Nat Fyfe ensured his 100-game milestone was a magical one, with the star Fremantle midfielder putting on a clearance clinic to lift his side to a 73-point win over North Melbourne on Saturday night.
Fyfe further enhanced his Brownlow medal chances with 37 possessions and 11 clearances in the 17.13 (115) to 5.12 (42) romp at Domain Stadium.
Importantly, the result keeps Fremantle two wins clear on top of the table ahead of next week’s clash with Adelaide.
The Dockers produced their trademark blistering start to put the Kangaroos on the back foot from the outset.
And it was Fyfe who was in the thick of the action, with the 23-year-old tallying 20 possessions, seven clearances, and three hit-outs by half-time.
Eleven of those disposals were won in contests, with Fyfe’s ability to break open stoppages with nifty handballs proving crucial as Fremantle entered the long break with a commanding 34-point buffer.
Wingman Stephen Hill provided the dash out wide to further cut North Melbourne to shreds, with goalsneak Michael Walters finishing off the good work with four goals for the match.
North Melbourne won both of their matches in Perth last season.
But with prime movers Daniel Wells, Andrew Swallow, and Nick Dal Santo all sidelined, they couldn’t match Fremantle’s class and grunt when the heat was on.
North Melbourne briefly threatened when they closed to within 21 points late in the second quarter.
And with the Dockers criticised for their poor second halves this season, the visitors sensed an upset on the cards.
But any thoughts of that were quickly put to bed as the Dockers nailed 10 of the next 11 goals to ice the contest in emphatic fashion.
North Melbourne won the inside-50m count 46-45, but their forwards were starved of clear-cut opportunities.
The Kangaroos’ fourth loss of the season leaves them precariously placed at 4-4 heading into tough games against Collingwood, West Coast, Sydney, and GWS.
Forward Jarrad Waite managed to play out the match despite spending a large chunk of the first half off the ground to receive treatment for an ankle injury
And Todd Goldstein was also in the wars, with the ruckman’s head split open after copping an accidental boot to the face from David Mundy.
Fremantle’s dynamic duo of Hayden Ballantyne and Walters copped some flak during the week for their quiet starts to the year.
But the pair were at their lively best throughout Saturday’s match, with their frenetic pressure causing numerous turnovers.
Dockers skipper Matthew Pavlich was subbed out early in the last quarter after a quiet match that produced just one goal.