A FAST start against Claremont, with the Thunder keeping the Tigers goalless until the 20-minute mark of the second quarter, was critical to Peel’s success, says coach Cam Shepherd.
The Thunder started the game with captain Gerald Ugle kicking the side’s first goal in the opening minute, setting the tone for the afternoon at Fremantle Oval.
“In today’s football, you don’t want to keep chasing teams, you like to get ahead,” Shepherd said.
“So we were really happy with that and it was critical in our success.
“Gerald got us going early, we kicked accurately and our pressure was very good.
“The feeling in the rooms was very good before the game and it carried forward.”
He was also pleased with the team’s defensive structures.
Among the standout performances were Danyle Pearce with 35 possession, six marks, six inside-50s and a goal, Nick Suban with 26 touches and Rory O’Brien with 29 disposals.
“Rory is an honest footballer and played really well,” Shepherd said.
“Danyle was really good for us, Nick led from the front, Gerald and Leroy were really strong, Sam Collins led the backline and Griffin Logue came back and played really well.”
Leroy Jetta also capped his selection in the 2017 WAFL state squad last week with three goals.
Shepherd said he was happy about Leroy’s section in the squad.
“That’s really pleasing for him, especially after his year off, and hopefully he gets selected for the team and he plays well,” he said.
Ugle played his best game of the game with four goals, 17 possessions and five marks.
“There were a lot of positives to take out of the game,” he said.
The Thunder take on third-placed Swan Districts at home on Saturday.
“They’ve won five games and are a couple of games ahead of us,” Shepherd said.
“So it’s another great challenge for us to take on a side above us.”