Royals teach Thunder a lesson
Paul Johnson

East Perth have maintained their perfect record over fellow alignment side Peel this season with a 63-point win at Medibank Stadium this afternoon.

The Royals were heavy favourites going into the game despite coming off a five-day break after their Foxtel Cup semifinal loss to Williamstown.

The game was tight early, but the Royals lifted in the third quarter and kicked nine of the last 11 goals to run out 16.13 (109) to 6.10 (46).

The result leaves the Royals still sitting one game clear on top of the ladder, with Peel still anchored to last place.

Paul Johnson was dominant in the ruck for the home side, with Steven Payne, Dom Sheed, Brant Colledge and Brendan Lee feeding off his brilliance.

Regular defensive player Sam Menegola was Peel’s best after being used in a more attacking role, while Laine Wilkins was their only real threat in front of goal.

East Perth had the early advantage on the back of some spectacular ruck work, breaking from the middle with ease and converting in front of goal through Simon Tunbridge and the man who started it all in Johnson.

Peel answered back through Wilkins but were getting most of their kicks out of congestion, whereas the Royals were finding space, hitting targets and controlling the ball down the wings.

Eagles-listed Sheed found plenty of the ball early and converted one of three unanswered goals for the home side, who blew the lead out to 27 points late in the first quarter.

It took them about 25 minutes, but the Thunder finally started to get going in the shadows of quarter-time, kicking another two goals through Wilkins and Craig Moller to make it a contest again.

The second term was sloppy from both sides and it took Royals debutant Steven Wityk until the 14-minute mark to produce the first goal of the quarter.

Dockers de Boer and Menegola lifted for Peel in the engine room, with de Boer’s goal from a 50m set shot bringing settling the deficit at 20 points by the long break.

Peel had the first scoring shot of the second half when Jacob Ballard kicked a behind in the fourth minute, but it would be the last time they saw the forward 50 for a while.

East Perth broke the game open with a four-goal burst, again capitalising on Johnson’s work again in the middle.

When Josh Smith kicked his third major in time-on of the third quarter the lead had blown out to 45 points and the Royals had the game in the bag.


EAST PERTH 6.6 7.8 12.12 16.13 109
PEEL3.24.6 5.7 6.10 46
GOALS – EAST PERTH: J Smith 4; Sheed, Wityk, Howlett, A Smith 2; Tunbridge, Johnson, McInnes, Hill. PEEL: Wilkins 3, Moller, de Boer, Duffy

BEST – EAST PERTH: Johnson, Payne, Sheed, J Smith, Colledge, Lee. PEEL: Menegola, Sheridan, Wilkins, de Boer, Jones.
UMPIRES: P Pitchers, J Mann, A Martin
CROWD: 2000 (approx) at Medibank Stadium

The West Australian

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