PEEL Thunder coach Cam Shepherd said injuries at AFL level left his team short-changed during their 66-point loss to East Perth.
The Thunder were outclassed by East Perth, who had a raft of West Coast Eagles players in their squad and ran out big winners thanks to a dominant performance.
Shepherd said Fremantle Dockers’ lengthy injury list, which includes the likes of Bradley Hill, Lee Spurr, Matt Taberner and Harley Bennell, meant they were unable to field their best squad to match the Royals’ firepower.
“I think what we can say about yesterday is we suffered with injuries at Fremantle,” he said.
“Despite our players’ best efforts, we had a very young backline and in the end, the weight of numbers from East Perth was too great and they were clearly superior on the day.
“We’ll continue to chip away and look forward to next week.”
Despite the heavy defeat, a number of Peel players stood out, with Michael Apeness (37 hit-outs) dominant in the ruck and Traye Bennell (21 disposals and six tackles) and Benjamin Hancock (19 disposals, seven tackles and four inside 50s) also catching the eye.
Shepherd was quick to praise their performances, while also highlighting the efforts of Fremantle trio Danyle Pearce (26 disposals and four inside 50s), Tommy Sheridan (29 disposals and four inside 50s) and Shane Kersten (13 disposals).
“Ben Hancock and Traye Bennell stood up and played a real fine game and Michael Apeness and Shane Kersten led from the front,” he said.
“In regards to Danyle Pearce and Tommy Sheridan, we normally get good performances from them.”