Brilliant Dockers stun Cats in Geelong

·3-min read

Fremantle have stunned Geelong with a memorable three-point win at GMHBA Stadium to lay down their marker as genuine AFL premiership contenders.

Blake Acres and Andrew Brayshaw starred as the Dockers belied the injury-enforced absences of Sean Darcy and Matt Taberner, along with giving up the first three goals of Saturday's game, to prevail 10.9 (69) to 10.6 (66) in one of the finest victories of Justin Longmuir's tenure.

Fremantle are now 6-1 and second behind reigning premiers Melbourne, despite skipper Nat Fyfe (back) not playing all season and Longmuir believed the start to the season showed they could compete with the league's best.

"I do (believe that) because we're playing a really strong, defensive, contested game and we're able to adapt in games," he said.

"But we haven't done anything as a footy club yet, or this year anyway.

"We've got plenty of work ahead of us and this game's got a real knack of pulling you into line if you get too far ahead of yourself."

Fremantle's fourth win in 19 attempts at Kardinia Park included keeping Geelong goalless from the 28-minute mark of the first quarter until the 20th minute of the third in front of 20,136 fans.

"I don't know where it (the win) stacks. As a coach, you don't really sit around rating them but it was a great win," Longmuir said.

"We came down here prepared for an arm wrestle and prepared to go the distance, because that's what you have to do down here.

"We fought and that's become a part of our brand is we just keep fighting and we were able to do that."

The Cats were without Patrick Dangerfield, who coach Chris Scott expected to return in round eight.

But they will sweat on the fitness of Max Holmes (ankle) was substituted for Luke Dahlhaus in the second quarter while Rhys Stanley (ankle) hobbled off late.

Fremantle trailed by nine points at quarter-time before they seized control of the game.

Longmuir said they had adjusted their work around the contest at the break which gave them control of the corridor.

Fremantle drew level at halftime, then exploded in the third period to snatch a 17-point lead at the last change.

The Cats wouldn't go away in the final term and Mark Blicavs cut the margin to three points with 26 seconds left.

But Fremantle hung on for a memorable victory, leaving Scott to lament conservative ball movement and poor contest work in the second and third quarters.

"We didn't really like how we played around the ball through that period, which is so important to our game and it's been a bit of a pattern throughout the year," he said.

"We contributed to their defence a lot in playing wide a lot and playing skinny going inside 50 ... The first part of the game was pretty good and the very last part of the game.

"It's hard to remind yourself of the positives when you have a frustrating day like today but I'm still full of admiration for the way our players hang in there."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting