2022 Junior Representative – Round 02 Wrap

It was another hot and muggy day down at NRL WA Training & Education Centre at Thomas Oval, Medina to kick off Round 02 of the Fuel to Go & Play  NRL WA  Junior Representative season. We got our first look at the Southern Pride John Moore Shield and Cash Converter Cup sides as they took on the Northern Fusion, while the Fusion and South West Dolphins clashed again in the Anneka Stephens Cup.

John Moore Shield
In a much more polished performance, the Northern Fusion side shrugged off their wariness from the previous weekend and did enough to beat a young but enthusiastic Southern Pride team. The Fusion had all the ball early but could only trouble the scorers once, and when Luke McDermott scored for the Pride, it looked like they might steal the halftime lead. But too much defence told, and Fusion struck just before halftime to lead 10-6 at the break. A tactical change at halftime, pushed Leon White to centre, and it paid big dividends, with the Pride left hand side unable to handle the livewire outside back. White along with Tipene Whiu and Latrelle Chase played well for the Fusion, with young halves pairing of Tiger Williams and Fraser Masterton seeming to be a better fit in the spine. For the Pride, Harlem Tata-Paki showed glimpses of his amazing skill, with Te Auturoa Awhitu-Kerei showing his beautiful kicking style. Pride’s forward pack can be incredibly proud of their efforst against a big Fusion pack, and will look forward to the Dolphins in just over a weeks time.

 

Anneka Stephens Cup
In what was a completely different contest to the week previous, the Northern Fusion escaped with a 22-20 win over the greatly improved South West Dolphins. In the type of game where a loss probably would have been a better lesson for the Fusion, they looked flat and out of the game in stages against a very keen and ready to play Dolphins outfit. The Dolphins on the back of big games from Isis Thompson, Phoenix Mahaki and Chole Amataiti took the onus to the Fusion, actually leading at the halftime break. But some individual class from Topaz-Jean Porter, Amiria Edwards and Ngamihi Monk got the Fusion back in front late, and they fell over the line for another victory. Leading this series 2-0, in a first to three series, the Fusion will be looking to wrap this one up in their next fixture, in two weeks time, while the Dolphins will be looking to keep the series alive and continue to improve.

 

Cash Converters Cup
And in the final game of the day, the Southern Pride showed why they are the heavy favourites in this competition, putting the sword to a brave, but outclassed Northern Fusion side, 48-6. A close first half, where the Pride only led 18-6, showed that teams can go with this impressive team if they play a mistake free game. But in the second half it was all Pride, with the Fusion making some basic lacklustre mistakes. Off the back of some solid play and a great kicking game, the Pride made the Fusion pay for their mistakes all game and were deserved winners. For the Fusion, Kobi Aiesi was the pick of the players, while Kaleb Jones and Koby Rafferty continued to show up for the men in Green. For the Pride, their class shone through with big men Toby Sullivan and Hugh McKay dominating the ruck and allowing Premiership players Luke-David Wells Talamavaivao, Gethin Thomas and Regan Howley to assert themselves in the fixture. Three try man Gethin Thomas had a pearl of a day along with Regan Tumoana who control the fixture with ease.