Richmond have kept their hunt for an AFL top-four spot alive but have had to work hard for a 27-point win over Fremantle.
The Tigers were far from the team which has moved into premiership favouritism in recent weeks but had enough class to overcome a resilient Dockers with a 8.8 (56) to 4.5 (29) win at Metricon Stadium.
Tom Lynch kicked three goals, including one after the final siren, in a season-best equalling haul for the Tigers' key forward.
Mitchell Crowden had two goals for the Dockers, who were their own worst enemy at times as they failed to make periods of dominance against the premiers pay.
Eager to atone for a 38-point loss to GWS last time out, the Dockers won the contested possessions count 112-108 against their more-lauded opponents with Blake Acres (27 disposals, five tackles, three clearances) influential.
Highlighting the Tigers' struggles, Dustin Martin's 11 disposals is his lowest return for an AFL match since round 21, 2013.
The Dockers couldn't turn their efforts into points however, particularly in a wasteful second term where they went goalless despite having 10 inside 50s for the quarter.
Matthew Taberner's late goal in the dying seconds of the first quarter was the only major the Dockers kicked for the half, with the big forward guilty of spurning two chances in the second quarter.
Brownlow Medallist Nat Fyfe also missed a set shot as the Tigers claimed a 19-point advantage at the main break.
Goals to Michael Walters and Crowden cut that margin to just one kick by the final turn but the Tigers turned up their intensity in the last quarter to kick clear against a tiring Dockers outfit.
Dockers coach Justin Longmuir believed the final scoreline was harsh on his team but that was the price to pay for not making the most of their chances against a quality team.
"That's been an issue for us all year and I think especially the last six weeks, even though we've had some good wins in that period, I still think we haven't capitalised on our dominance," Longmuir said.
"We didn't do that again tonight and against good teams, you need to, and they got their game going in the last quarter, they went to another level and we couldn't match them."
Tigers coach Damien Hardwick, though pleased with his team's fourth-quarter lift and the win, admitted the display was far from his team's best effort.
"We always know we're gonna have a down game. The positive for us is we probably didn't play anywhere near as well as we'd like but we still managed to walk away with the four points," Hardwick said.
The win is the Tigers' sixth in their past seven games and lifts them temporarily up to second with 42 points from 15 games ahead of a massive clash against Geelong on Friday, September 11.
Fremantle are now 6-8 in 14th place and face a short turnaround before Monday's clash with Melbourne in Cairns.