Round 3 Match Preview

Friday, July 31, 2020 - 10:48 AM by Owen Davies

After a promising start at home in Round 1 it was difficult weekend away at East Fremantle last week. Such inconsistencies can only be expected from a young side still learning their craft. Add to that a side eager to make amends for their humiliating defeat a week prior and it was always going to be tough as we went down 6.9 (45) to East Freo's 13.9 (87).

Jackson Merrett was his usual steady self and was probably the stand out contributor on the day with 23 Disposals, 9 Contested, 5 Score Involvements and 4 Clearances. Ben Hancock with 15 disposals and Josh Bootsma with 7 spoils, 6 Rebound 50’s, at 90% DE were both solid.

Forcing turnovers and getting hands on the ball was an issue, as East Freo were +50 in Uncontested Possession and +30 in Hitouts allowing them to control the game and maintain possession. Despite this the Inside 50’s were almost even 37-38, unfortunately from a Thunder perspective we weren’t particular efficient with only 41% of our Inside 50’s generating a score, where as East Freo managed 58%.

Tomorrow's opponent West Perth are coming off a narrow defeat to South Fremantle last week which leaves them at 1-1. As always they are led by Aaron Black and Shane Nelson through the midfield who both had 28 and 27 disposals each. Simlarly to the Thunder they have not been dominant in the ruck, losing the hitouts in their first 2 games by -31 and -22 but have managed to stay even and even win the clearance last weekend. Relying more heavily on their midfield grunt, they beat up Swan Districts by +20 in contested ball and were +40 in ground balls in Round 1, they were actually beaten last week by Souths in these same two areas. So look for the midfield battle to be one of the key areas.

4 of the last 5 games against the Falcons have been decided by less than a kick, with both teams sharing the spoils last season. Interestingly enough the last 2 games played at David Grays Arena RD 1 last season and RD 10 in 2018 we enjoyed 3-point wins, lets hope we can taste our first victory today.

We also congratulate one of our Leaders Ben Hancock on reaching his 100 Game Milestone. A local Peel product, coming up as a junior from Warnbro JFC - Ben has worked incredibly hard to reach this milestone and it hasn’t been without adversity, after he was squeezed out of the victorious 2016 Grand Final side, he came back better than ever in 2017, playing every game and was lucky enough to take part in the clubs second flag. We also congratulate Josh Bootsma, playing his 50th game for the club and Ebony Dowson who plays her 100th combined WAWFL-WAFLW game.

Finally look out for both Isiah Winder and Zach Rankin who will be our 7th and 8th players to debut this season. Both have been consistent contributors through the first couple of Colts games this season averaging 29 and 22 disposals respectively. Both products of the Eaton Boomers they have spent most of their time through the midfield and forward line. They will join Ben Middleton, James Ewing and Jack Sears who were all part of the Colts Grand Final side from last season.