The Carlton Blues crushed the Fremantle Dockers at Optus Stadium to move within one win of the top eight. The Carlton victory was emphatic. Their bigger more experienced players pressured the young Dockers all over the ground, causing multiple turnovers. The Blues were dominated in the ruck by the Dockers big man, Sean Darcy, but they won more clearances and were much cleaner with their use of the ball. Carlton got numbers to the ball and won contested possessions 155 to 135, with their twin tower forwards, Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow, sharing 24 marks (catches) and booting three goals each. The inexperienced Docker forwards were out-hustled by Jacob Weitering, Nic Newman and Mitch McGovern, who either intercepted or spoilt Jye Amiss and Josh Treacy's attempts to mark . The Blues dominated the midfield battle and set up sixty forward entries, with former Docker Adam Cerra completing eleven, whilst the home team struggled to get clean entries due to the pressure applied by the Blues' midfielders.
The Fremantle Dockers bounced back from a poor display against the GWS Giants to end the Essendon Bombers run of four consecutive victories. The Dockers' return to winning form started slowly with Essendon leading for most of the first quarter. The Bombers started well by winning contested possessions and out-running the Dockers to create loose players. After four minutes of play the visitors had booted two goals. The first, courtesy of a clever chip kick out of a pack by Zach Merrett, was marked (caught) by Kyle Langford. Langford's set shot was accurate. Merrett was involved two minutes later when he intercepted a Docker handball to chip to Darcy Parish, who handballed to Jye Caldwell who slotted a running goal from just thirty meters. After an initial shock, the Dockers settled and were more competitive around the ball. Despite the pressure, the visitors still won more contested possessions but the Dockers were well served by their defenders. A free kick to Sam Switkowski for a high tackle resulted in the home team's first goal after eleven minutes of play.
The Western Bulldogs gave their season a timely boost with a comprehensive win against the Fremantle Dockers. The Dogs showed hunger for the contested ball and with their bigger bodies in the midfield, used their tall forwards to rip the game away from the Dockers. The home team was competitive for three quarters but ultimately were punished for the lack of connect between their midfielders and their inexperienced forward line.
The Dogs dominated much of the play in the first quarter but missed shots on goal early, which kept the Dockers in the game. The Dockers made the most of their initial forward entries, which were breakouts from defense after most of the play was in the Bulldogs' forward half. Although the Dockers were winning the hit outs the Bulldogs through Marcus Bontempelli, Jack Macrae and Tom Liberatore had the edge in clearances.
The North Melbourne Kangaroos survived a late surge by the Fremantle Dockers to record a thrilling one-point win. The Kangaroos led for the whole match and survived having a free kick against them close to the Dockers' goal, as the siren sounded. The umpires declared that a clearing kick from Norths' defense, crossed the boundary line after the siren sounded, and therefore could not be deemed a deliberate kick out of bounds. The umpire closest to the action then signaled the end of the game. The decision will be debated for some time and is similar to the conclusion of a game played by the Dockers in 2006 in Tasmania. That game is now referred to as "sirengate". The umpire in that controversial game did not hear the siren and allowed the game to continue for two extra minutes. The Dockers lost the lead in those two minutes. The AFL later overturned the result and handed the win to the Dockers on appeal. In this game the umpire signaled the end of the game after the ball crossed the line, however the siren sounded fractionally before the ball was out of bounds; and the Dockers can't have it both ways.
The Western Bulldogs survived early pressure from the Fremantle Dockers to overcome their young opponents and jump back into the top eight, at the expense of the Melbourne Demons. The Dogs had to beat the Dockers to make the finals and were the more desperate team as the game progressed. The Dockers' cause was not helped with the late withdrawal of their leading scorers, Matthew Taberner and Michael Walters due to injury. The Dockers were already missing four of their first-choice defenders, so a win against the desperate dogs was always against the odds.
The Fremantle Dockers recovered from a spirit sapping post-siren loss to Carlton last week to shut down the Sydney Swans. The Swans won their last match, against the Greater Western Sydney Giants with attacking play, and the Docker defenders were determined to close them down. The Docker defense, with their three best defenders in stands due to injury, was again the story of the night. Though this week the ending was more to the Docker fans' liking. Brennan Cox and Luke Ryan had 11 marks (catches) between them and when they couldn't mark, they spoiled their opponents marking chances. The two main Docker defenders were well supported by Nathan Wilson, Reece Conca and Ethan Hughes. The Swans made 43 attacking entries but were only able to boot two goals. At the other end of the field, the Docker forwards didn't have it all their own way either, managing just eight goals from 34 entries.
The Collingwood Magpies were surprised by the Fremantle Dockers with a shock defeat at Optus Stadium. The Dockers were harder at the ball and used pace to outrun their more experienced opponents, and recorded their first genuine home victory in this unusual season. A first quarter where a team failed to score would normally have a coach ranting, but Justin Longmuir was impressed with how his young players handled their higher profile opponents. What the young Dockers lacked in skill was compensated with by endeavor. They were first to the ball and won more than their share of contested possessions. A team of hungry committed players will often defeat a better credentialled team, and the Dockers showed that if a team can get enough players to the ball, the chances of winning are increased. A bit of straight kicking also helps.
The Fremantle Dockers wore down the Brisbane Lions to post a season-reviving home win, with a dramatic kick after the final siren. In a match where the lead changed nine times, it was the desperate Dockers who did enough in the final quarter, to draw level with the Lions and then score the winning point when Michael Walters’ set shot hit the post. That single point, for hitting the post, made for a walk-off win.