Docker Pearce gets 1st AFL crack at Lynch
Posted on 04/25/20 7:43 PM
Fremantle’s Alex Pearce (L) might get first crack this weekend at Gold Coast AFL star Tom Lynch.Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says young defender Alex Pearce will probably be given first crack at Gold Coast star Tom Lynch in Saturday’s AFL clash at Optus Stadium.
Lynch looms as the Suns’ trump card after his eight-goal haul last week against Carlton.
The Dockers boast plenty of talls down back, with premiership Bulldog Joel Hamling, veteran Michael Johnson and Pearce all capable of being handed big jobs.
Pearce has missed most of the past two years, having broken a leg twice, but has made a stunning return this season.
In last week’s win over Essendon, Pearce kept Joe Daniher goalless.
Lyon said the 200cm, 98kg Pearce was likely to be given first go on Lynch.
“Alex Pearce is a natural match-up. But Hamling and Johnson can share the load depending on where he plays on the ground,” Lyon said.
“Look, Lynch is in great form. He’s a great young player. We’ll respect him, but we can’t focus too much on the one player.
“Gold Coast are the No.1-contested ball team, the No.1-tackling team, No.1-forward pressure team, top-four ground ball, No.2 defence. It’s going to be a fierce contest.”
Fremantle are riding high after their 16-point win over Essendon.
And the Dockers will be aided this week by home-ground advantage. The Suns sold their round-three hosting rights to Fremantle, with Metricon Stadium tied up for the Commonwealth Games.
Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew highlighted Fremantle’s midfield as a major danger area this weekend.
“They are big boys in there, and a lot of experience,” Dew said of a midfield featuring Nat Fyfe, David Mundy, Lachie Neale and ruckman Aaron Sandilands.
“In terms of A-grade talent, they’ve got that in spades. It’s a big challenge for our midfield group. Games are won and lost in there.
“We haven’t had any tricks in the games this year so far, and we’re certainly not going to try to pull a rabbit out of the hat.
“We’re looking for some consistent effort from our whole group.”
The unbeaten Suns will be boosted by the return of Pearce Hanley (shoulder), while Fremantle will be without best-and-fairest winner Brad Hill (knee).