Only a month after being belittled for their poor start to the AFL season Richmond have sent a message that they can be serious contenders in 2015, handing Fremantle their first defeat of the season.
The Tigers led from the start and held off a determined Dockers side to eventually prevail by 27 points in Perth.
The Tigers blitzed the previously unbeaten Fremantle in the first half at Domain Stadium to lead by 49 points early in the third term, and then held on for a stunning 15.7 (97) to 10.10 (70) win.
The win giving Richmond confidence as they head into their bye week before playing a tantalising block of games against West Coast, Sydney and GWS.
Dustin Martin led the way for Richmond with 34 possessions while Shane Edwards racked up 26 disposals, Brandon Ellis 26, Trent Cotchin 24, Bachar Houli 23 and Anthony Miles 23.
Ty Vickery stood up with three goals and Brett Deledio, Jack Riewoldt and Ben Griffiths added two apiece.
At the other end key defenders Alex Rance and Dylan Grimes were excellent in shutting down Fremantle’s potent forwards.
Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands was a force with 23 hit outs to advantage while Lachie Neale finished with 28 possessions, Nat Fyfe 26, Stephen Hill 21 and Michael Barlow 20.
Michael Walters kicked three goals and Hayden Crozier two.
Richmond made a scintillating start with four goals in the first 10 minutes, kicking eight to three in the opening term, and four to two in the second.
Their run, ball movement and discipline was a treat to watch and when Brandon Ellis kicked the first goal of the second half, their lead was 49 points, but Fremantle kept coming.
They got the last three goals of the third term and the first of the last to get within 21 points, but a clever crumbing goal to Shane Edwards steadied Richmond and allowed them to hold on to win by 27.
There was further bad news for the Dockers with key defender Michael Johnson subbed out of his 200th game early, due to a hamstring injury.
Johnson joins fellow backmen Alex Silvagni and Zac Dawson on the sidelines.