Home / World News / WAFL 2022: Darcy Tucker, Matt Johnson, Sam Sturt propel Peel Thunder into top-five in East Perth thrashing

WAFL 2022: Darcy Tucker, Matt Johnson, Sam Sturt propel Peel Thunder into top-five in East Perth thrashing

Fremantle’s under-performing stars may be feeling extra nervous after watching a host of teammates dominate in Peel Thunder’s 53-point WAFL victory over East Perth at New Choice Homes Park.

Plenty of the Dockers’ contingent of a dozen AFL-listed players had a massive say as the Thunder jumped back into the top-five with their eighth win of the season and third on the trot – 13.15 (93) to 6.4 (40).

The result, watched by Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir, footy boss Peter Bell and several high-profile players including Sean Darcy and Alex Pearce, was beyond doubt by the final change after a three-goals-to-none third term saw the margin blow out to 50 points.

Out-of-favour midfielder Darcy Tucker was best-afield for the second week in a row to further push his case for a recall against Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium next Saturday, finishing with 38 disposals, three goals and seven tackles in a commanding performance.

Silky-skilled ball user Matt Johnson (25 disposals and a goal) looks cherry ripe for an AFL debut, while fellow draftee Neil Erasmus and experienced pair Connor Blakely (34) and Mitch Crowden (21) also had a big say in the engine room.

Up forward, Sam Sturt looked a class above with four majors in the absence of key target Josh Treacy, who was a late out with illness, and the pace of Joel Western caused plenty of issues for the opposition defenders.

The return of a local pair in reigning fairest-and-best winner Tyrone Thorne and captain Ben Hancock was also important, and young defender Jack Sears continued his rise.

For East Perth, ruckman Scott Jones battled gallantly against Lloyd Meek and Riley Smith, mid-season recruit Nick Bonomelli (two goals) provided a target up forward, 50th gamer Kye Willcocks and Jacob Msando did some good things down back.

Hamish Brayshaw (30) and Angus Scott (32 and a goal) were prolific as usual in the midfield and former Blue Angus Schumacher (22, 11 tackles and a goal) never gave up, producing some team-lifting defensive efforts as well as one of the goals of the day on the run in the last term.

But the loss sees the Royals drop to two games out of the five with their finals hopes all but over.

The straight-shooting Thunder were out of the blocks quickly with a trio of Dockers midfielders – Johnson, Tucker and Erasmus – all hitting the scoreboard in the opening 10 minutes with the wind in their favour.

They remarkably kicked six majors without a blemish before Tucker his the post midway through the second quarter thanks to a curling left-to-right breeze and never really looked in danger of losing their lead.

PEEL THUNDER 4.0, 7.4, 10.10, 13.15 (93)

EAST PERTH 2.2, 3.2, 3.3, 6.4 (40)

GOALS – Peel Thunder: S Sturt 4 D Tucker 3 J Western 2 M Johnson N Erasmus B Bell H Matthews. East Perth: N Bonomelli 2 N Robertson 2 A Schumacher A Scott.

BEST – Peel Thunder: D Tucker M Johnson S Sturt N Wilson N Erasmus T Thorne C Blakely J Sears. East Perth: H Brayshaw A Schumacher S Jones A Scott.

INJURIES – Peel Thunder: J Treacy (illness) replaced in the selected side by B Middleton. East Perth: Nil.

UMPIRES: R McCaw, T McPhee, B Laycock

CROWD: About 1800 at New Choice Homes Park

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