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Logue makes successful WAFL return

Scott Jones spoke to Docker TV following Saturday's loss. Scott Jones spoke to post-match following the loss against East Fremantle

Fremantle youngster Griffin Logue has made a successful comeback from a foot issue, getting through his first game for 2018 unscathed in Peel's shock 24-point loss to WAFL bottom side East Fremantle on Saturday.  

Meanwhile, Harley Bennell took a significant step forward, moving into the midfield for the Thunder and picking up 16 disposals and booting a goal as he closes on in his latest return to AFL ranks.

Logue, the eighth pick in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft, played 13 senior games last season but has endured a frustrating battle with a congenital metatarsal problem.

The 20-year-old (11 disposals) felt his way back into football at East Fremantle Oval, but put in a competitive performance from half-back.

"I thought he came forward and defended really soundly on quite a few occasions," Peel coach Cam Shepherd said.

"He's a wonderful physical player and he'll be even better for the run."

In wild and woolly conditions, Bennell looked a cut above in his third WAFL match since his latest calf drama. 

The former Sun covered plenty of territory – after being stationed mainly inside 50 last round – used the ball cleanly and showed he won't be far off his third appearance for the Dockers.

Bennell played most of the first half but spent the majority of the third term on the bench and sat on the interchange in a tracksuit top for the entire fourth quarter.

"Clearly, he was on how much sprint and distance that he'd run and I thought he'd performed really strongly in the two-and-a-half quarters he was out there," Shepherd said.

"So it's another step forward for him.

"From what I gather he got through and I thought he played with real enthusiasm today."

Speedy rookie Stefan Giro (34 disposals) backed up his strong performance against the Lions, continuing his push for a debut, however Mitch Crowden (14) was quiet after being rested by Freo.

Michael Apeness impressed in a tough ruck battle against former teammate Jon Griffin.

Apeness booted Peel's opening goal – after nine behinds – nearing time-on in the second term, and finished with 20 disposals, 32 hit-outs and seven marks.

"I thought Mick was terrible last week, in all honesty, against Subiaco so he was asked for a response," Shepherd said. 

"He didn't compete as much as we'd like (against Subiaco) and, to his credit, he copped a bit of a question of his own integrity and his brand, and I was really proud of the way he pushed on today."

Forward-turned-defender Shane Kersten (19 disposals, eight marks) had his work cut out for him, while half-backs Ethan Hughes (25) and Taylin Duman (25) were kept busy down back as the Sharks outhunted the two-time reigning premiers in a major upset.

Peel, which has now lost five of its past six games, had 12 Dockers in the line-up but couldn't match East Fremantle's desire in wintry weather, going down 8.13 (61) to 4.13 (37). 

The Thunder are in seventh spot with just two wins from seven games, and Shepherd questioned their hunger.

"Today I reckon, when it got tough, we didn't respond as well as East Fremantle," he said.

"I was disappointed in quite a few players (not) willing themselves on the contest. 

"Whether we've been a little bit comfortable after the two premierships and guys not digging in as much as they should do … I'd have to question what their hunger is like.

"We need our players to be harder on themselves and not be happy.

"I've got full faith in the group of players to respond, but I can't say I'm confident what our response will be as to whether we'll make finals. 

"You need to put in a sustained winning run to get back into contention."

Cam Sutcliffe (suspended) and Ryan Nyhuis, held over for Freo's clash with North Melbourne, were missing on Saturday, while ruckman Lloyd Meek had 42 hit-outs and eight disposals in the reserves.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs