South Fremantle won't make the finals but could have a big say in shaping the top four after registering a stunning 43-point upset of arch rivals East Fremantle at ATOM Stadium on Saturday.
The seventh-placed Bulldogs produced one of their best performances of the year to end the Sharks' hopes of reaching the top two with a convincing 16.12 (108) to 9.11 (65) win.
Haiden Schloithe (23 possessions), Ashton Hams (34) and Tim Kelly (30) were among South's best, and key forward Ben Saunders (four goals) and Anthony Collica (three) benefited from good work up the ground.
Ill discipline and poor ball use hurt East early as South piled on the pressure, jumping out to a four-goal lead inside the opening 20 minutes.
The Sharks conceded three off-the-ball free kicks in the first quarter, including one before the opening bounce and another that gave Paul Mugambwa the first goal of the match. In contrast, South were clean with the ball, disciplined and full of run.
"It was our best footy for the year," Bulldogs coach Paul Hasleby said.
"It was the most unified we've been. There was a willingness to support and help each other more than I've seen across the year."
Hasleby's three-year tenure as South Fremantle coach will come to an end this month with the Bulldogs out of finals contention.
"No doubt the new coach that's going to come in is going to be watching, so they're auditioning for a spot on his team," Hasleby said.
"We feel we're a better team than what we've probably shown on the ladder. That's the chall- enge - to finish the year off strong and try to finish as high as we can."
Likely first-round AFL draft pick Jarrod Pickett had just 10 possessions in his league debut for South, but had five shots on goal and underlined his class by booting a goal from outside 50m with his first kick. He finished with two majors.
Pickett was reported for rough conduct after a marking contest in the first quarter when he collected Rory O'Brien late, but is likely to escape suspension.
The Sharks' dirty day could get worse, with tough midfielder Mark McGough likely to come under scrutiny for an off-the-ball incident that left Schloithe writhing in pain on the ground during the third quarter.
Sharks wingman Bradd Dalziell will have scans on his injured right knee which kept him sidelined for the second half.