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

Eight Fremantle listed players were in action at Rushton Park in Mandurah on Saturday afternoon as the Thunder opened their 2024 account on a positive note.

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

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 former Fremantle player 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 (two goals, nine 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 unable to capitalise 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 led by second-year Fremantle player Hugh Davies.

Davies (nine disposals, four 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 free-flowing contest.

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 Delean’s second goal of the day before Patrick Voss (11 disposals and a 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 while veteran Wilson kicked a match-winning five goals from only six disposals helping Peel to the win.

A strong turnout was present for both teams with Fremantle players Heath Chapman, Josh Draper, Tom Emmett and Nathan O’Driscoll turning up to support the boys.


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," Davies said.

Davies also credited former Fremantle player and current Development Coach Tendai Mzungu for his support.

“The coaches, particularly Tendai Mzungu, I’ve worked real closely with and he’s helped me in terms of my positioning and my ability to read the game,” Davies said.

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," Davies said.

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 Teak J Mcdonald, J Hagan, L Blakiston