Freo’s Jonathon Griffin made a solid return to AFL footy in Friday night’s loss to Carlton at Patersons Stadium.

Thrust immediately into the role of number one ruckman after champion Aaron Sandilands had been ruled out of the match, Griffin competed admirably against up-and-coming Blues’ big man Matthew Kreuzer.

The 26-year-old had 14 disposals and 25 hitouts, which helped Freo enjoy a 38-32 clearances advantage.

He was reasonably pleased with his performance but acknowledged there was still plenty of room for improvement.

“The intensity of the game definitely caught up with me, but it’s my first game back and, hopefully, there’s many more to come,” he said.

Griffin said captain Matthew Pavlich chose to focus on the positives when he addressed the team on the ground at the conclusion of the game.

“He told us that we’re not too far off and that we’ve still got improvement to go,” Griffin said.

“He was happy with the effort.”

Griffin said inaccuracy when kicking at goal hurt Freo’s chances of winning the game on Friday.

“If you have that scoreboard pressure, it adds pressure to the opposition,” he said.

“If we’d kicked those goals, you never know what might have happened.”

But Griffin admitted that Freo had been beaten by a better side on the night.

“We had a couple of turnovers that cost us,” he said.

“Carlton’s skills were good. They were able to hit targets and their spread from stoppages was really good.

“You look back and you’re pretty disappointed, but our attention turns to next week.”

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