Aaron Sandilands
Aaron Sandilands

Fremantle have moved into the top eight for the first time since Round 8 with a 22-point victory over Richmond at Patersons Stadium on Saturday.

The 13.16 (94) to 11.6 (72) win means the Dockers move one win clear of ninth-placed Carlton while ending Richmond's finals hopes.

It did come at a cost for Fremantle with concerns for Matthew Pavlich, who appeared to suffer discomfort in his upper right leg for the majority of the match.

Pavlich first showed signs of injury after a first-quarter marking contest but was again forced from the ground just before half-time.

However, the Fremantle skipper did return to the field after the main break with limited impact, but finished the game on the bench and limped noticeably after the final siren.

The Tigers made a positive start to the game before Fremantle's fierce tackling and rebound from defence suffocated the visitors.

Trent Cotchin was unable to inspire his team, despite 32 disposals.

Brett Deledio (14 possessions and two goals) was well held by Ryan Crowley but had good impact from his limited touches.

Four straight goals to the home side, with two either side of quarter time, saw them put their stamp on the match early. Small forward Matt De Boer's six tackles and three goals helped set the tone for the Dockers.

De Boer's third goal of the afternoon came with 15 seconds left on the clock in the third term and was Fremantle's response to back-to-back Richmond goals, which had the Tigers within touch.

It was a theme of the afternoon as Fremantle continued to hold the answers to every Tigers challenge. The closest the visitors got in the second half was 14 points late in the third term.

Aaron Sandilands made his return from a long-term toe injury in unusual circumstances after selected ruckman Jon Griffin injured his groin in the warm-up.

Sandilands led Fremantle to a dominant hit out result (45-19) but they failed to capitalise in the clearances, shading Richmond 36-33.

The Tigers lost key defender Ben Griffiths when he landed heavily after flying for a ruck contest. He was knocked unconscious and was consequently substituted.

Fremantle kicked the important first goal of the fourth quarter when their substitute Nick Suban set up Hayden Ballantyne with a low spearing pass from the boundary.

'''FREMANLTE:''' 3.4, 7.8, 10.12, 13.16 (94)
'''RICHMOND:''' 2.3, 5.4, 8.4, 11.6 (72)

'''GOALS: FREMANTLE:''' Pavlich 3, De Boer 3, Ballantyne 3, Hill, Mzungu, Mayne, Walters, Bradley
'''RICHMOND:''' King 3, Riewoldt 2, Deledio 2, Nahas, White
'''BEST: FREMANTLE:''' Mundy, Sandilands, De Boer, Pearce, McPhee
'''RICHMOND:''' Cotchin, Grigg, Tuck, Deledio, Maric
'''INJURIES: FREMANTLE:''' Griffin (groin), Pavlich (leg)
'''RICHMOND:''' Griffiths (concussion)
'''REPORTS:''' Nil
'''SUBS: FREMANTLE:''' Nick Suban replaced Zac Dawson (fourth quarter)
'''RICHMOND:''' Brett O'Hanlon replaced Ben Griffiths (second quarter)
'''CHANGES: ''' Sandilands replaced Griffin in Fremantle selected team.
'''UMPIRES:''' Margetts, Findlay, McInerney
'''CROWD:''' 32,721 at Patersons Stadium


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