2023 NRL WA Premiership Review – Round 05

By Peter Rowe 

Round five of the NRLWA Fuel to Go And Play Premiership saw an amazing 26 tries scored as the North Beach Sea Eagles and the Joondalup Giants secured the points against Rockingham and South Perth.

The Giants shocked the Lions at George Burnett Park, winning 50-12, with three quick tries in the last eight minutes of the game, two from American Travis Haney and a third from speedy winger Luke Turner.

Turner and Haney, two of the quickest players in the competition, tore holes through the usually solid Lions defence as Taurean Sheehan, centre Jo Jo Ranger, backrower Rylee Captein and halfback Davie Martin all scored.

“That was a result I did not expect – that margin,” co-coach Sheehan said.

“We have had some success down our left edge so we continued with that plan and it worked again.

“They (South Perth) adjusted after halftime to counter us, but we spotted that, changed again and Davie Martin took us down the other edge, with great success.

“Everyone had a part to play but Martin, Haney and big prop Dom (Fidow-Kele) were awesome.”

For South Perth, celebrating the 150th game for stalwart Harry DeBique, it was a disappointing display, their only tries coming from Jayden Hocking and Oisin Keating.

“Our guys didn’t stand up defensively,” assistant coach Paul Brown said.

“In my 35 years at the club I don’t think I’ve see Joondalup put 50 points on us before.

“We had a couple of players out, but that’s no excuse. We’ve got to go back and fix what went wrong in time for next week against Rockingham.”

Photo Courtesy Of South Perth Lions

At North Beach coach Phil Douche said his midweek homework paid off after the Sea Eagles shook off a second half comeback from the Sharks to run away 50-30 winners.

Douche had spotted a weakness in the Sharks defensive set up and exploited it with two first half tries.

“Yes, I looked at the video of their last game and we worked on some things,” Douche said.

“It was pleasing to get the win, but we also went missing defensively. We’ve still got a lot of work to do if we want to win this comp.”

Douche conceded it was a “weird game”.

“We’re not respecting the football and we need to address that. We can score but we’ve got to get the other stuff right.”

Winger Brock McCaskill opened the scoring in the seventh minute before Jeremy Wallace intercepted to run 70m to score and Daniel Goodwin then responded for the Sharks.

Danger man Kade McDonald added another for the home side and Sharks skipper Keelyn Tuuta-Edwards scored on the siren, but down to 12 men after hooker Jona Mato was sin-binned early in the second half, the home side took control.

Bailey Millar danced his way through the defence to score before Karlo Trego began a mini-comeback from the visitors that saw Kelvin Coleman and Brandon White score to close the gap, with the kick from Tuuta-Edwards, to two points.

But defence again let the Sharks down as a double from James Green and another from Josh Papworth sealed the points.

A disappointed Sharks coach Tom Murphy said defence was letting his side down.

“We can’t put in 80 minutes right now and we can’t tackle,” he said.

“We’ve got to focus on defence to get it right, and getting individuals making tackles.”

Photo Courtesy of Rockingham Sharks