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Dockers thriving through AFLW adversity

Red-hot Fremantle are determined to make their indefinite stay in Victoria count after blowing away an improved Richmond AFLW outfit by 30 points.

In a game packed full of dazzling goals, the Dockers extended their perfect record to 3-0, running away from the Tigers with five last-quarter majors to win 11.11 (77) to 7.5 (47) at the Swinburne Centre on Saturday.

After leading by just 10 points at three-quarter time with the game seemingly still in the balance, Fremantle put their foot down to finish with the second-highest score in the club’s AFLW history.

Due to the Western Australian government’s decision to keep the state’s borders closed indefinitely, Fremantle – as well as battling rivals West Coast – are facing an extended period in Victoria so the AFLW season can continue as planned.

Former captain Kara Antonio admitted it had been a difficult few days after the government backflip about the February 5 border re-opening, but believed the adversity could work in the Dockers’ favour.

“It’s a lot more than just a game to us now,” the star forward told Fox Footy.

“We’re on the road for God knows how many weeks and we’re playing our part for the competition.

“We’ve all had to sacrifice something and leave something at home so the win’s are a lot more than what most people think so I’m really proud of the girls.”

The defeat for the Tigers was soured by a suspected ACL injury to key defender Harriet Cordner.

Richmond are the AFLW’s most improved team this season but their bid for more wins will not be helped by Cordner’s expected long-term absence.

The former Melbourne tall went down in the second quarter clutching her right knee in what seemed to be innocuous circumstances.

She took no further part in the game and will have scans to determine the damage.

Three of the AFLW’s premier players – Bri Davey (Collingwood), Kate Lutkins (Brisbane Lions) and Isabel Huntingon (Western Bulldogs) – have already been ruled out for the season after suffering knee injuries in round one.

Midfielder Monique Conti continued her electric start to 2022 to again be the Tigers’ best, while Kate Dempsey was another solid contributor for Richmond.

Reigning league best-and-fairest Kiara Bowers will be almost a lock for the three votes after collecting 28 touches and nine clearances for Fremantle.

The Dockers are scheduled to play Collingwood in a mouth-watering round-four match at Victoria Park, while the Tigers will travel to the Gold Coast for a Friday night contest against the Suns.

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