Richmond has put an end to Fremantle’s record 9 game winning streak by booting 8 goals in the first quarter to gain a 5 goal lead at the first change. The Tigers then went on to hold down a late surge of power by the Dockers to eventually win by 27 points at Domain Stadium on Friday night.
The Tigers were simply too quick for Fremantle and too accurate, scoring the first 4 goals of the game and only one behind in the whole quarter, led by Ty Vickery who kicked 3 goals for the victors. Fremantle struggled to put the pressure on in the first quarter, letting the Tigers run wild, allowing them to create a solid foundation for a successful outcome.
The Dockers were completely ambushed by the Tigers, who have now won their last four matches with an impressive display of football. Richmond coach, Damien Hardwicke was understandably impressed with his side’s win, beating the most formidable team in the AFL on their own soil, saying “it was an impressive win.”
In Richmond’s first win over the Dockers at Domain since 2009, they were outdone by the gallant home side in terms of clearances (52-35) and contested possessions (144-127) but were dominant in disposals (304-349). Despite more inside fifties, Fremantle were unable to capitalise when it was most important, allowing Richmond to consistently dominate the scoreboard, despite having only 36 inside 50’s compared to Fremantle’s 45.
The Dockers are well known amongst the football community for being the number one marking team in the competition and the third in uncontested possessions, but on Friday night, were completely outdone by a determined Richmond.
Richmond star Dustin Martin was extremely influential for the side, finishing with 34 disposals and one goal. Richmond’s win was also influenced by Vickery with 3 goals, along with Griffiths, Deledio and Riewoldt who also booted 2 each, respectively.
Fremantle superstar Nat Fyfe was held to only 26 disposals and prominent midfielder Lachie Neale to a team high of 28. Despite Freo’s big man Aaron Sandilands’ AFL/VFL record of 23 advantageous hit outs, the Dockers were unable to convert that to success on the scoreboard. Fremantle young gun Michael Walters kicked 3 stellar goals, giving the 38,019 fans at the game some hope for Fremantle. Hayden Crozier slotted 2 respectively, but Fremantle’s skipper, Matthew Pavlich, was kept to a very quiet and goalless night, by the tough defence of Alex Rance, who contributed the solid defence of Richmond.
Another blow to the Dockers on an already disappointing evening was veteran defender Michael Johnson suffering a hamstring injury on his 200th game and had to be subbed off within the first 15 minutes of the game.
Fremantle dominated clearances in the second term, but it wasn’t enough to stop the rampage of the Tigers, who had stretched the margin to 49 points during the quarter, and at the major change, had a margin of 43 with 12.3 (75) compared to the Dockers’ score of 5.2 (32).
The Dockers had their second half cut out for them and managed to keep the tenacious Tigers to a single goal in the third quarter, with their usually impenetrable defence line working that little bit harder. The Dockers even kicked the last 3 goals of the term with fantastic goals from Crozier, Walters and Barlow to minimise the margin to 29 points, giving nervous Fremantle fans a sense of hope that their side may come back with a rampage in the last quarter, similar to that of Collingwood the week before against North Melbourne at the MCG.
The Dockers put up a fight, managing to close the margin to 20 points at one stage, eliciting a sense of excitement amongst Freo fans. The boys in purple and white were unable to hold off the hungry Tigers, with leading goal kicker Ty Vickery finishing off the Dockers with a goal in the dying minutes of the last quarter to create a place for Richmond in one of the highlights of the 2015 season, a win over the premiership favourites in order to end Freo’s undefeated start to the season.