1. Fyfe reported
Hot Brownlow Medal favourite Nat Fyfe could well receive the three votes against the Bulldogs but it mightn't matter, given the Freo superstar was reported for tripping. Late in the third quarter Fyfe was wrong-footed while pursuing Koby Stevens and thrust out his right leg, taking the legs out from underneath the Bulldog. Both Fyfe's medal hopes and his availability for next week's huge home clash with North Melbourne could be in serious doubt. Fyfe polled 25 votes in last year's Brownlow – just a vote behind winner Matt Priddis – but was ineligible after being suspended twice for a total of four games. However, he didn't let his report distract him – a minute later he nailed a superb snap, his third goal.

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2. Bulldogs back from the dead
Midway through the first term, the Bulldogs had been outscored by 94 points in their previous two-and-a-half quarters. So their revival against flag favourite Freo seemed to come out of nowhere. The Dogs finally posted their first score 23 minutes into the match when Tom Boyd took a strong contested mark and converted from 20 metres. The Dockers extended their lead to 34 points early in the second term before the Dogs replied with the five of the next six goals to slash the margin to just 11 points early in the third term. It was an impressive rearguard action, and from then on it was an edge-of-your seat contest.

3. Tory's big story
When talk turns to the Bulldogs attack, Tory Dickson is about the fourth or fifth name mentioned – but he was the Dogs' undisputed star forward on Sunday. The 27-year-old kicked a career-best bag of 7.1, including four majors in a pulsating 16-minute burst in the final term. The Dockers simply couldn't find an adequate match-up for the 41-gamer, who was superb in one-on-one contests and showed nerves of steel to drag his side back into the contest.

4. Freo's fast start
The Dockers continued their pattern of controlling proceedings from the outset, kicking the first five goals of the match in a frenetic opening 14 minutes. Their dominance and efficiency was remarkable, with their goals coming from just eight inside 50s. And the majors came via the same mode – a mark followed by a cool conversion – and involved all of their tall forward threats: skipper Matthew Pavlich (two), Chris Mayne, Matt Taberner and Zac Clarke. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs went forward just twice. At one point the undefeated Dockers led by 32 points and monopolised the disposal count 95 to just 40, driven by Fyfe, Lachie Neale, Michael Barlow and Danyle Pearce.

5. Dogs face tall order
The Dockers were always going to dominate the ruck, given the Dogs resisted calls to bring back 2013 All Australian ruckman Will Minson. That left Ayce Cordy to battle Freo giant Aaron Sandilands and Zac Clarke alone, and the visitors had the first 15 hit-outs of the match. It was no coincidence the Dockers gained the early ascendancy. The Dogs virtually conceded the duel, which took on a farcical look when the likes of Marcus Bontempelli, Stewart Crameri and even Brett Goodes competed for tap-outs. What they gave away in height, they tried to make up in mobility. Cordy received Bronx cheers in the third quarter when he leapt high to win a clear hit-out.