PEEL Thunder will progress to an all-important semi final next week after defeating South Fremantle by 18 points at Fremantle Oval.
The Thunder showed composure and staved off a late comeback by the Bulldogs to win, with the final score 12.8 (80) to 9.8 (62).
Peel’s Aaron Naughton said the team rallied together for the win and were happy with the result.
“We knew South Fremantle were going to throw everything they had at us and they did… so it was a great win,” he said.
The Thunder came out strong kicking three first quarter goals, while the Bulldogs finished the opening term, kicking two goals of their own.
In a tightly contested second quarter the Thunder notched another three majors to take a 17-point lead into the half.
Naughton said coach Cam Shepherd commended the team on their effort so far but urged them to keep working.
“Switch on again and bring that effort again like we did at the start of that first quarter and I think we did that,” he said.
Leroy Jetta kicked his second goal in the third term as the Thunder started to build a commanding lead.
Naughton said Jetta was crucial to the Thunder’s forward line.
“He’s obviously played at the highest level and knows all the tricks of the trade,” he said.
“He’s very good around goal and he finishes strong, so if we can get the ball in his hands it’s most likely going through the middle.”
As the Thunder took a 32-point lead into the fourth quarter, it looked as if the game was in their grasp until the Bulldogs began to fight back kicking four unanswered goals.
Peel Thunder captain Gerald Ugle responded, kicking his third goal of the game to seal it.
“He’s got some serious wheels and good skills so we want the ball in his hands as well,” he said.
Peel take on Subiaco at Leederville Oval on Sunday September 9 in a semi final.