2022 NRL WA Season Review – Ellenbrook Rabbitohs

It is now time to head slightly east, where the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs are at a definitive point in their lives.

Home Ground – Charlottes Vineyard Sports Pavilion, Ellenbrook

2022 Seniors – ALL GRADES – Men’s Fuel To Go & Play Premiership, Women’s Premiership, Val Murphy Trophy & Women’s League Tag

Highlights – Depending on how you measure success, while their male grades didn’t necessarily set the world on fire, they hung in for the long haul, and their off field contributions definitely stacked up.

In the Fuel To Go & Play Premiership, it was a measure in courage for the mighty red and green. A growth year where they added another side to the Premiership grade and multiple clubs congratulated them for hanging in there. And much can be said of the Val Murphy Trophy, with many players playing two grades every single week. In week one alone, 7 players total backed up for both grades in a tough road trip to Rockingham, and that set the tone for a brave season. But never backing down, both grades stuck it out until the end and looking forward to a brighter 2023.

In the Women’s competitions Ellenbrook were once more a monster. While unable to continue their giant killing Tag run from 2021, their tackle side got it together when the finals kicked off to record their 5th premiership in a row. Despite a scare and a massive effort from the Giants in the GF, the Rabbitohs hung tough in triple extra time to get over the line against their long time rivals. In the Tag this year, it was a bit of a rebuilding phase, but they nurtured through some young talented and some new ladies to hopefully add to their stocks in 2023.

Players To Watch – JP Duportail is a two time winner of the Wiremu Kahui Medal, the most important award for the Rabbitohs club, and its easy to see why. Small in stature, but huge in heart and spirit, he was regularly playing massive minutes in the middle of the field in two grades every weekend. Chris Te Waka was another who stood out this year, with his speed and ability to learn a huge help for the Rabbitohs, while club stalwart Bryce Penny was a massive shining light, with his competitiveness and football nous a massive help.
In the ladies, Amiria Clark-Manahi will be greatly missed in both versions of the game, having grown into a leader in both the tag and tackle forms of the game. Her move back to NZ will leave a gaping whole in the side, just after the departing of Kailey Thompson. But the constant presence of Juraea Turner and Mahinarangi Clair, who was the Competitions Players Player in Tackle, will put them in good stead. Can they go six in a row?

2022 Juniors – GLT, 13s Boys & Girls, 14s Boys, 15s Boys and Girls, 17s Boys & Girls (ALL GRADES)
Highlights – 
Firstly, the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs fielded a side in every single division, junior and senior, which is the only club in Perth to do so. So congratulations to the Rabbitohs, as success can be measured in different ways. Similar to the Giants, the Rabbitohs dominated in the female grade’s and still have a bit of learning in the male space.

The 13’s Boys were up and down all season. Not lacking in talent, they blew away their opponent in the semi final, but didn’t come out of the blocks in the preliminary final, and left a mountain to high to climb. Their 14 boys showed growth throughout the year and showed belief in stages. The 15s boys were the big surprise, with their ability to push the big teams in their division massive and making their push at the 17s title next year even more prominent. The 17 boys probably slightly underwhelmed, with their star studded side unable to perform consistently, and struggling against the monster Sharks and Sea Eagles sides.

GLT, U13s Girls and U15s Girls all made the grand final, while the U17s Girls led the Giants by two tries late in their preliminary final, only to be run over the top of in the last 5 minutes. But again it shows the strength of the female teams in the north of Perth and shows the Rabbitohs as a full powerhouse.
It was a good grand final day for the Rabbitohs, as the GLT and U15 Girls both recorded extremely dominant victories, while the U13s got in front and help on valiantly in one of the matches of the day. 3 Girls premierships, adding to the Womens Tackle Premiership, meant the club ran away with 4 total for the season.

Players To Watch
GLT – Leona Yusia –
Blessed with amazing speed and balance, Yusia excels in both the tackle and tag versions of the game. Ultra aggressive in her approach to any form of the game, she attacks the ball and ball carrier with the same amount of intensity regardless of who she is playing against. A brilliant player.
U13 Boys – Kyron Arthy –
Along with his older brother, Dermott, the Arthy boys have an absolute plethora of speed and acceleration. With the ability to leave defenders grasping, Kyron is also able to turn his speed into a brilliant power game, making him one to watch.
U13 Girls – Kylah-Rae Tuheke Kupa – Big. Fast. Strong. Smart. Skilful. One of the most complete packages in the U13 games for both male and female games. Kylah has a big future in the game and will definitely be one to watch.
U14 Boys – Braithen Thompson – A talented but erratic playmaker, Thompson has a big couple of years in front of him. Needing to turn his up and down performances to consistency, while becoming a true leader in his sides will be at the top of the list for the young bunny.
U15 Boys – Ayede Taw – WA State Representative, Ayede is a brilliant player. Strong and with great technique in defence, he is a devastating ball runner, showing time and again for the Rabbitohs, and the Schools Invitational, that he is a class above. Possessing a damaging fend and footwork he will go from strength to strength.
U15 Girls – Rimu Pomare & Jessica Kaukau – Couldn’t split the most dominant halves pairing in any competition. Blessed with the ability to read the game, and some devastating players around them, they yell and talk their way through. Both immensely skillful, they will be leaders well into the future for the womens game.
U17 Boys – Jahvarro Joyce – Front rowers don’t always get the love they deserve, but Joyce was a mammoth for the Rabbitohs. Consistently playing big minutes in the middle of the field, he also goal kicked and did some in field kicking for the red and green players while relishing the tough stuff.
U17 Girls – Shamaia Grey – One of the smarter players in the game, she is naturally aggressive and tends to try to get under the skin of her opponents early and often. Her ability to control her aggression will be key as she possesses great ball skills and natural instincts.

And that’s a wrap of the on field stuff with the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs for 2022, and we look forward to a bigger and better year in 2023 from the beast from the east!

Stay tuned for other upcoming clubs.