2023 NRL WA Premiership Review – Round 02

By PETER ROWE

 

Fremantle’s perfect start to the season continued at Joondalup on Saturday as the Roosters saw off a late challenge from the Giants to emerge 30-16 winners to remain clear at the top of the NRLWA Fuel to Go and Play Premiership.

 

A dominant first half from the Roosters saw their big pack set the platform for early points, taking a 20-0 lead after 20 minutes, thanks to tries from Allan Cowen, Ezra Taomia, fullback Paora Kemp and Sonny Kerr.

 

“We were missing a couple pf players, but the first 20 or so minutes were really goods from us,” captain Duane Butler said.

 

“It was their first hit-out of the season and they looked a bit gassed at halftime, but credit to them, they came out and really stuck it to us in the second half.

 

“We weathered the storm and scored again to take the game.”

 

Joondalup struggled to match the intensity from the Fremantle forwards early on but managed to score late in the first half in the corner to give them hope.

 

The Giants came out firing at the start of the second half, scored early to give themselves a chance, but ball handling errors cost them dearly as the Roosters capitalised on any mistake to move up the field at pace.

 

“Their line speed was a major factor and they controlled the ruck for long periods,” a disappointed Joondalup coach Taurean Sheehan said.

 

“We were on the back foot, but silly mistakes and cheap penalties on our part didn’t help.”

 

Finding holes in Joondalup’s defensive left edge, Kerr and Bjorn Crotty added two more before that late charge from the Giants saw winger Travis Haney cross to score.

 

At North Beach the Sea Eagles came from an early 12-0 deficit to score three tries in a devastating three-minute period to silence the South Perth Lions, eventually moving on to win the game 38-24.

 

Fullback Bailey Millar was again the star of the show, breaking the line on numerous occasions to set up scoring opportunities, as former South Perth youngster Kade McDonald scored a hat trick for his new club.

 

Ethan Gougard had opened the scoring early, barging over from close range and Joe Halpin added another for the Lions, but the Sea Eagles soon found their rhythm as South African forward Shane Gillham, McDonald and then Kallum Gulliver-Brown all scored as South Perth conceded a penalty and made a series of errors.

 

Trent Trotter and McDonald, twice, wrapped up an entertaining game that coach Phil Douche said showed both the best and worst of their game.

 

“They (Souths) caught us out early and we had to make some adjustments to our game, which we did,” Douche said.

 

“Kade (Mcdonald) impressed me with his calm approach throughout the game. We both knew he would be under pressure and face a bit of stick from former teammates, but all credit to him, he stuck to the game plan and scored a great try with an outrageous dummy to help seal the points.”

 

South Perth assistant coach Paul Brown said Trotter coming off the bench for Beach proved decisive around the ruck and that was an area his side would need to work on as the season progressed.

 

“They dominated the ruck and that hurt us,” Brown said.

 

“We were a bit underdone, had a few players missing, including centre Corbyn Daniels, but no excuses, Beach were the better side on the day.”

 

FULL RESULTS

FRIDAY

Charlottes Vineyard Sports Pavilion, Ellenbrook

Women’s Premiership

Ellenbrook Rabbitohs 36 def Joondalup Giants 22

Ellenbrook Rabbitohs 36

Tries – Turiti Galiki-Koiatu (2), Paihau Pomare (2), Zakiya Kereopa, Ngawai Beard, Demi Goldsworthy, Naomi Kamizona-Heke

Goals – Turiti Galiki-Koiatu, Demi Goldsworthy

Joondalup Giants 22

Tries – Amiria Edwards (2), Tyrah Parekura Shirnack, Taryn Wylie

Goals – Arnika Cave (3)

Franklin Offshore Stadium, Lark Hill Sportsplex, Port Kennedy

Women’s Premiership

Rockingham Sharks 18 def South Perth Lions 4

Rockingham Sharks 18

Tries – Lauren Lamby (2), Moerah Korok, TeAtairehia Huriwai

Goals – Ainsley Buchanan

South Perth Lions 4

Tries – Melissa Thomas

Fremantle Roosters 30 def North Beach Sea Eagles 0 (FORFEIT)

 

SATURDAY

Blueforce Park, Charles Riley Reserve, North Beach

Premiership

North Beach Sea Eagles 38 def South Perth Lions 24

North Beach Sea Eagles 38

Tries – Kade McDonald (3), Brock McCaskill, Trent Trotter, Kallum Gulliver-Brown, Shane Gillham

Goals – Kade McDonald (5)

South Perth Lions 24

Tries – Luke David Wells-Talamavaio, Ethan Gourgard, Joseph Halpin, Leon McEnteer

Goals – Harry Debique (4)

Val Murphy Trophy

North Beach Sea Eagles 16 def by Ellenbrook Rabbitohs 46

South Perth Lions 26 def Willagee Bears 6

Women’s League Tag

North Beach Sea Eagles 30 def Ellenbrook Rabbitohs 0 (FORFEIT)

South Perth Lions 56 def Willagee Bears 4

Admiral Park, Heathridge

Premiership

Joondalup Giants 16 def by Fremantle Roosters 30

Joondalup Giants 16

Tries – Donovan Kahupokoro, Domanyc Fidow-Kele, Lachlan Campbell

Goals – Gus Marshall (2)

Fremantle Roosters 30

Tries – Robert Kerr (2), Alan Cowen, Delane Edwards, Bjorn Crotty, Taiapa Graham

Goals – Paora Kemp (3)

Val Murphy Trophy

Joondalup Giants 4 def by Fremantle Roosters 42

Women’s League Tag

Joondalup Giants 4 def by Fremantle Roosters 26

Hartfield Park, Forrestfield

Val Murphy Trophy

Rockingham Sharks 16 def by Alkimos Tigers 22

Women’s League Tag

Kalamunda Bulldogs 4 def by Alkimos Tigers 42

Kwinana Titans 34 def Rockingham Sharks 0