NAT FYFE’S important second-half contribution has helped lift Fremantle to a 41-point win over St Kilda that keeps the Dockers in touch with the ladder leaders.

Fremantle prevailed 17.9 (111) to 10.10 (70) at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night and now boast a 12-4 record, level with Geelong and Melbourne, but sit third with an inferior percentage.

Brisbane can join the trio on a dozen wins with victory over Essendon on Sunday.

SAINTS V DOCKERS Full match coverage and stats

Fremantle was clearly second-best in the first half as the home side's midfield dominated proceedings early.

07:36 Mins
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Highlights: St Kilda v Fremantle

The Saints and Dockers clash in round 17

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But the Dockers hung in and trailed by just eight points at the main break before flipping the contest on its head with the first six goals of the second half.

Dual Brownlow medallist Fyfe started forward and had just five disposals to half-time, but was moved into the centre square to help spark a turnaround at the source.

The Fremantle captain finished with 21 disposals and three goals, with Andrew Brayshaw (36 disposals), Jordan Clark (30), Will Brodie (29, six clearances) and Caleb Serong (25, four) also influential.

00:41 Mins
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When there's a Will, there's a way, as Brodie makes them pay

Will Brodie produces a beauty as the Dockers start to pull away

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The Dockers spread the scoring load with Fyfe and Michael Frederick (three), Bailey Banfield, Rory Lobb, Sean Darcy, Lachie Schultz and Brodie (two each) all booting multiple goals.

Banfield was a late inclusion for key defender Alex Pearce, who pulled out with a tight calf muscle.

St Kilda could have moved into the top eight with a win but were left to rue a missed opportunity despite the best efforts of Zak Jones (27 disposals, six clearances), Brad Crouch (30, seven), Jack Steele (28, four) and Brad Hill (28, four).

00:43 Mins
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Wanganeen-Milera joy as young gun finally earns first AFL goal

Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera is surrounded by teammates after bagging his first ever goal in the big time

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Dan Bulter, Max King and Tim Membrey kicked two goals each.

The Saints has control around the contest early and should have led by more at the main break, with huge advantages in centre clearances (10-2) and contested possession (69-52), but they were just eight points clear after a soft free kick to Lobb gifted Fremantle the final goal of the second term.

LICENCE TO THRILL Fyfe getting back to his best

Fyfe moved into the centre square to start the third quarter and quick goals to Lobb and Schultz put the Dockers in front.

The visitors slammed on seven in succession and though St Kilda got a couple back, a controversial goal after the three-quarter time siren to Michael Frederick via a 50-metre penalty kept the Saints at bay.

01:18 Mins
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Deafening noise with Saints fuming after tackling dispute

The Saints let out some frustration and pay the ultimate price with a 50m penalty and goal to Michael Frederick

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Dockers big weapon is hardly a secret
Having a dual Brownlow medallist playing as a forward seems like a godsend, but the most important aspect of a forward's game - kicking at goal - is the one footballing gift Nat Fyfe has had trouble with. The Fremantle skipper slotted a couple of perfect drop punts from the same spot 25 meters out on a 45 degree angle in the first and third quarters, but a shocker from straight in front in the second had all the trademarks of the yips that haunted Fyfe through last year when he finished the season with 6.21. However, a snap in the final term sealed the win and also seemed to pump up the skipper's confidence, a goal that could prove a watershed moment in the Dockers' flag quest.

01:57 Mins
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Freakish Fyfe one of the heroes at Marvel with three

Dockers skipper Nat Fyfe plays a pivotal role in his side's impressive win with three goals and a host of strong marks

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Has King's crown lost its lustre?
Max King averaged three goals through the first 11 games of the year, but since the Saints' bye he has been going at just over one and a half per outing. Whether the 22-year-old is tiring from his workload or being figured out somewhat by opposition defences won't matter to Brett Ratten - the Saints need King kicking multiple goals and causing headaches for full backs if they are to be a chance to get to September.

Fremantle's Bailey Banfield gets hold of St Kilda's Max King in R17, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Rory says 'Look at me'
There's been a lot of attention thrown Rory Lobb's way as he enjoys a career-best season amid speculation he may again seek a trade. Well, if the recruiting agents weren't watching him before they would have found it hard not to notice him on Saturday night. Lobb came out with a haircut and colour straight out of an '80s German techno band, making the 207cm forward stand out like Big Bird in a bowl of Coco Pops.  And his game wouldn't have hurt future contract talks, finishing with 14 disposals, two goals and providing strong support for Sean Darcy in the ruck.

Fremantle forward Rory Lobb before the R17 clash with St Kilda. Picture: Getty Images

 

ST KILDA        4.4     7.6    9.8     10.10 (70)
FREMANTLE    4.3    6.4    13.8    17.9 (111)

GOALS
St Kilda: Butler 2, King 2, Membrey 2, Higgins, Sinclair, Wanganeen-Milera, Wood
Fremantle: Frederick 3, Fyfe 3, Banfield 2, Brodie 2, Darcy 2, Lobb 2, Schultz 2, Brayshaw

BEST
St Kilda: Crouch, Battle, Hill, Steele, Sinclair
Fremantle: Brayshaw, Brodie, Fyfe, Clark, Darcy, Young

INJURIES
St Kilda: Nil
Fremantle: Alex Pearce (calf) replaced in starting side by Bailey Banfield

MEDICAL SUBS
St Kilda: Ben Long (unused)
Fremantle: Liam Henry (unused)

Crowd: 21,652 at Marvel Stadium