2024 Starts with a win for League

Wednesday, April 3, 2024 - 2:18 PM

By Smiley Mettam and Layne Sargeant, Curtin University

Peel win the Grand Final rematch thanks to nine debutants and a five goal haul from veteran Nathan Wilson.

A rematch of last year’s WAFL Grand Final saw Peel Thunder win by 19 points over East Fremantle in the opening round of the 2024 season.

Both teams brought pressure and intensity from the beginning with Will Brodie (20 disposals), Neil Erasmus (36 disposals, 6 tackles) and Liam Reidy (48 hitouts, 15 disposals) leading the charge.

Liam Reidy was on top early in the ruck with his contests helping Peel’s midfield, spearheaded by Brodie and Erasmus, get on top of the clearances.

The clearance dominance helped Nathan Wilson, kick truly from outside 50 giving Peel the first goal of the game.

East Fremantle responded quickly with the next two goals, before Wilson and 2023 draft pick, Cooper Simpson (15 disposals) hit back with the next two.

Simpson’s goal was a check side on the run before he was collected afterwards, leading to a fiery scuffle. 

Jack Delean (2 goals, 9 disposals) put Peel ahead by 19 points kicking the last goal to end the first quarter. 

The second term became a defensive struggle with both sides struggling to capitalize in front of goal with Peel kicking four behinds for the quarter.

East Fremantle were dominant early in the second quarter kicking the first goal, however Peel’s backline held strong.

Davies (9 disposals, 4 marks) intercepted well throughout the second quarter, helping repel East Fremantle’s hopes of closing the gap on the scoreboard.

Peel went into halftime leading by 14 points.

The Thunder got off to a great start in the second half kicking the first two goals in a freer flowing contest than the first half. 

The Peel backline again held firm but East Fremantle grabbed momentum midway through the third quarter responding with two of their own goals. 

Peel steadied the ship through Jack Delean’s second goal of the day before Patrick Voss (11 disposals, 1 goal) kicked true for his first of the day and his first in Peel colours.

Peel took a 32-point lead into the break after a six goal to three quarter. 

The forward pressure was a staple of the Peel forward line, led by Delean and Voss.

The strong physical game had both teams putting their bodies on the line as East Fremantle attempted to mount a late charge in the final quarter. 

To the delight of the home crowd, Peel held firm controlling the ball to the final siren.

Peel’s Ben Hancock was instrumental in the win with 25 disposals and a goal. Veteran Nathan Wilson kicked a match-winning five goals from only six disposals helping Peel to the win. 

Hugh Davies reflected on the round one win.

“We put a lot of work in this preseason and we were just super excited to be back out there for round one and it was good to get the win today,” he said.

“We love the Mandurah community down here and they are always behind us.”

“When we’re down here with them it gives us that little edge against the opposition which really helps.”
Davies was full of praise for the defensive group.

“We’ve got a really good system down there and everyone knows their role, so it’s easy just to trust everyone and play a role which gets the job done.”

Looking towards next week’s match against WAFL powerhouse Subiaco, Davies was hopeful that Peel could continue their winning ways.

“Another super opposition, it will be good to hopefully get another win on the board but we’ll just get back to training for now and assess next week.”

Jack Sears was pleased to begin the 2024 campaign with a win.

"It's been a long pre-season so to get the win over them after the grand final is really rewarding."

"Credit to the mids, to Ben Hancock, Scott Tuia on debut, Neil Erasmus & Will Brodie. Three pretty experienced mids along with Scott got the job done for most of the day winning those contested balls."

Peel will be back in action against Subiaco at Leederville Oval on Sunday 7 April.

Peel Thunder: 5.2 5.6 11.7 12.10 (82)
East Fremantle: 2.1 3.4 6.5 9.9 (63)

Peel Thunder: 5 N Wilson, 2 J Delean, C Tregenza, 1 B Hancock, C Simpson, P Voss
East Fremantle: 2 B Lawler, 1 J Marsh, C Leggett, J Schoenfeld, B Teakle, J Mcdonald, J Hagan, L Blakiston