AFLCA champion player of the year voting, Fyfe was reported in the third quarter.

The incident happened in the Dockers' forward pocket when Fyfe fell and took out Koby Stevens' legs as he slid into the Bulldog.

Saving Fyfe from Brownlow ineligibility could be the change in rules this season that means a player must be suspended to be ruled out of contention, with fines handed down for low-level offences.

However, he faces a nervous 24 hours as the Match Review Panel looks at the incident that was reported by umpire Matt Stevic.

Regardless, Fyfe will be a big chance to claim the three votes after a 30-disposal performance.

From the moment he won the first centre clearance of the afternoon, he was always going to prove a handful for the Bulldogs, especially given that Aaron Sandilands obliterated Ayce Cordy in the ruck.

With Luke Beveridge sticking to his guns and leaving Will Minson in the VFL, where he was one of Footscray's best on Saturday, Cordy managed three hit-outs to Sandilands' 50.  

However, Cordy mainly contested bounces before moving forward, with Jordan Roughead, Marcus Bontempelli and Tom Boyd helping out at stoppages around the ground, as the Dockers won 69 hit-outs to the Dogs' 13.

While Fyfe won 10 clearances, the overall count was pretty even at 38 to 33.

It looked as though things would get ugly when the Dockers kicked five unanswered goals in the first quarter to lead by 27 points at the first change, but the Dogs returned fire.

Murphy was crucial in moving the ball quickly out of defence and first-gamer Bailey Dale was able to settle his nerves with one of three Bulldog second-term goals that kept them in touch.

Three consecutive Freo goals in the third blew the margin out to 29 points, but the Dogs didn't stop believing. When they levelled the scores with six minutes left through a goal to Luke Dahlhaus, they had the momentum and a sniff after being run down by St Kilda last week. 

But the class of Walters, Pavlich and Michael Johnson, who was influential with 29 disposals in defence after lining up on Jake Stringer, shone through. 

Click here for full Luke Beveridge media conference

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said he "couldn't be more proud" of his players, and felt "enormously disappointed" for them. 

"It was an enormous effort by our players. We're a little bit gutted. If not for a ground ball, I reckon we win that game," Beveridge said.

"That ball in the middle that 'Murph' kicked to 'Wally' and it skidded through … Wally gets that and we're away and we score from that and we're front. 

"It's two-and-a-half minutes to go - and I'm not saying we win the game - but we're in the box seat."

The win leaves the top-of-the-table Dockers two games clear of the second-placed West Coast.

The two captains, Matthew Pavlich and Bob Murphy, do battle. Picture: AFL Photos


WESTERN BULLDOGS   1.0   4.3   8.4   14.4 (88)
FREMANTLE   5.3   7.6   11.8   15.11 (101)     

Western Bulldogs: Dickson 7, T. Boyd 2, Crameri 2, Dahlhaus, Dale, Bontempelli
Fremantle: Pavlich 5, Fyfe 3, Walters 2, Mayne, Taberner, Clarke, D. Pearce, C. Pearce

Western Bulldogs: Murphy, Dickson, Dahlhaus, Johannisen, Bontempelli, M. Boyd
Fremantle: Fyfe, Johnson, Neale, Sandilands, C. Pearce, D. Pearce, Pavlich

Western Bulldogs: Honeychurch (left shoulder)
Fremantle: Mundy (facial cut)

Western Bulldogs: Lachie Hunter replaced Mitch Honeychurch in the third quarter.
Fremantle: Paul Duffield replaced Nick Suban at three-quarter time.

Report: Nat Fyfe for tripping Koby Stevens in the third quarter.

Umpires: Fisher, Dalgleish, Stevic

Official crowd: 18,170 at Etihad Stadium