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Freo blanket Suns



Fremantle has gone in to their mid-season bye on a winning note, defeating Gold Coast by 27 points at Optus Stadium on Saturday.


In a dour, scrappy contest the Dockers pushed away after half time to comfortably account for a disappointing Suns outfit, winning 11.10 (76) to 6.13 (49) in front of 27,318 fans.


Having overcome a hamstring injury sustained against the Western Bulldogs ruckman Sean Darcy dominated the contest, recording 17 disposals, 40 hitouts and a goal on his 23rd birthday.


The result improved Fremantle's record to 6-7, while Gold Coast's finals hopes are all but over after slipping to 4-8.


Dockers veteran David Mundy was influential with 20 disposals, six clearances and two goals, while Rory Lobb booted two goals and snared four contested marks.


Suns midfielder Touk Miller battled hard for 31 disposals, seven clearances and a goal.


Bright sunshine and perfect conditions greeted players for the match, but the opening half proved to be one of the ugliest displays of football seen this season.


Both sides were guilty of committing basic handling errors and costly turnovers with Gold Coast going to halftime with 1.8 to their name, with Burgess and Sam Flanders both booting two behinds during the second term.


The game broke open in the third stanza, with Fremantle kicking six goals to four to push away from their opponents having led by 8 points at half time.


Alex Pearce marked his return from injury in his first AFL game since round one, keeping Suns forward Ben King goalless for the first time this season while recording 16 disposals, seven marks and five inside 50's.


""I was expecting a bit of rustiness to be honest today, just given it's his first AFL game as a fullback in a long time," Dockers coach Justin Longmuir said of Pearce, who has been ravaged by leg and ankle injuries.


"He hit the ground running. Some of the contests he won, the physical pressure he put on King - I just thought he was a real rock for us down there for us. I'm really proud of him.


"He's probably been in some dark spaces with his injuries, but he never really shows it around the club.


"I would imagine he's still got plenty of growth in him. It's his first game as a fullback in probably two years. He's just going to build on what he did today."


Fremantle head in to their bye in round 14 with their next assignment against Collingwood at Docklands in two weeks time, while the Suns will host Port Adelaide at Metricon Stadium next weekend.


IMAGE: The West Australian.