Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan says they paid the price for not taking their chances against Fremantle, but praised the Dockers for the improvements they have made.
The Lions are priced at 5/1 to win the grand final, and despite the 14-point defeat in Perth they still sit in second place on the ladder, just four points behind Melbourne.
The win took Fremantle to third place and they are level on points with the Lions. There was not much to separate the two sides but Fagan felt a couple of areas cost his team badly.
Fagan felt that the Lions had allowed Freo to score too heavily from stoppages in the third quarter, while they failed to take their own chances.
"They kicked 4.3 from centre bounce to our one goal. There's the game," Fagan told reporters after the game. "In general play it was a tight tussle played by two good sides and Fremantle has improved heaps this year, there is no doubt about that.
"It was high stakes. We could be sitting on top of the ladder now and we're not. It was second playing third and Fremantle has now lodged itself in the top four.
"Bottom line is, we're 9-3 and had some good wins on the road and some narrow losses."
Meanwhile the Lions are boosted by the news that Joe Daniher should return from a shoulder injury when they face St Kilda in the next game.
However there is a concern over Darcy Gardiner who will need a scan after taking a heavy whack to the ribs against Fremantle.