The former number two draft pick was in scintillating form on his return to Rushton Park, picking up 23 touches to be one of the standouts in a star-studded Peel line-up.
But it was a bitter-sweet day for the former Gold Coast Sun, injuring his calf in the loss, ruling him out of making his Dockers debut against the Bulldogs when round one of the AFL kicks off this week.
Peel burst out of the blocks, leading by 16 points at the major change led by Fremantle-listed players Connor Blakely (25 disposals), Clancee Pearce (32 disposals) and Matthew de Boer (26 disposals).
Zac Clarke and Jack Hannath dominated the ruck contest for the home side, while Rory O’Brien was also impressive on his return to Rushton Park with 23 touches.
It was not enough to steer them past the Lions though, who put Peel to the sword in the third, booting five goals to the Thunder’s one.
Kyle Halligan kicked six for the visitors, while Kyal Horsley (30 disposals) battled in midfield alongside Leigh Kitchin (32 disposals) and Christopher Phelan (26 disposals) to get the visitors’ hunt for a premiership three-peat off to a solid start with the eight-point win 10.14 (74) to 12.10 (82).
It was a better day for the Reserves, overrunning Subiaco and kicking six goals in the final term to seize a 23-point victory.
Corey Morris impressed along with Brayden Lawler and Joshua Mathers, with the match finishing 12.15 (87) to 10.4 (64).
The Colts also got its season off to the best possible start, holding off the fast-finishing Lions to win by four points.
Brett Milward kicked five for Peel, while Calvin Thorne (28 disposals and one goal), Cruze Wilson (27 disposals) and Michael Humble (1`2 tackles) all contributed in the narrow win.
Next up for Peel is East Fremantle at Rushton Park on Easter Saturday. The Sharks beat Swan Districts by 49 points last weekend.