2018 ANZAC Challenge Preview

Credit: Tom Campbell

Perth City Senior Men’s Coach Jason Tutt says he is looking forward to coaching his star-studded side for the 2018 ANZAC Challenge against Perth Kiwis at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday.

The annual fixture is played as a trial for the NRL WA State Team who will travel to Brisbane for the Combined Affiliated States Championships between June 6-10.

“I’ve been involved for the last two years and for me it’s been one of the best events of the year,” Tutt said.

“The players are thrilled to be part of it. It’s quite an achievement (to be selected).”

Tutt guided City to a dramatic 18-14 golden-point win over the Kiwis last year courtesy of Ben Taylor’s controversial try.

“It’s what happens on the day. Last year the Kiwis were the favourites but we got the win,” he said.

“The team who turns up on the day will be the team who wins.”

Tutt will have some familiar faces in his side on Saturday with Connor Hudson, Josh Toole, Onisimo Tagicakibau, Brad Gibson, Bjorn Crotty, Macey Howarth, Craig Richardson, Joel Davis and Alan Cowen returning from last year’s squad, while there are 12 new players.

One of those new players is Rockingham Sharks’ English halfback, Jack Wray.

“I watched him play First-Grade last week against South Perth and he came of age a bit,” Tutt said.

“It’ll be interesting to see how he goes and it’ll be good to work with him.”

Tutt will also have some familiar faces on the touchline with Ed Easter (Assistant Coach), Callan Gibson (Manager), Ryan Foster (League Safe) and Paul Hudson (Sports Trainer) making up his backroom staff.

“They’ve all helped me out before,” he said.

“It’ll take the pressure off me and help me coach the team.”

The Kiwis will be stinging after last year’s heart-breaking loss, and Tutt knows he must be wary of Darren Smith’s fired-up men.

“They’re a big side. They’ve picked a big bench and you’ve got to be wary of them all the time,” he said.

“They can create something out of nothing.”

With the game scheduled for a 6pm kickoff, it acts as the main event of the day after the Women’s League Tag, Under 18’s and Senior Women’s.

“It’s about the biggest day aside from the Grand Final,” Tutt said.

Perth City:

1. Alan Cowen (Fremantle Roosters), 2. Connor Hudson (Rockingham Sharks), 3. Tevita Pomale (Rockingham Sharks), 4. Logan Barclay (Rockingham Sharks), 5. Tyler Thomas (South Perth Lions), 6. Josh Toole (North Beach Sea Eagles), 7. Jack Wray (Rockingham Sharks), 8. Nathan Searle (Joondalup Giants), 9. Andrew Jeffery (Rockingham Sharks), 10. Onisimo Tagicakibau (Fremantle Roosters), 11. Brad Gibson (Fremantle Roosters), 12. Macey Howarth (Joondalup Giants), 13. Bjorn Crotty (Fremantle Roosters)

14. Craig Richardson (Joondalup Giants), 15. Greg Lingard (North Beach Sea Eagles), 16. Jason Nicholls (Fremantle Roosters), 17. Jeremy Wallace (North Beach Sea Eagles), 18. Joel Davis (Fremantle Roosters), 19. Damien Worth (Rockingham Sharks), 20. Mason Hiko (South Perth Lions)

Coaching Staff:

Assistant Coach – Ed Easter

Manager – Callan Gibson

League Safe – Ryan Foster

Sports Trainer – Paul Hudson

Perth Kiwis:

1. Jordan Stringer (Fremantle Roosters), 2. Stevie Aull (Willagee Bears), 3. Kani Solomon (North Beach Sea Eagles), 4. Taiapa Graham (Fremantle Roosters), 5. Mark Huiswaard (Joondalup Giants), 6. Delane Edwards (Fremantle Roosters), 7. Harry Debique (South Perth Lions), 8. Siaosi “George” Nalesoni (Joondalup Giants), 9. Simon Tabakanaca (Fremantle Roosters), 10. Scott Jones (South Perth Lions), 11. Julien Wilson-Wylie (Rockingham Sharks), 12.Tarin Katu (Fremantle Roosters), 13. Duane Butler (Fremantle Roosters)

14. Ezra Taomia (Rockingham Sharks), 15. Mitch Kerr (Fremantle Roosters), 16. Lewis Samuels (Willagee Bears), 17. Rangiwananga Kingi (Joondalup Giants), 18. Josh Houghton (Joondalup Giants), 19. Fernando Ekeroma (Joondalup Giants), 20. Leighmon Hohaia Katene (Joondalup Giants)

Coaching Staff:

Coach – Darren Smith

Manager – Jasmine Dargaville Smith

Sports Trainer – Tone Merrick

Kickoff Times:

  • Women’s League Tag – 1.15pm, Saturday 28th April.
  • Under 18’s – 2.30pm, Saturday 28th April.
  • Senior Women’s – 4.00pm, Saturday 28th April.
  • Senior Men’s – 6.00pm, Saturday 28th April.

* All games to be played at Dorrien Gardens