Peel Thunder's Ben Hancock and East Fremantle's Matt Jupp ahead of the 2023 WAFL Grand Final

25 years of pain has now been broken for East Fremantle following their historic 39-point victory over Peel Thunder in Sunday's Grand Final at Optus Stadium.

The Sharks kicked the first three goals inside 10 minutes and were never challenged leaving Peel Thunder to play catchup footy all day and were not able to repeat their second-half comeback from the second semi-final.

Read up on who stood to the challenge for both Grand Final teams here.


The Sharks had plenty of winners all over the park, hence why their depth has been the strongest in the competition this year, none more so than South Australian Fraser Turner.

While Fraser just missed out on the Simpson Medal to teammate Milan Murdock, Fraser's game was sensational in gathering 37 disposals and 7 marks along with clearances aplenty to provide plenty of service from midfield.

Murdock was too elusive for Peel Thunder, not only did his 27 disposals set up the Sharks win he took the Simpson Medal for best afield, he tackled ferociously all afternoon and never gave an inch at any stage in the match.

The backline was also a key for the Sharks, their task was to hold down Peel's ruthless forward like led by Ben Middleton and Jack Sears, whose scoreboard pressure can tear up any game. But Cameron Eardley and skipper Matthew Jupp were sensational, holding the Peel pair to only two goals for the day while collecting 38 touches between them.

Harrison Marsh also was on fire, capping off a sensational first season with the Sharks. It all started from booting the first goal of the day and playing a crucial role at the contest alongside Murdock. He went on to collect 21 disposals in another polished performance.

Without Dillon O'Reilly and Jonathon Marsh, the Sharks went small inside the forward 50 and it paid off handsomely, having plenty of avenues to goal and they were led by Josh Schoenfeld and Ben McGuire who each kicked two majors.


Peel Thunder had very few positives on a day where not a lot went right with their functionality, especially in the forward line and in midfield.

Corey Wagner was undoubtedly Peel's standout on Sunday, his desperation at the contest cannot be ignored with a huge 31 disposals and 15 tackles in one of his finest solo performances.

Despite Wagner's best efforts, there was a certain disconnect between their midfield and forward line as the Thunder were not able to kick to targets in attack and it was all down to the aforementioned Eardley and Jupp down back.

Travis Colyer however was the more disciplined forward for Peel, he kicked two goals from 14 touches and showed class in patches, but Peel could do very little when the ball was inside the contest.

Peel did settle during the first quarter to fight back with two straight goals through Ben Middleton and Brody Wemm, but it was as close as they got all day.


There was no doubt that East Fremantle was the best team in the 2023 season.

To win the premiership in such a dominant style and win 11 straight matches to take the cup with the lineup they have and the self-belief instilled in the playing group under coach Bill Monaghan was a worthwhile triumph for the blue and white.

2023 was the year of the Shark.