Fremantle’s poor start to the AFL season has continued with a shock 26-point AFL loss to Gold Coast at Domain Stadium.
A week after copping a 65-point hammering by the Western Bulldogs, Fremantle put in another limp display in their 19.12 (126) to 14.16 (100) loss to the Suns in front of 34,208 fans.
The Dockers won their first nine games last season on the way to the minor premiership.
But they are now nursing a worrying 0-2 record heading into next week’s western derby against West Coast, with their premiership hopes already in the spotlight.
In contrast, Gold Coast are riding high after posting their second straight win.
Last week’s victory over an undermanned Essendon was a predictable one.
But the effort against Fremantle – particularly in attack – will give Suns fans plenty of optimism about what lies ahead this year.
Tom Lynch was a tower of strength on his way to five goals, while Jack Martin (four goals) pulled in 11 marks in a dominant effort.
Brandon Matera and Callum Ah Chee also chipped in with two goals apiece in a fluent team display.
Gary Ablett had a quiet day by his standards with 23 disposals and a goal, but Dion Prestia, Alex Sexton, and Aaron Hall helped pick up the slack through the middle.
Gold Coast face Carlton and Brisbane in the next fortnight, giving them an excellent chance to improve their record to 4-0.
Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe battled valiantly with 34 disposals and three goals for the Dockers.
But he lacked line-breaking support, especially through the midfield where Fremantle should have enjoyed a dominant advantage against a Gold Coast side still missing David Swallow, Jaeger O’Meara and Matt Rosa.
Gold Coast entered the match having lost all seven of their previous visits to Perth – by an average of 50 points.
But they put that hoodoo to bed in ruthless fashion, with their seven-goals-to-two display in the second quarter helping set up the win.
Fremantle’s day was summed up in the dying minutes when Fyfe ran into an open goal – only to stub his toe and miss.
Fremantle have become renowned for their stingy defence under Ross Lyon.
But they’ve bled 34 goals in the opening two rounds, with their attack unable to keep up with the carnage.
Ablett rated the win as one of the best he’s experienced at Gold Coast.
“Without a doubt. You need to win away from home to play finals footy,” Ablett said.
“I wouldn’t say it’s (happened) overnight. There’s been a lot of hard work that’s gone in. I’m proud of the guys tonight.”