WA Smarter than Smoking Premiership Round 16 Preview
By The Bell Ringer
Round 16 BIG GAME we see the Joondalup Giants host the Rockingham Sharks at Admiral Reserve, Heathridge Thanks to Game Day Sponsor – SURGE Fitness
Round 16 BIG GAME Live Streamed Thanks to NRL WA Media Partner – Local Media Services Company from 3.20pm Saturday 19th August
Joondalup v Rockingham: #WAGiantsSharks
The injuries of teams like Fremantle, Rockingham, North Beach and South Perth have been well documented and often discussed, however not many realise how many players the Giants are doing without. This is mostly because they are almost all forwards and they still manage to field one of the best looking forward packs in the competition. Despite last week fielding an impressive pack that included Logan and Josh Houghton, Macey Howarth, Tony Pamatangi, Adam Smith and Trazan Rihia the Giants are currently getting by without the services of Gus Marshall, Jason Rapana, Gillesbie Fai, Zan Pomare and Eddie Tini to name a few, add to that the loss of key playmaker Jeremy Browne and strike centre Kukutai Jones and it’s a star studded list of unavailables. Coach Darren Smith will be hopeful of getting some of these players back to help them in their run to the finals. They have the opportunity in this game to end North Beach’s chances once and for all, but standing in their way will be the top of the table Rockingham Sharks who are themselves gunning for the clubs first ever minor premiership. A scrappy, unconvincing win last week over North Beach as well as the imminent return of players like Brandon Timlin will be expected to be enough impetus to get them over the Giants, however if North Beach beats Fremantle you would favour the Sea Eagles to break the Giants hearts and send them tumbling out of the finals, so there is plenty to play for here for both teams.
Should be a ripping day of rugby league at Admiral Reserve, but if you can’t make it you can join myself and Zac Speir on the live stream of the game from 3:30pm.
North Beach v Fremantle: #WASeaeaglesRoosters
The fate of the North Beach Sea Eagles is now partially reliant on the results of others. Their destiny is not totally within their control, however if they are to be any hope of playing finals footy the only thing they can control is winning both of their remaining games, the toughest of which will be this weekend against the second placed Fremantle Roosters. A loss will rule out their mathematical chances. They will look to their enigmatic fullback Josh Toole to guide them to victory as he did last time these two teams met, however he was perhaps guilty of trying too hard at times last week against the Sharks. Kani Solomon was very dangerous for the Sea Eagles last week and the Roosters centres will be looking to shut him down as they continue to fight for their first minor premiership in the clubs almost 70 year history. The Roosters Taiapa Graham has gone to the top of the try scoring list with a hatrick against Kalamunda last week, but he will need to beat arguably the best defensive centre in the comp in Cameron Hoff, a challenge I’m sure the “Raging Bull” is looking forward to. Also Counting against the Chooks will be the strange curse of the Kalamunda Bulldog. Since the break in round 9 no team has won the week after playing the Kalamunda Bulldogs.
South Perth v Kalamunda: #WALionsBulldogs
South Perth will be expected to seal their place in the finals with a victory over the Bulldogs, however the spirited Bulldogs showed last week that they still have a bit of bite left in them as they trailed just 26-6 at halftime against a slick Roosters outfit. Despite South Perth’s injury crisis deepening last week with the loss of Jarrad Smith for the rest of the 2017 season they should still have too much firepower for the lads from Kalamunda. Perhaps the most interesting clash is the Lions taking on the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs in the Val Murphy Trophy with the winner likely to secure second spot on the ladder and a double chance come finals time.