Cats a top-four litmus test for Dockers

·2-min read

It's the site of one of Fremantle's most famous wins and the Dockers can make another huge statement on Saturday if they can knock off Geelong at the Cattery.

Fremantle have been one of the big surprise packets of the season, overcoming the loss of skipper Nat Fyfe to produce a 5-1 start to their campaign.

Fyfe (back) isn't due to return until round 10 at the earliest, while ruckman Sean Darcy (concussion) and forward Matt Taberner (hamstring) have been ruled out of the trip to GMHBA Stadium.

Fremantle produced arguably their most famous win when they knocked off Geelong by 15 points in the 2013 qualifying final at the Cats' home fortress.

If the Dockers can repeat that effort on Saturday, it would announce Justin Longmuir's men as a genuine top-four and premiership fancy.

Fremantle's last visit to the Cattery resulted in a club-record 133-point defeat in 2018.

Overall, Fremantle have a 3-15 win-loss record at the venue.

Longmuir wants his team to embrace the challenge rather than be daunted or spooked by it.

"It's an exciting opportunity for us," Longmuir said.

"I think there is some negativity around the trip to Geelong and sometimes as a playing group and a coaching group you can get caught up in the stuff that doesn't actually help you to win the game.

"I've been really impressed with our players' ability to keep resetting to what's important in their own games and what's important to us, and this week will be no different."

Geelong (4-2) will again be without star midfielder Patrick Dangerfield (calf).

Fremantle have recalled Josh Treacy to replace Taberner while Lloyd Meek comes in for Darcy.

Geelong spearheads Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron have already combined for 39 goals this season and their battle against the likes of Alex Pearce, Brennan Cox and Griffin Logue is set to play a key role in the outcome.

Cameron booted 7.3 in last week's 60-point win over North Melbourne while Hawkins kicked 4.1.

Fremantle midfielder Andrew Brayshaw has been a key player in the Dockers' surge up the ladder this year with the 22-year-old averaging 30 disposals a game.

"We've seen his game go to another level," Longmuir said.

"He's a great two-way runner. He invests in both sides of the ball, in offence and defence.

"He's been able to build his inside game and outside game. He's becoming the complete midfielder.

"The thing that holds him in great stead is he's never comfortable, he's always looking for areas to improve on in his game."

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