THE DOCKERS have beaten Melbourne at TIO Traeger Park in Alice Springs, defeating the Demons by 92 points.

It was Melbourne's biggest losing margin in 172 games under Simon Goodwin and the highest score it has conceded since he took over as coach in 2017.

At the 20-minute mark of the third term, Melbourne had only kicked 4.3 in perfect conditions, the likes of Luke Ryan, Alex Pearce and Jordan Clark denying the Dees at every turn.

The final score sat at an extraordinary 22.9 (141) to 7.7 (49), the Dockers just five points shy of the highest ever AFL tally at the venue.

Fremantle spent a couple of minutes clicking into gear, and Melbourne took full advantage with two quick goals to start the first term.

But it was one-way traffic for not just the remainder of the quarter, but the rest of the game, the Demons struggling with their ball movement off half-back as the Dockers controlled the wide expanses of Traeger Park.

The height of Josh Treacy, Jye Amiss and Luke Jackson troubled a Jake Lever-less Melbourne defence, particularly given the amount of turnover ball generated in the opening term as the Dockers jumped out to a three-goal lead.

After their bright start, the Demons didn't kick a goal for the equivalent of a full quarter, the Clayton Oliver major their only score for the second term.

Michael Walters had come into the match under a little pressure following a quiet month, but he had two goals by half-time, including a wonderful one-handed pick-up and snap in the first term, and finished with three for the game.

The final inside-50 count was 68 to 36.

The second quarter saw just seven Demons inside-50s to 18 for the Dockers, the men in purple (white) piling on six goals in the term to coast to a 50-point lead at the main break, the first time Fremantle had kicked 11 goals in a first half since the start of 2019.

Another seven goals followed for Fremantle in the third term, Sean Darcy a highlight as he started his snap with his back to the goal, the big man pivoting on his heel as he hoicked it nearly 40m, while Caleb Serong slotted a stunner from the boundary.

Fremantle was superb out of the middle, Caleb Serong, Andrew Brayshaw, Hayden Young and Nat Fyfe controlling play through the midfield. While centre clearances were even at half-time, the Dockers held an ascendancy of eight around the ground, and the Dockers finished 24 ahead in the statistic.

Tom McDonald was swung forward in the second half in an attempt to generate some sort of score for Melbourne, and the big man kicked two.

The luckless Lachie Hunter injured his calf and was subbed out at half-time, having started the game with a compression-type bandage around his lower leg. 

AFL hits the desert
Traeger Park sits at the base of the iconic MacDonnell Ranges, and it's one of the prettiest grounds which host AFL matches. Kozzy Pickett and Shane McAdam had arrived a few days early to help out with community clinics in the region. The Arlparra Dockers formed the guard of honour for Fremantle, with kids from the remote community travelling three hours to play Auskick at half-time. Local groundstaff said 45mm of rain hit the ground on Thursday, and aside from a slightly soggy pocket that was ticked off by officials pre-match, the ground was picture-perfect.

MELBOURNE       2.3    3.3      5.4     7.7 (49)
FREMANTLE        5.2    11.5    18.7    22.9 (141)

McDonald 2, Gawn, Oliver, Petracca, Petty, Viney
Fremantle: Amiss 4, Jackson 3, Treacy 3, Walters 3, Frederick 2, Clark, Darcy, Fyfe, Serong, Sturt, Switkowski, Young

Melbourne: Viney, Salem, Petracca, Gawn
Fremantle: Clark, Serong, Brayshaw, Amiss, Young, Walters

Melbourne: Hunter (left calf)
Fremantle: Nil

Taj Woewodin (replaced Lachie Hunter at half-time)
Fremantle: Corey Wagner (replaced Michael Frederick at three-quarter time)

Crowd: 6,109 at TIO Traeger Park