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Dockers rewarded as AFL releases fixtures

Fremantle’s rise up the AFL ladder has been rewarded with a rare prime-time game in the rounds 16 to 19 timeslots released by the league.

The third-placed Dockers (7-2) will face Richmond on a Friday night at Marvel Stadium in round 19 as they push for their first finals berth since 2015.

More Thursday night football has been included in the AFL’s rolling fixture, with the Brisbane Lions hosting the Western Bulldogs at the Gabba in round 16 in a rematch of last year’s epic semi-final.

Surprise finals contenders Carlton and St Kilda will then go into battle the following night, July 1, at Marvel Stadium.

Round 17 will kick off in Geelong as the Cats host reigning premiers Melbourne in an intriguing contest.

The last time those teams met at GMHBA Stadium, Max Gawn kicked a goal after the siren to secure the Demons the 2021 minor premiership.

Melbourne then destroyed Geelong in last year’s preliminary final in Perth en route to their drought-breaking flag.

It will be back to Friday night openers in round 18 as the Bulldogs face St Kilda at Marvel Stadium.

The Carlton-Geelong clash under lights at the MCG on July 16 shapes as the other defining match of round 18.

The second grand final rematch of the year will take place in round 19 as the Bulldogs host Melbourne.

Luke Beveridge’s team will be desperate to turn the tables following last year’s demolition in the decider and Melbourne’s comfortable win at the MCG in round one.

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