There are two common externally-generated perceptions about the Fremantle Football Club.

One is that the side cannot win without its man-mountain of a ruckman, Aaron Sandilands.

The other is that Freo struggles at the MCG.

While those inside the club ignore talk of “hoodoos”, Saturday’s win over an in-form Richmond side was a big one.

For not only did the boys in purple show a tremendous amount of effort to take home the four points, they also won at the MCG – without Sandilands.

Making the win even more meritorious, the champion ruckman began the game on the field but was subbed out with a foot injury early in the first quarter and before he could make an impact.

This left Freo down one in the rotations on a day where the conditions and general game play left all combatants battered, bruised and exhausted.

Despite the loss of Sandilands, Ross Lyon said the team’s game plan didn’t change when Jon Griffin stepped in to take on his former Adelaide teammate Ivan Maric.

The senior coach was full of praise for Griffin.

“I thought he came in and toiled manfully, and grabbed his opportunity,” Lyon said.

“It’s reward for his preparation that, when the moment came, the man came.

“That was terrific.”

Lyon was also pleased to notch another away win in season 2012, the club’s third.

“To come to the MCG, interstate, and win, is something that we want to be able to do and we got it done,” he said.

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