An undermanned Fremantle overcame a false start and an evening of injury carnage to beat Brisbane by 23 points at Optus Stadium, leaving last year's Grand Finalist with an 0-2 record ahead of an Easter Thursday rematch with winless premier Collingwood.

The Dockers were outstanding through the middle stages of Sunday's win and piled on eight unanswered goals to set up their 14.9 (93) to 10.10 (70) win, with star midfielder Caleb Serong setting a new club record with 46 disposals in an outstanding individual performance.

Three second-half injuries left the team counting the cost of an early-season win, however, with defenders Brennan Cox (hamstring), Oscar McDonald (knee) and Karl Worner (head knock) all left sidelined as young forward Jye Amiss escaped a knee scare.

The Lions, meanwhile, will be asking questions of themselves ahead of a Grand Final rematch, having lost their opening two games after establishing early leads before conceding disastrous runs of opposition goals. 


The Dockers conceded the first four goals of the game after a series of calamitous turnovers and 50m penalties left them rattled and 23 points behind after just 12 minutes.

Struggling to defend the Lions' ball movement and unable to find their own forward-half targets, it was hard to see a way back for the home team, who had been pinned in their back half before red-time goals to Bailey Banfield and Sam Switkowski, with a brilliant snap over his shoulder, cut the margin to 13 points at the first break.

The second quarter was a purple onslaught, with the Dockers turning the screws in the midfield and turning their clearance and contested ball ascendency into a five-goal run that turned the game on its head.

The dramatic third quarter presented a window for the Lions to get themselves back into the match as the Dockers nursed injuries to Worner, Amiss and McDonald, but they were unable to take it as others stepped up for Fremantle, with Treacy presenting strongly to kick back-to-back goals while Amiss was off the ground.

By the final change, the Dockers had kicked 11 of the past 12 goals and it was hard to see a path back for the Lions, who had lacked energy and speed with the ball through the middle of the ground and were being outmuscled by the Freo onballers.

Walters dodges free kick for trip

Luke Jackson was lining up for a snap set shot in the pocket when Lions defender Brandon Starcevich ran off the line to try and smother his kick late in the second quarter. Walters was lining up alongside Starcevich and threw his right leg out instinctively to trip his opponent in an action that was missed by the umpires. The Dockers were awarded the crucial goal, but Walters' actions were later highlighted on the match broadcast and will be scrutinised by the Match Review Officer. The veteran forward will escape with a fine if his actions are graded as intentional, low impact and to the body.

Lions' midfield unable cover Neale loss

Dual Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale had 21 clearances and 35 contested possessions across his team's two wins against Fremantle last season, and his absence on Sunday hurt the Lions enormously. Without Neale the Lions' midfield conceded the clearances 22-13 and contested possessions 65-58 in the first half. The Dockers' midfield has a bigger, stronger presence in 2024, and Hayden Young and Nat Fyfe played big roles alongside Serong in outmuscling Josh Dunkley, Hugh McCluggage and Co. 

FREMANTLE         2.2   7.5   11.9   14.9 (93)
BRISBANE             4.3   4.5   5.7   10.10 (70)


Fremantle: Amiss 4, Treacy 3, Jackson 2, Frederick, Banfield, Switkowski, Walters, Cox
Brisbane: Daniher 3, Hipwood 3, Bailey 2, Zorko, McCarthy


Fremantle: Serong, Amiss, Jackson, Ryan, Pearce, Brayshaw, Treacy
Brisbane: Daniher, Hipwood, Dunkley, Bailey, McCluggage, 


Fremantle: McDonald (knee), Worner (head knock), Cox (hamstring)
Brisbane: Gardiner (knee soreness), McKenna (hamstring)


Fremantle: Neil Erasmus (replaced Worner in the third quarter)
Brisbane: Kai Lohmann (replaced Darcy Gardiner at half time)

Crowd: 40,604 at Optus Stadium