Pearce proves prolific for Freo
Danyle Pearce proved he was not a falling star in his Fremantle debut.
On Saturday night, the 2006 NAB AFL Rising Star put in a performance that would have left Port Adelaide fans wondering why they let the star midfielder go.
Though influential in the first quarter, Pearce, who joined Fremantle from the Power as a free agent in the summer, really came alive when he dribbled his first goal through from a tight angle late in the second quarter.
It followed an embarrassing incident in which he and teammate Chris Mayne collided while trying to mark without any Eagles in sight.
“I did see Mayney coming through and I thought ‘key forward, let him go’ and then I thought ‘oh, no, if I don’t go and he doesn’t then that will look even worse’.
“So, luckily it snuck through and, yeah, lucky I kicked it.”
The goal sparked wild celebrations from Pearce, 26, which were matched only by the celebration of his second goal, midway through the third quarter.
He said he was excited by the goals because he had sprayed a set shot at goal midway through the second quarter.
“It was getting over the embarrassment of that first shot,” Pearce said.
“That was absolute shocker, that first one, and I just had to make it up to the boys.
“I think they (West Coast) kicked a goal right after that miss, so it was a two-goal swing, so I really had to make that up and I’m glad that I snuck one in.”
Pearce, who had 23 possessions, was one of a group of fleet-footed Fremantle players who ran over the top of West Coast in the second half.
He said a tough pre-season had paid dividends and he was pleased to start his career with WA’s port club with a win.
“The inside guys, the big midfielders, were fantastic today and really gave the outside guys a lot of opportunities to run and carry,” he said.
“And (Stephen) Hill was fantastic as well, with a lot of great runs and penetrated with the ball. So it’s fantastic that, as a whole, everyone stood up.”