A hamstring injury to dual Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe has compounded Fremantle’s woes as they slumped to a 13-point AFL loss against Gold Coast on Saturday.
The winless Dockers are now 0-4 after the Suns claimed a 10.4 (64) to 8.3 (51) win in a fiery contest at Metricon Stadium.
Fyfe pulled up with just over five minutes to play in the third quarter and spent the rest of the match sitting on the bench with an ice pack on his right hamstring.
Without their captain, the Dockers couldn’t overcome the in-form Suns who kicked two goals to none in the final term to notch their third straight win and move to second on the ladder.
First-year sensation Matt Rowell was again brilliant for the Suns, picking up 20 disposals and kicking two goals despite at times being marked tightly by Fyfe in the first half.
Ben Ainsworth also had two goals for the hosts, including a crucial right-foot snap in the final term which secured the win.
Touk Miller and star recruit Brandon Ellis also picked up 20 disposals while Jarrod Witts made the most of the Dockers’ undermanned ruck division with 38 hitouts.
Brett Bewley kicked two goals for the Dockers as did Michael Walters, while Darcy Tucker had 20 disposals and Jesse Hogan was more influential in his second match back in the AFL after his long absence.
Neither team kicked a behind in the opening half, the first time in VFL/AFL history that has occurred.
The Suns looked like they’d kicked clear after a five goal run midway through the second term, but the Dockers were maximising their forward entries, kicking six goals straight from 13 inside 50s in the opening two quarters.
Both teams engaged in a wild melee as they made their way off at halftime, which is likely to result in several players copping up fines to the AFL and left Dockers’ forward Matthew Taberner shirtless as he went into the sheds.
The teams were locked up at 50-all at third quarter time but goals in the final term to Jack Lukosius and Ainsworth were enough to secure the win.