Fremantle have breathed new life into their stalled 2012 campaign with a memorable backs-to-the-wall 12-point victory over a stunned Richmond at a sodden MCG on Saturday.
The Dockers lost superstar ruckman Aaron Sandilands two minutes into the contest but that didn't stop them from registering a famous 12.6 (78) to 9.12 (66) win to end their five-year 10-match barren stretch at the MCG.
Captain Matthew Pavlich led from the front with a best-on-ground six-goal performance as Fremantle adapted to the slippery conditions much better than their more-fancied opponents and were tougher at the contest with a club record 117 tackles (41 of which came in the third term) compared to Richmond's 82.
The result sees Fremantle leapfrog Richmond on the ladder as the Tigers' charge towards the top eight and credibility hit a major hurdle.
Pavlich was simply outstanding, easily outpointing in-form Richmond defender Alex Rance and collecting 17 disposals to go with his haul.
Matthew De Boer was also instrumental, playing one of the best games of his career with 29 possessions (17 contested), 13 tackles, eight clearances and a crucial third-quarter goal.
Back-up ruckman Jonathon Griffin numbed the loss of Sandilands as he battled manfully with Tigers counterpart Ivan Maric to rack up 43 hit-outs and a goal-of-the-year contender in the second term.
But Maric still had an influence with 44 hit-outs of his own.
Ryan Crowley restricted playmaker Brett Deledio to 15 touches, Luke McPharlin kept Jack Riewoldt to one goal while Hayden Ballantyne (18 touches, two goals), Michael Barlow (24 touches - 12 contested) and Stephen Hill (24 - 15) were also significant contributors.
For Richmond, Trent Cotchin had 30 possessions (18 contested) and nine clearances while playing with what appeared to be an elbow injury for most of the day, Maric was good in the ruck, Shane Edwards chimed in with three goals and Shane Tuck racked up 29 touches (19).
Making matters worse for Richmond was Riewoldt suffering what looked to be an ankle injury early in the match, although he returned to play the game out.
Richmond got out of the blocks the better and dominated the early part of game to kick three of the first four goals and grab a handy 12-point lead 12 minutes into the contest.
But Fremantle absorbed the early onslaught and, thanks largely to three first-quarter goals from Pavlich, got back into the game.
Dustin Martin and Robin Nahas both snapped truly to extend Richmond's lead to 13 but an after-the-siren major from Pavlich, who was giving Rance major headaches, cut the deficit to seven.
The Dockers came out after quarter-time with a head of steam and the first 10 minutes of the second quarter were played exclusively in Fremantle's half.
But some diabolical misses by Chris Mayne and, later on, Garrick Ibbotson who both fluffed straightforward set shots for goal let Richmond off the hook.
However, Fremantle's hard work was rewarded when big Griffin kicked an absolute pearler from the boundary to give the Dockers their first lead of the match 20 minutes into the second quarter.
Edwards levelled things up a few minutes later but Pavlich fittingly had the final say of the half when he booted his fourth to ensure a six-point break for the Dockers at half-time.
Richmond started the third quarter in much spritelier fashion than Fremantle and after three consecutive behinds, wrested back the lead when Edwards snapped his third goal after a terrible Fremantle kick-in.
Chris Mayne kicked truly five minutes later to give the Dockers back the advantage which they held on to for the majority of the term before Cotchin kicked a beautiful running goal from 50 out.
But Pavlich would impact the game once more when he committed to a crucial two-on-one contest in the middle of the ground which led to a loose ball that was collected by De Boer, who executed a one-two with Tendai Mzungu before kicking a great team goal to help Fremantle to a four-point lead at three-quarter time.
And Pavlich wasn't done there, kicking the opening two goals of the fourth quarter to grant Fremantle a game-high 15-point lead.
The Tigers didn't lie down though, and the vast majority of the final term was played in their half.
Richmond had 19 inside 50s to eight in the final term but could only manage 1.4 as the Dockers withstood countless attacking forays from the Tigers to hang on for a memorable win.
RICHMOND: 5.2, 6.3, 8.8, 9.12 (66)
FREMANTLE: 4.1, 7.3, 9.6, 12.6 (78)
GOALS: RICHMOND: Edwards 3, Riewoldt, Vickery, Martin, Nahas, Cotchin, Tuck
FREMANTLE: Pavlich 6, Ballantyne 2, Crichton, Griffin, Mayne, De Boer
BEST: RICHMOND: Cotchin, Maric, Tuck, Grigg, Edwards
FREMANTLE: Pavlich, De Boer, Crowley, Griffin, McPharlin, Ballantyne, Barlow
INJURIES: RICHMOND: Riewoldt (ankle), Cotchin (elbow), Morris (shoulder)
FREMANTLE: Sandilands (foot), Hill (ankle), Dawson (knee)
UMPIRES: Donlon, Schmitt, Mollison
CROWD: 43,801 at the MCG