Fremantle have set a number of brutal unwanted records in a shocking 133-point loss to Geelong.
Geelong have their finals destiny back in their own hands after kicking a record 23 successive goals to hand Fremantle their biggest-ever AFL loss.
The 133-point victory at a cold, wet GMHBA Stadium lifted the Cats into the top eight at Port Adelaide’s expense.
The 13th-placed Dockers actually had the best of the opening exchanges and led by nine points at quarter-time.
It turned out to be falsest of false dawns as the visitors were held goalless for the remaining three quarters.
The Cats blew the match wide open by kicking 10 goals to nil in the second quarter, with even a heavy rainstorm failing to stem the onslaught.
The carnage continued in the second half as the Cats powered away to win 24.14 (158) to 3.7 (25).
All Geelong need to do to guarantee an 11th finals berth in 12 years is win again at home next weekend against a Gold Coast team with one victory since round five.
“I feel pretty good we played, particularly after quarter-time, the type of footy we had been talking about playing and I still stand by the fact the aim for us is to build towards playing our best footy,” said Cats coach Chris Scott.
“I think we showed a fair bit of that today.
“Obviously the opposition has got some challenges so you need to keep it in perspective a bit but it’s good, it gives us a chance.”
The Cats replaced Port Adelaide in the top eight after the Power faded badly in a 51-point loss to Collingwood earlier in the day.
Geelong spearhead Tom Hawkins kicked a game-high six goals to close within four majors of Richmond’s Jack Riewoldt in the Coleman Medal race.
Youngster Brandan Parfitt chimed in with a career-high four goals and Tim Kelly continued his remarkable debut season, tallying 26 possessions and three goals.
But the biggest cheer of the day was reserved for Gary Ablett, who kicked his 400th career goal late in the final term with a brilliant curling snap.
Captain Nat Fyfe and veteran David Mundy were among a small handful of Dockers who plugged away all day.
“Clearly on the outcome we would have liked greater effort,” said Dockers coach Ross Lyon.
“But you wouldn’t have thought, if you’d have looked at us all year, that those young players haven’t given effort.
“Look at (first-year player Adam) Cerra today, he looked quite fatigued and he’s looked like that for a couple of weeks now.
“When the ball is coming in like that it’s quite overwhelming “(but) these things can turn around relatively quickly.”
The Dockers’ previous heaviest defeats were by 117 points to West Coast in 2000 and Adelaide in 2009.
Freo’s biggest ever loss in terms of margin – 133pts
Freo’s equal 2nd lowest score in their history + lowest ever score by a Ross Lyon coached side – 25pts
Conceded a record 23 unanswered goals.
The darkest of days for the @freodockers #AFLCatsFreo
— Clint Wheeldon (@ClintWheeldon) August 18, 2018
It’s time to seriously question Ross Lyon. Two years and one game remaining on his contract. This is Gold Coast-like. https://t.co/i0IDWGq6Aa
— Tom Morris (@tommorris32) August 18, 2018
Fremantle losses by 50+ points in Ross Lyon era
— Chris Robinson (@CJKRobinson) August 18, 2018