WAFL: Peel Thunder faces Subiaco in first grand final rematch

Matt Taberner kicked five goals as Peel Thunder dominated East Fremantle by 86 points. Picture Phil Elliott/ PixEll Photography
Matt Taberner kicked five goals as Peel Thunder dominated East Fremantle by 86 points. Picture Phil Elliott/ PixEll Photography

LEEDERVILLE Oval plays host to its second WAFL match in 18 hours at 2.05pm tomorrow, with a grand final rematch for the first time in 2017 as Subiaco takes on Peel Thunder.

Subiaco was the dominant team throughout the 2016 home and away season losing just four games on the way to finishing on top of the ladder after winning the prrrevious two WAFL premierships.

The Lions then cruised into the grand final after a second semi-final win over South Fremantle but a Thunder team ready to make history awaited them in the decider.

After losing to Subiaco at Rushton Park in round 22, which included blowing a match-winning lead, Peel went on a historic run beating Claremont in round 23 and then defeating East Perth, West Perth and South Fremantle to book in its first grand final appearance.

Once there, Peel proved too strong for Subiaco winning by 23 points.

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Tomorrow at Leederville Oval will be the first time the two teams have met since that fateful day at Subiaco Oval.

Peel won its first two games of 2017 in style beating East Perth by 17 points at Leederville Oval and East Fremantle by 86 points at Rushton Park.

However, the Thunder’s seven-game winning run ended last Saturday at home with a 43-point defeat to South Fremantle.

Subiaco also started its season with a 39-point defeat at the hands of South Fremantle before beating Perth by 23 points and West Perth by 11.

While it is a grand final rematch from only a little over six months ago, both teams have had mass changes to their line-ups.

From Subiaco’s grand final team, Rhys Waters, Simon Moore, Greg Broughton, Brett Robinson, Brett Mahoney, Chris Bryan, Daniel Leishman and Hamish Shepheard will not lace up.

From Peel’s premiership side, Tendai Mzungu, Matt de Boer, Josh Bootsma, Shane Yarran, Ethan Hughes, Connor Blakely, Harley Balic, Ed Langdon, Alex Silvagni, Josh Deluca, Michael Apeness, Ryan Nyhuis, Zac Clarke and Clancee Pearce will miss the rematch.

That leaves Gerald Ugle, Rory O’Brien, Brayden Lawler, Nick Suban, Darcy Tucker, Blair Bell, Sam Collins and Jonathon Griffin as the only premiership players who will run out tomorrow.

From the Subiaco team that defeated West Perth by 11 points at Joondalup Arena last Saturday, Justin Joyce goes out of the line-up.

Adam Cockie is set to return for the Lions after being forced to bide his time in the reserves over the opening three rounds.

Scott Hancock could be straight in following a game in the reserves back from a knee reconstruction while ruckman David Madut is a chance to be back for his first league game since round 15, 2015.

Former West Perth colts and reserves player Liam Baker is also a chance to make his league debut for Subiaco after starting the season well in the reserves.

The mass changes to Fremantle’s AFL side this week has a flow down effect on Peel.

The positive will be the returns of Zac Dawson, Suban, Tucker, Cameron Sutcliffe, Danyle Pearce and Griffin, who were dropped by the Dockers.

But on the negative side, the Thunder lose Tom Sheridan, Hayden Crozier, Brady Grey, Harley Balic and Griffin Logue.

Whoever is out there for both teams, there is sure to be some left over feelings from last year’s grand final that will surface and the difference from being 3-1 or 2-2 for the winner and loser make it a fascinating contest.

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