WAFL Wrap: Thunder strikes over East Perth

Wednesday, April 17, 2024 - 11:34 AM

By Layne Sargeant and Smiley Mettam, Curtin University 

Fast finishing Peel complete comeback against top of the ladder East Perth.


East Perth showed their dominance early in the first quarter kicking the first four goals of the day. 


Ethan Stanley proved a strong return from his ankle injury smothering the ball in the first quarter which led to Peels first goal of the game, kicked by Sam Sturt. 


Sturt’s first goal of the season rejuvenated Peel, with their intensity lifting through midfield guns Will Brodie (23 disposals) & Scott Tuia (27 disposals).


Peel struggled to get the ball moving against East Perth’s defence in the first half, but defensive steadiness late in the quarter helped to hold the Royals to four goals leading into the break.


The narrative changed in the second quarter as the Thunder slowed down East Perth’s potent ball movement, reducing their scoring shots to nil throughout the quarter.


Nathan O’Driscoll didn’t go unnoticed with a clean ground ball and forward entry falling to Jonathon Ietto who with quick feet put away Peel's third major of the day.

An East Perth centre clearance left Adam Boules clear through on Peel's goal in the dying minutes of the second quarter. A 50 metre headstart wasn't too much for Taj Wyburd to sprint down Boules and keep the margin to within a goal leading into the third.


Missed opportunities were present in the third quarter with Peel struggling to get on top throughout.


East Perth got off to a fast start kicking the first and the second of the quarter, pushing the lead out after Peel’s hard work to get back into the contest. 


A slotted right foot set shot courtesy of Johnathon Ietto created a scuffle that got the crowd going as the quarter ended with Peel 14-points down.


Jack Delean racked up 10 disposals, injecting energy into the fourth quarter with an impressive kick that found the safe hands of Jack Sears, always composed Sears kicked true to chip away at the defecit.


East Perth’s backline began to struggle as a Peel Thunder cheer squad formed behind the northern end goals, Peel kicked the first two of the last quarter bringing the lead to within a point.


As the energy built up, Nathan Wilson kicked a quick snap on his left which gave Peel their first lead of the day and opened the game up for the Thunder.


Midway through the fourth quarter, the excitement of the crowd escalated as Peel scored another goal, extending their lead by two goals, to the delight of the home fans.


The backline was on fire as a defensive one percenter by Hugh Davies stopped a certain goal with a smother. The Thunder’s defensive side proved too strong as East Perth failed to get a goal through throughout the final quarter.

Nathan Wilson kicked one last goal from the boundary that put the game out of reach for the opposition as Peel took it home with a 16-point win.

Ethan Stanley shared his thoughts on the win and the thrilling fourth quarter comeback.

“This week we really attacked taking the game on, going through the corridor and playing our brand of footy again,” Stanley said.


Looking onto next week against West Coast, Stanley was confident the boys could get the job done.


“We trust the way that we play and we’re going bring it next week to West Coast,” he said.


Peel Thunder will take on the West Coast Eagles next Saturday 20 April at Optus Stadium.


Peel Thunder: 1.2 3.4 5.5 10.9 (69) 

East Perth: 4.1 4.1 8.1 8.5 (53) 



Peel Thunder: 3 N Wilson, 2 J Letto, C Tregenza, 1 S Sturt, J Sears B Wemm 

East Perth: 2 M Schofield, 1 S Van Diemen, S Hille, Z Hill, S Wright, C Ameduri, L Tedesco