2023 NRL WA Premiership Review – Round 07

By Peter Rowe

A patched up Joondalup Giants almost pulled off the shock of the season on Saturday before finishing all square at 18-all against ladder leaders Fremantle Roosters as the NRLWA Fuel to Play and Go Premiership resumed after a week off.

And Giants player-coach Taurean Sheehan was full of praise for his side after drafting in late recruits from reserve grade in a game that saw the visitors jump out to an early 16-0 lead before the Roosters pulled it back in the second half.

Young forward Zien Carruth was one of the players who stepped up after playing reserve grade earlier.

“He was awesome,” Sheehan said. “As were a few others. We had players out for Fifo and injuries, so I was very proud to see that we got something from the game.”

The Giants capitalised on early mistakes from the Roosters to score through centre Dylan Bindczus, backrower Ryley Captein and centre Luke Turner before their home side opened their account eight minutes before halftime through Delane Edwards.

“Yeah, we made some silly mistakes early,” Roosters captain Duane Butler said.

“I think we dropped the ball three or four times on first tackle and that gave them great field position.”

But the Roosters were quick out of blocks at the start of the second half and within four minutes had scored through Simon Tabakanaca before Edwards added another on the hour to put them in front.

“We knew they would come out all fired up, we had a terrible start too the half and they scored twice,” Sheehan said.

“Gus (Marshall) got us level with a penalty and then it was all to play for for the final 16 minutes.”

But no matter how hard both sides tried, neither would score again.

A Marshall drop goal attempt right at the end could have stolen it, but the ball sailed just wide of the posts to record the first draw of the 2023 season.

“No excuses from us, the Giants were up for it and we weren’t at our best,” Butler added.

At George Burnett Park South Perth had returning halfback Eddie Proudler to thank for that extra bit of spark that enabled the Lions to see off North Beach 14-6.

Proudler, who had ‘retired’ over the summer was instrumental alongside Harry DeBique in what assistant coach Paul Brown called a ‘solid team performance’  against the Sea Eagles.

“We knew we needed a win to get our season back on track and we got there,” Brown said.

“A lot of it was down to completing our sets – 17 of 19 in the first half. Do that and you win games.

“And our scrambling defence was back to its best.”

Centre Tere Cameron-Ramea opened the scoring before former Lion Kade McDonald scored for the Sea Eagles, but Jayden Hocking and young winger Sam Gerbasch sealed the points with two late tries.

“We were our own enemies,” North Beach coach Phil Douche said. ‘Lots of missed tackles and mistakes and then fatigue came into play and the game was over.”

“But credit to South Perth, they knew how to grind it out and it won them the game.”