<
>

Morris injury sours Dogs win over Dockers

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge is bracing himself for confirmation that the 47-point win over Fremantle at Marvel Stadium will be the last of Dale Morris' AFL career.

In his first senior game since rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the pre-season, Morris limped from the ground in the third quarter of Sunday's clash and took no further part in the 16.17 (113) to 9.12 (66) win in front of 21,181 fans.

The 36-year-old crumpled to the turf after his left leg buckled under him as he attempted to change direction chasing a ball on the ground.

He immediately motioned for assistance and hobbled to the bench under his own steam after being helped to his feet.

Scans are expected to confirm the respected defender has ruptured the ligament again, which would end the 2016 premiership player's 253-game career.

"It's a suspected ACL injury but we'll just need to take some time to confirm it," Beveridge said.

"It would be great for (the scan) to come up otherwise, but we'll communicate that when we know what the status is."

Morris, who fought back last year from a partially ruptured ACL in his other knee, remained upbeat on the bench, encouraging teammates and offering direction despite the devastating setback.

"He's amazing," Beveridge said.

"I patted him on the back at three-quarter time and he had this big smile on his face and it just shows the character and attitude of Dale Morris.

"We're really fortunate to have had him in our ranks for so long."

The injury took the gloss off a convincing performance from Beveridge's men which moved them to ninth on the ladder, behind Adelaide by percentage.

The loss is a major blow to Fremantle's slim finals hopes as Ross Lyon's men slip to 12th with a poor percentage with four games left in the home-and-away season.

"There were a lot of fingers to be put in a lot of dykes to be truthful ... we've been a lot better than that," Lyon said.

"I thought we had a really competitive team, so I'm really disappointed.

"With finals up for grabs, you win that game and you're equal eighth bar percentage.

"Both teams were in the same position and they got it done."

Jack Macrae led the way for the Dogs with 38 possessions and eight clearances, with Bailey Dale booting four goals.

Debutant Rhylee West's first major in senior company was one of the highlights of the contest.

The son of Dogs champion Scott West swooped on a loose ball close to halftime, shrugged a tackler and snapped brilliantly off his left boot to put the Dogs up by 43 points.

Nat Fyfe (33 disposals) still had plenty of the ball despite spending significant time up forward, with Andrew Brayshaw outstanding with 26 possessions and three goals.