Dockers ease past struggling Tigers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers ease past struggling Tigers

By Justin Chadwick 26/04/2010 08:00:45 AM Comments (0)

Fremantle overcame an early scare to post a scrappy 39-point AFL victory over Richmond at Subiaco Oval on Sunday night.

The Tigers booted the first five goals of the match to take a handy 26-point lead into quarter time but Fremantle scored the next eight goals on the way to the 15.22 (112) to 11.7 (73) triumph, their fourth win from five games this season.

Richmond were completely outplayed in the second term and for most of the third but Fremantle's wayward kicking kept them in the match.

The Tigers trailed by just 14 points early in the final quarter until a late flurry of goals finally killed off the contest.

And Richmond, still winless after five rounds, suffered a further blow when midfielder Richard Tambling tweaked his left hamstring, an injury set to keep him out of action for several weeks.

Tigers youngster Troy Taylor had to be carried from the field in the final quarter after landing awkwardly on his heavily-strapped left knee.

Ruckman Aaron Sandilands (two goals, 42 hit-outs), Michael Barlow, Hayden Ballantyne (three goals), Matthew Pavlich (four goals), David Mundy and Greg Broughton were important for the Dockers, while debutant Nat Fyfe impressed with several strong marks.

And former Bomber Adam McPhee (26 possessions) returned to form after an error-filled start to the season.

Ben Cousins tallied 23 disposals in his return from a club-imposed suspension while Robin Nahas (three goals), Alex Rance (three goals) and Nathan Foley battled hard.

Fremantle were their own worst enemy in the opening term, with wayward shooting on goal, slack passing and a series of fumbles gifting Richmond the early momentum.

Nahas and Rance booted two goals apiece in the opening 21 minutes before Stephen Hill broke Fremantle's drought with a beautiful 53m drop punt late in the term.

Fremantle controlled proceedings in the second term but once again their kicking for goal was their major letdown, with their return of 3.7 compared to Richmond's 0.3 enabling the Tigers to hold a slender four-point lead at the long break.

Tempers threatened to flair after the half-time siren as players from both sides grappled with each other but calm was eventually restored with no major blows landed.

Fremantle continued to mow down Richmond in the third term, racing out to a 31-point lead before Richmond kicked three of the final four goals of the term to close the gap to 20 points at the final change.

Richmond twice closed the gap to 14 points in the final term but Pavlich and Ballantyne, who came to life in the second half, extinguished the Tigers' fightback.

"I thought our endeavour was pretty good," Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said.

"We still had a crack, we won the tackle and hard ball get count.

"But unfortunately our finishing skills going across the arc and inside 50 let us down.

"Then you see on the other side of things Pavlich get laced out a couple of times and big Sandilands - we couldn't answer him all day.

"There were a couple of areas that let us down throughout the game."

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey admitted his team didn't play to its potential.

"It was a scrappy game, probably reflective of the big build-up to an Anzac day game, two young sides," Harvey said.

"We had to dig because Richmond were very good in the first quarter, moved the ball very well and we weren't kicking straight up the other end.

"In the end you walk away from a game where we didn't play well but that can be reflective of the opposition, and I think Richmond's improving."

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