FREMANTLE coach Mark Harvey says his team’s inexperience was a major factor in its thumping loss to the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

A rash of injuries meant Fremantle fielded 11 first or second-year players against the Dogs.

“Physically, we weren’t at our best,” Harvey said after the game. “We’ve got a lot of immaturity in our side at the moment.

“That’s not an excuse for being beaten, as we got beaten in all facets, from stoppages through to the way we were tackled and our lack of tackling at times.

“We’ve got a significant injury toll at the moment, but we’re fielding a team and it was probably the first time all year we’ve been smashed like that.

“What you want to look at now is how they respond and what they do about it.”

The 82-point loss saw Fremantle fall to fifth on the ladder, while the Bulldogs replaced them in the top four.

“We’ve never said we’re a top-four side,” Harvey added.

“We just happen to have made the most of the season so far and we’re playing every game on its merits.

“We know we’ve got a long way to go.”

Harvey also called on the AFL to relax the rules that compel clubs to submit their final teams 90 minutes before the opening bounce.

A day after North Melbourne confronted a similar situation, Fremantle faces a fine because it elected to replace David Mundy with Paul Hasleby after the team sheets had been submitted.

Harvey said Mundy had suffered severe stomach cramps during the pre-game warm-up.

“Warm-ups go for 25 minutes now,” he said. “What we have tended to see is a lot of players that have run into trouble during the course of warm-ups.

“It’s a matter of whether we need to put our list in an hour and a half before the game.

“I think that needs to be discussed because it’s happening a lot at the moment – players getting injured through warm-ups where there has to be a late change.”

Mundy and key position player Chris Tarrant (heel) should be fit to return for next week’s western derby against the Eagles.

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