Dockers' class shines through in big win over Suns

FREMANTLE extended its winning run to 11 games and further enhanced its premiership credentials on Saturday with a 49-point win against Gold Coast at Fremantle Oval.   

The Dockers weren't at their clinical best for periods and overcame a slow start before delivering the knockout blow in a physical third quarter to win 7.13 (55) to 1.0 (6).  

DOCKERS v SUNS Full match coverage and stats

Star midfielder Kiara Bowers was supreme again as she stakes her claim as the League's best player this season, working through a tight Lucy Single tag to win 17 possessions (eight contested) and laying a massive 15 tackles.

AFLW Match Highlights: Fremantle v Gold Coast

04:02 Feb 20. 2021. 7:10 PM

The Dockers and Suns clash in round four of the NAB AFL Women's competition

She inspired a run of seven unanswered goals after quarter-time after the Dockers went scoreless in the opening term and conceded the early lead to last year's semi-final opponents. 

Outstanding defender Janelle Cuthbertson led a rock-solid defence, intercepting and rebounding with 12 disposals, while Hayley Miller (five clearances and a goal) was excellent in the centre square. 

Miller's classy finish extends Dockers' lead

00:36 Feb 20. 2021. 6:46 PM

Hayley Miller has crucially extended Fremantle's lead with this stellar running goal

The backline didn't blink after the first break and held the Suns scoreless for three quarters, with the Dockers' team defence keeping the visitors to 13 inside 50s for the match.  

After one of the club's best wins in its history against 2019 premiers Adelaide last week, the Dockers appeared drained before finding their groove after quarter-time. 

They started getting to the ball first, after losing the contested ball (17-23) and clearance count (8-9) in the opening term, and dominated the forward entries in the second half (5-18).  

Their win came despite leading forwards Gemma Houghton and Sabreena Duffy going goalless, with important forward Gabby O'Sullivan booting two to continue an excellent season. 

O'Sullivan pounces and snaps a beauty

00:31 Feb 20. 2021. 6:23 PM

Gabby O'Sullivan kicks a goal from nothing after pouncing on the loose ball and snapping through this ripper

Suns midfielder Jamie Stanton fought hard with 17 disposals and seven clearances, while Lauren Bella won the ruck battle with 25 hitouts, but the Suns were overwhelmed after their early resistance.  

Roux on the board 
Exciting forward/ruck Roxy Roux had gone four games without a goal this season, and she chose a brilliant way to end the drought on Saturday. In the right place when the Suns kicked the ball out on the full in the second quarter, Roux stepped up to take the free kick, hard up on the boundary in the pocket. She used a checkside kick to curl the footy through skillfully with a Goal of the Year contender. 

Roxy's 'rock star' finish makes Suns pay

00:32 Feb 20. 2021. 5:56 PM

Roxanne Roux has kicked a classy banana goal from the boundary line, making the Suns pay the price for a costly error

Missed chances
Conversion has traditionally been a strength for these Dockers, but on Saturday it deserted them early, kicking 1.5 in the second quarter alone and missing the target altogether with other shots. In one thrilling piece of play, Kiara Bowers, Stephanie Cain and Gabby O'Sullivan carved through Gold Coast with a series of piercing kicks before Gemma Houghton missed the set shot. The second half was hard to fault, but the game could have been put away much earlier with accurate kicking.      

Defence first 
The Suns were set up well behind the ball in the first half and were probably focused on saving goals rather than kicking them for a long time. Still, it takes a concerted effort to keep the attacking Dockers scoreless for a quarter, as Adelaide managed last week, and that was an early win for the Suns. But they didn't work hard enough once winning possession and had just six inside 50s for the next three quarters, which made competing impossible.  

Antonio's running goal continues Dockers' onslaught

00:35 Feb 20. 2021. 6:28 PM

Ebony Antonio has kicked a brilliant running goal to continue Fremantle's brilliant start to the third quarter

Say what
"They made it very hard for us early. I felt our backs were great all day, our mids were really good for three-and-a-half quarters, and our forwards were disappointing for the first half. Once they came to the party things started to happen. " – Fremantle coach Trent Cooper 

"They were lazy … you get back and you work and then you work back the other way, and that's the way you're meant to prepare yourself. That's a mindset that's hard. It's not local footy, so if you're not prepared at that level you're going to find it difficult to play. There were some really crystal-clear lessons in that for the players who want to play at the level I felt." – Gold Coast coach David Lake  

FREMANTLE         0.0   1.5   4.7   7.13 (55)
GOLD COAST        1.0   1.0   1.0   1.0 (6)

O'Sullivan 2, Roux, Miller, Sharp, E Antonio, Verrier
Gold Coast: Kaslar

 Bowers, Cuthbertson, O'Sullivan, Miller, Roux, Stewart
Gold Coast: Stanton, Bella, Single, Surman, Howarth  

Gold Coast: Drennan (ankle) 

Reports: Nil

Crowd: 2,410 at Fremantle Oval

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