Last weekend's defeat may have secured this weekend's victory for Fremantle - the most momentous of their AFL history.

Coach Ross Lyon's unpopular decision to rest players en masse for a game with little finals bearing was criticised after they were hammered by lowly St Kilda, amid concerns the Dockers were flirting with their form approaching finals.

That theory was shot full of holes as the daisy-fresh Dockers pulled off a stunning 15-point qualifying final victory over Geelong in Geelong to turn the AFL finals series on its head.

It could also turn conventional wisdom on its head should the Dockers go all the way and claim the flag - proving rest may be more valuable than repetition in many late-season cases.

Fremantle now have a fortnight to reload again for a home preliminary final, and are just one win away from a maiden grand final appearance.

The Dockers' only injury concern from Saturday's Simonds Stadium upset is utility Nick Suban, who was substituted with an ankle injury.

Key defender Luke McPharlin, a late inclusion in the Dockers side after an injury layoff, also seemed to get through his first match in two months without any problems.

"We're one step closer than we were last week," Lyon said.

"It was a powerful response in the face of a great challenge. We want to be an anywhere, anytime team, and they got it done.

"The confidence from the win is that we know what we're doing will stand up, so they get more belief."

Dockers midfielder Michael Barlow believes an extra week's rest and no travel ahead of the preliminary final gives his side a unique opportunity.

"Getting a home prelim gives you no guarantees, but the next fortnight we'll be able to watch a couple of teams hopefully bash each other up," Barlow said.

"I think we came out pretty unscathed, so we can really train up and look forward to a home prelim."

 

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