The Falcons produced the worst score in the interstate cup’s four-season history on Tuesday, losing to the VFL’s Williamstown 10.11 (71) to 1.2 (8) at Kardinia Park in Geelong.
Compounding the reigning WAFL premiers’ woes were injuries to prolific midfielder Shane Nelson (corked shoulder) and classy backman Andrew Strijk (corked quad) during the match, leaving a question mark over them for the Royals fixture.
If they are ruled out, they will join an omissions list that already includes premiership footballers Steve Potente (knee), Nick Rodda (knee) and Kody Manning (shoulder).
Speaking from Melbourne yesterday, Coach Billl Monaghan said the side was ‘devastated’ with its performance.
‘The players aren’t proud of what they achieved,’ he said.
‘They’re realistic about where we sit, but they know that’s not the level of commitment and effort they want to put in – that’s not what they want to be known for.’
The VFL side, led by best-on-ground winner Ben Davies (ex-Collingwood and North Melbourne), sealed the game in a relentless first stanza where they piled on five goals and four points to West Perth’s two behinds.
Monaghan attempted to inspire a revival from his players at quarter-time, telling them he’d picked a team he thought could win the match, not a ‘mug side to come over here and get belted’.
He implored the group to show some pride, referencing the fact they had five goals kicked on them in 20 minutes.
‘We’ve got to grind it out, you’re going to have to keep your head over the ball, you have to get in low, you just have to show some strength over the footy,’ he urged.
In icy conditions that dropped to 2c, the Falcons managed defensive improvement after quarter time to restrict the Seagulls to five goals for the remainder.
But their attack failed to function with a meagre 16 inside-50s to the eventual premiers’ 51.