There’s a desperation to Fremantle’s backline that is making it especially hard to score against in 2022, according to stand-in captain Alex Pearce.

Fremantle conceded less than 60 points for the third straight game in a 48-point win against Essendon on Sunday at Marvel Stadium.

With just 307 points conceded from five games, the backline ranks behind only Melbourne (299) in the AFL.

07:36 Mins
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'We just kept grinding' | Pearce

Alex Pearce spoke post-match following the win over Essendon

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On numerous occasions Essendon found themselves deep in Fremantle’s forward line only for Fremantle to scrap and attack on the rebound and Pearce said it came down to a determination to never give up.

“I thought the backline was solid all game and kept defending when we were under pressure,” Pearce said.

“Even when we made some errors, we dug in and did what good defences do, clawed and stuck our fingernails in. It was just great.

“When we’re playing our best, it’s six of us working together and helping each other out. I thought they were fantastic and it’s good to be able to come back in. I felt good out there, I played my role and got it done, it was nice.”

05:36 Mins
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Longmuir post-match | Round 5 v Essendon

Justin Longmuir spoke to the media following the win over Essendon in round five.

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Pearce had returned after being a late out against GWS due to ankle soreness, replaced by Griffin Logue who starred with nine spoils and five intercept marks.

But Fremantle’s depth in defence meant Logue was an omission despite earning three coaches' votes in Pearce’s absence.

“It’s been a challenging week for Griff especially, getting dropped after playing so well,” Pearce said.

“We’re very privileged to play in this team and this backline and we all feel that at the moment, it’s a great position to be in to have so many players vying for spots.”

Pearce had the difficult task of taking on Peter Wright, who started the round one goal from the lead in the Coleman Medal on 12 goals.

But Pearce virtually nullified the 203cm Bombers star, keeping him to seven disposals and one behind on the scoreboard.

“My plan was just to be really physical, I’m at my best when I’m physical and that was it, just make everything hard and keep wearing him down,” Pearce said.

“I’ll always back myself in to keep running and give effort towards the end.”

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Mini-match | Round 5 v Essendon

Watch the Fremantle v Essendon match in round five at Marvel Stadium

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