East Perth have defeated Peel Thunder by 19-points in a physical encounter at Leederville Oval on Saturday.
Peel got off to a slow start and couldn’t reel in the Royals, going down 9.10 (64) to 6.9 (45).
Midfielder Luke Valente said the Thunder’s first quarter ultimately cost them the game.
“They got the jump on us early and we just didn’t defend them well today at all,” he said.
East Perth kicked three goals in the opening term and held Peel goalless to go in to quarter time with an 18-point buffer.
The Royals’ three goals came from just four inside 50s, while Peel failed to convert from their ten entries.
At quarter time Thunder coach Cameron Sheppard lamented his side’s overuse of the handball, putting the team under pressure.
Despite Peel kicking the first goal of the second quarter they again failed to capitalise on their inside 50s.
Luke Valente said East Perth’s efficiency set the teams apart from start to finish.
“They went inside 50 really well, and that was pretty disappointing because that was a focus coming in to the game… we needed to shut that down,” he said.
The third quarter saw the Thunder get some reward for effort, kicking three goals, however yet again East Perth were able to steady and keep the margin beyond four goals.
Thunder coach Cameron Sheppard called for hard running and aggression in the final term if Peel were to have any chance of a comeback.
The last quarter saw the Thunder defend well, holding East Perth goalless, however their inaccuracy was costly.
Despite an improved second half effort, the Thunder fell to a second consecutive defeat.
Luke Valente said connection between the midfield and forward line will need to be improved if Peel are to make a run towards finals.
“To have that many inside 50s and not capitalise is really disappointing…we have to reward our hard work and effort once we get the ball in there,” he said.
Midfielders Brett Bewley (27 disposals) and Bailey Banfield (26 disposals and 11 tackles) were the stand out players for the Thunder.
Lachie Schultz also impressed collecting 22 disposals as well as being Peel’s only multiple goal-scorer.
The Thunder face East Fremantle in a crucial clash on Saturday 20 July at New Choice Homes Park.