Claremont have made a winning start under new coach Darren Harris, surviving a slow start to belt East Fremantle by 62 points at East Fremantle Oval.
The Sharks booted the first four goals of the game within the first 13 minutes, but it was largely one-way traffic from there on the way to the 19.9 (123) to 9.7 (61) result.
Any resistance against the Tigers’ onslaught from East Fremantle in their second season under coach Rob Wiley evaporated in the last quarter as the visitors piled on eight goals to one.
Reigning Sandover medallist Jye Bolton showed he wouldn’t be slowing down in 2017 with 26 disposals, three inside 50s and a goal, while Tom Lee proved his worth after returning from St Kilda with five majors from 20 possessions.
But forward Jack Richardson came off the ground in extreme pain early in the third quarter in what appeared to be a serious shoulder injury.
Already without prime mover George Hampson (hamstring), the Sharks were further weakened when star midfielder Liam Anthony was a late out due to illness.
Matthew Watson (three goals, five inside 50s) provided a strong presence both in the ruck and up forward, with Jesse Adamini (27 touches, one goal) and Cam Eardley (25 disposals) workhorses throughout.
Collingwood recruit Jonathon Marsh set the tone for the Sharks’ hot start with a 65m bomb to give the home side its first.
They continued to be the slicker side, adding another three majors on the way to a 25-point advantage.
Claremont finally started to get themselves back into the contest in the latter stages, with Bolton setting up Ryan Neates in the goal square for their first goal as they went in 19-points down at the first break.
Then the Tigers charged. East Fremantle had no answers as the visitors dominated possession and took full toll up forward.
They strung together six unanswered goals – the last coming from a particularly horrific kick out from Ryan Lester-Smith – to pile on the pain for the Sharks.
Brett Peake won a late free kick and converted to reduce the damage to 13 points at half time.
East Fremantle made the most of Claremont’s wastefulness early in the third term to hit back with consecutive goals and reduce the margin to just four points.
But a free kick to Bolton sparked four unanswered goals for the visitors to put the Sharks right on the back foot.
Watson stood up to kick his third on the siren to give his team hope going into the last quarter 21 points down.
Goals to twin towers Lee and Beau Maister in the opening five minutes of the final term took the wind out of any potential comeback from the home team.
Three more quick goals meant it was all of a sudden a thrashing.
CLAREMONT 1.1 7.3 11.8 19.9 (123)
EAST FREMANTLE 4.2 5.2 8.5 9.7 (61)
GOALS – CLAREMONT: Lee 5; Langdon, Maister 3; Neates, Manuel 2; J Murphy, Bolton, I Richardson, Lim. EAST FREMANTLE: Watson 3; Peake 2; Marsh, Symonds, Adamini, Perham.
BEST – CLAREMONT: Lee, Bolton, Lim, Neates, Langdon, Ledger, Busher. EAST FREMANTLE: Watson, Adamini, Eardley, Schofield, Symonds, Jupp.
INJURIES – EAST FREMANTLE: L Anthony (illness) late withdrawal from selected side, replaced by D Anthony. CLAREMONT: J Richardson (shoulder).
UMPIRES: Jordan Fry, Trent McPhee, Ryan Shelton.
CROWD: 1800 (approx) at East Fremantle Oval.