2023 NRL WA Premiership Review – Round 13

By Peter Rowe

North Beach Sea Eagles turned around an eight-point halftime deficit to score 46 unanswered points at Charles Riley Reserve on Saturday to stun the Rockingham Sharks 52-14 in round 13 of the NRLWA Fuel to Go and Play Premiership.

It was an amazing turnaround after the visitors had looked good for their 14-6 lead, with fullback Bailey Millar grabbing a hat-trick as the Sharks defence failed to turn up for the second 40 minutes.

“Someone asked me after the game, ‘did you shout at them at halftime?’,”  North Beach coach Phil Douche said.

“No, I laughed at them. ‘What are you doing out there, play some footy.’

“We were just flat and lacking energy but scoring just before the halftime siren gave us momentum and we carried that through to the second half.”

So did the Sea Eagles change anything? “No. We just kept to the game plan, got possession and just rolled on,” Douche added.

Sharks coach Tom Murphy said he was pleased with the first half, “although we slowed up in the last few minutes.”

But he was shocked with the second period.

“Lots of reasons, fitness was one,” he admitted. “But we just couldn’t find an answer.

“Fair play to Beach, they were very good in that second half.”

Earlier Hayden Wood, Kelvin Coleman and Liam Johnson had given the Sharks a surprise lead before centre Jaylen Grey pulled one back for the home side just before the break.

The second half was all one-way traffic as Tyrone Cranston, Grey again, winger Brock McCaskill, half Ted Shand, Millar three times and McCaskill again helped cement the home side’s spot in the final four.

South Perth Lions also came from behind to notch a remarkable win at Joondalup, trailing 10-0 after 12 minutes.

The Lions kept the home side scoreless for the rest of the game, scoring six tries with Harry DeBique kicking  six from six to run out 37-10 winners.

“Yeah. Harry had his kicking boots on, and after a slow start we played really well,” assistant Paul Brown said.

Eddie Proudler started in the halves and made a big difference as the Lions purred past a tiring Giants side, with tries from Sam Pointing (2), Kai Wortz, Jarrad Smith, Ethan Gourgaud and Tere Cameron-Ramea.

“Eddie made a big difference,” Brown said. “He’s been away in Europe but has kept himself in good shape and his kicking game was superb – a couple of 40-20s and deft little grubber kicks to force repeat sets.”

Proudler was the factor in Giants coach Taurean Sheehan’s mind as well.

“He made a massive difference. They look a very different team with him running the show,” Sheehan, who failed a late fitness test minutes before the game, said.

“We started well but there were too many errors and then fatigue set in and we couldn’t compete.

“We go to Rockingham in two weeks with ours and their season on the line, the winner secures a finals spot.”


Photos – Libby McMillan – Rockingham Sharks