Returning West Coast star Mark LeCras has suffered another tragedy in only his first game back from a knee injury, substituted out of his side’s 28-point loss to Fremantle with a broken arm.
LeCras had kicked two goals and moved well before a collision with Dockers run-with player Tendai Mzungu left him cradling his right arm in his jumper.
It was the lowlight of a dark night for the Eagles which saw the Dockers completely overrun the early premiership favourites 16.12 (108) to 11.14 (80).
The Dockers shook off a shaky start to the match with a dominant 13 goals to five second half.
Midfielders Michael Barlow and David Mundy tied for the Ross Glendinning Medal but they were also helped strongly by ruckman Jon Griffin and fellow midfielders Stephen Hill and Danyle Pearce.
Eagles recruit Jamie Cripps started the game in best possible fashion for his side with a courageous mark and goal just two minutes into the contest.
His early major seemed to inspire his teammates into a brand of football which was fluent where the Dockers were stagnant and crisp where the Dockers were wobbly.
Ashton Hams used his team’s early advantage around the ground to nab two goals, and could have had three if not for an ill-advised banana from a set shot 10m in front of goal.
Two goals from free kicks to Fremantle kept them in the contest at the first break.
Michael Walters and Ryan Crowley gave the Dockers the lead briefly in the second term with two quick goals, but they were soon answered with two to Josh Kennedy and a calm set shot from 45 by LeCras.
Pavlich gave his side a serious headache when he cannoned into the back of Eagles defender Will Schofield left him on report. It was just part of a troubling match for the Dockers skipper, who struggled one-on-one and was the victim of poor delivery all night.
Free agent recruit Danyle Pearce goaled for the Dockers with an around-the-corner dribbler to end a run of three straight Eagles goals going into halftime.
After a scrappy opening half, the third term saw Fremantle run out of the rooms with an energy the raucous home crowd had been baying for all match.
Jon Griffin took complete control of the ruck, feeding his midfield at will, particularly in the centre square.
Pearce continued to find his feet in a puple jumper, breaking lines with each of his nine possessions for the term and providing a constant threat in the forward 50.
Using their midfield dominance, the Dockers kicked six goals to one for the third quarter, taking control of the contest.
The pain was worsened for West Coast when Eric Mackenzie was taken from the field with a hamstring injury, just minutes before LeCras suffered his arm injury.
Cripps gave his side something to cheer about in the second minute of the final term with a classy finish from the boundary, but the Dockers did enough late to hold off their surging opposition.
Hayden Ballantyne was taken from the field late with a leg injury which will be monitored over the coming days.SCOREBOARD
|GOALS - FREMANTLE: Suban, Walters 3, Bradley, D.Pearce, Mayne 2, Ballantyne, de Boer, Crowley, Barlow. WEST COAST: LeCras, Kennedy, Hill, Hams, Cripps 2, Masten. BEST - FREMANTLE: Griffin, Barlow, Mundy, Suban, D.Pearce, Hill. WEST COAST:''' Priddis, Kennedy, Waters, Cripps.|
INJURIES - FREMANTLE: Ballantyne (leg) WEST COAST: LeCras (elbow), Mackenzie (hamstring).
‘’’REPORTS – FREMANTLE:’’’ Pavlich (charging).
CROWD: 39629 at Patersons Stadium
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