Sport AFL Ballantyne, Fyfe help Freo brush aside Tigers

Ballantyne, Fyfe help Freo brush aside Tigers

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Richmond continued their Jekyll and Hyde act on Saturday at the MCG, where a 20-point loss to Fremantle was equal parts tenacity and turnovers.

The Tigers bettered the pressure kings in tackles and contested possessions, but decision making under duress proved the difference as the Dockers won 16.9 (105) to 12.13 (85).

Fremantle climbed to fourth on the ladder, with a golden chance to effectively lock up a double chance in the finals over the next six weeks when they face teams occupying the bottom half of the ladder.

Richmond staged an impressive late comeback to get within 14 points with a tick under six minutes remaining, but the mountain proved too high in front of the crowd of 22,074.

Hayden Ballantyne booted six goals, matching his career-best haul, while Nat Fyfe tallied a game-high 32 disposals.

As was the case against North Melbourne last Sunday, a third-quarter fadeout marred what was otherwise a spirited display from Damien Hardwick’s men.

Richmond battled hard to grab the lead late in the second term, only to hand it back before halftime when Ballantyne kicked two goals in a minute.

Matthew Pavlich then dobbed consecutive goals after the major break, including a remarkable effort when he plucked the ball on the wing, sprinted past the 50m arc and kicked truly.

When Ballantyne slotted his fourth goal late in the third term, the Dockers had a 39-point lead and made it seven goals on the trot.

The Tigers were never going to win from that position, despite Anthony Miles and Nathan Foley toiling manfully in the middle and Dustin Martin lifting late.

Jack Riewoldt was again an enigma, marking and leading well but potting one goal from seven attempts.

Riewoldt hobbled from the field late in the second quarter, but returned and played out the game.

Richmond gifted their opposition far too many demoralising goals, with the most notable being Martin’s attempt to rush a behind in the second term.

Martin handballed over 15 metres, the umpires deemed the midfielder wasn’t under pressure and rewarded Danyle Pearce a free-kick in front of the posts.

Dockers giant Aaron Sandilands dominated the ruck contests with 45 hitouts.