GOLD Coast coach Stuart Dew has slammed his team for a lack of hunger that failed to make Fremantle earn its 27-point win in the most disappointing performance of his team's season.
The Suns were wasteful in front of goal at Optus Stadium and slipped to 14th on the ladder with their fourth loss in five matches, kicking 0.5 in the second quarter when they had a period of control.
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Dew said he would probe his players about their mindset going into the game, as well as their preparation coming out of the bye and a round-11 win against Hawthorn, saying Saturday's result had flattered them.
"It's as disappointing a game for us for the year," Dew said.
"We didn't look hungry enough. We have to cop that. We didn't make Fremantle earn that victory anywhere near as much as they should have. We have to wear that whack this week.
"The start was OK, but OK doesn't cut it."
Dew said he could sense early in the match that his team was only hanging on before a wayward second quarter. The coach highlighted that nine Suns players had failed to lay a tackle in the first half.
"We need to review what was our mindset, which is hard because we need guys to be honest and vulnerable in that," Dew said.
"What was their mindset coming in against this club, coming off the bye after a win? What was the preparation?
"We have shown we can dish up a better performance than that. We sit here saying that was poor as a footy club."
Where the Suns were wasteful in the second quarter, Fremantle took its chances after half-time, particularly through some sharp set-shot kicking, to create a 22-point lead at the last change.
"It was great. It’s really what we should be doing," coach Justin Longmuir said.
"For them to execute under pressure – I think it was Liam (Henry) and 'Lobby' (Rory Lobb) who kicked those two in a row – it was really important goals and took their chance away from them, really.
"I thought we finished off the game really well. We were able to run down the clock really well."
Longmuir praised returning key defender Alex Pearce for an excellent shutdown job on young Gold Coast star Ben King, who was held goalless for the first time this season.
"He’s probably been in some dark spaces with his injuries, but he never really shows it around the club. He's always upbeat," Longmuir said of Pearce after his first game since round one, and just his second since round 11, 2019.
"He’s still doing as much as he can off the field to lead us and get himself right. He’s never given up hope.
"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.
"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."
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