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Five talking points: Fremantle v Richmond

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 21: Trent Cotchin of the Tigers makes his way to the team huddle during the 2016 AFL Round 09 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Richmond Tigers at Domain Stadium on May 21, 2016 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media)
Trent Cotchin has a night out with 39 disposals

1. Cotchin back with a bang
Skipper Trent Cotchin illustrated just how important he is for Richmond with an outstanding return. In his comeback from a two-week layoff after fracturing his cheekbone in round six, Cotchin gathered a career-high 39 disposals, including 18 contested possessions, and 10 clearances. Donning a black protective helmet, the 26-year-old provided a touch of class and shone amid the shocking conditions to be best on ground. He turned it on with a wonderful third quarter in which he had 14 disposals as Fremantle launched a challenge with the breeze at their backs.

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2. Deliberate amid the deluge
The home fans were squealing with outrage early in the second term when umpire 'Razor' Ray Chamberlain penalised Lee Spurr for a deliberate rushed behind. Spurr won a foot race to a tumbling ball inside the Dockers' defensive 50 and soccered it through from 15m out. It resulted in Tiger Ben Griffiths being given a free kick from point-blank range. Spurr was under pressure when he sunk his slipper into the Sherrin and the decision, particularly given the awful conditions, is sure to come under the microscope this week.

3. Dockers anchored to the bottom
The phrase 'fall from grace' does not properly describe Fremantle's season. It's been more like a luckless landslide down the ladder, an abysmal avalanche from above. Perhaps a plummet from last year's minor premiership? The forecast of torrential wind and rain didn't help matters for the under-siege Dockers. Of the season-high 43,943 tickets sold for the clash, only 20,184 fans turned up, making it Fremantle's lowest home crowd since 2001. The Dockers expected a poor crowd due to the weather but it doesn't make it any more palatable. With stars Nat Fyfe, Aaron Sandilands, Michael Johnson and Stephen Hill injured, could things get any tougher for Freo? We'll find out next Saturday against St Kilda.

4. Tigers find their bite
While the Tigers' 2016 campaign is still on life support, their surprise triumph over the Sydney Swans, and subsequent away victory over Fremantle has stopped them from flat-lining. At 3-6, Richmond faces an intriguing run of fixtures ether side of a round 13 bye and is a silly chance to win four of its next five. The Tigers play Essendon (MCG), North Melbourne (Blundstone Arena), Gold Coast (MCG), Brisbane Lions (MCG) and Port Adelaide (Adelaide Oval).

5. Dawson's dirty day
Zac Dawson had only just won his spot back in Fremantle's line-up back, but he could be heading for another stint on the sidelines. The Dockers defender was dropped for his side's round eight match against Hawthorn but was included for Saturday night's clash. He was reported for an untidy third-quarter hit on Richmond's Steven Morris, who took a courageous mark going back with the flight of the ball. Guarding Tyrone Vickery, Dawson had only two touches to half-time and finished the night with only eight touches.