2024 NRL WA Premiership Preview – Round 10

By PETER ROWE

South Perth will be looking for a repeat performance a decade on when they host Fremantle Roosters in round 10 of the NRLWA Fuel to Go and Play Premiership at George Burnett Park on Saturday.

In 2014 the Lions defeated the Roosters 28-26 to win the premiership in a grand final that saw Dean Shepherd take out the Ron Hudson medal for a superb player of the match performance.

And a 10th anniversary reunion this weekend will give today’s young Lions the perfect incentive to notch their first win of the 2024 season.

For the record TK Khaki and Brandon Timlin both scored a double in that win, that saw a starring role for Fremantle’s Delane Edwards, who will take the field for the Roosters again for this clash – and face up against Harry Debique, who also played in that 2014 South Perth side.

“It’s going to be a big day for the club,” team manager Paul Brown said. “There are players flying in from over east for the reunion, so we want to give them something to shout about.”

The Lions are still to confirm their lineup for the game, although Corban Daniels is a big addition to the side that lost at Rockingham last Saturday evening.

Back rower Tere Cameron-Ramea is out with a knee injury, as is Joey Halpin, but forward Tim Noble has been cleared to play after coming off injured last weekend.


Photo – Karmel Potter-Green

“We had hoped to get Eddie Proudler back, but the doctor has ruled him out for a few more weeks,” Brown added. Proudler underwent minor knee surgery last month.

The Lions sit fifth on ladder and know they need to start winning to stay on the hunt for a playoff spot.

“Realistically, we need to need win five from the next seven.’ Brown admitted.

And they will have to upset the odds this weekend against a Fremantle side coming off an unexpected draw at Joondalup in round nine.

“It wasn’t our best performance,” captain Duane Butler said. “We started well and finished OK, but it was the middle 60 minutes that let us down.”

Butler is hoping to return from a rib injury for the game with the Roosters also losing Bjorn Crotty (knee), Jesse Day (knee) and Reggie Manu (ankle), but welcome back Ezra Taomia and Joe Pouhila.


Photo – Liam Sallur

“We know South Perth have struggled this season, but they have some great young kids coming through, it’s at their ground and they are celebrating beating us in the grand final ten years ago, so they will be pumped,” Butler said.

“We had a strong week training and we’ll be ready.

Further south at the Franklin Offshore Stadium in Port Kennedy two of the three leading teams this season will go head to head in a clash that could go either way.

The Rockingham Sharks, fresh from a solid 40-6 win over the Lions in the wet last weekend, welcome back Brandon White in the back row, but are still without injured player-coach Tom Murphy.

“I trained Tuesday night and it (foot injury) still didn’t feel right, so I’m going to need another week or so,” Murphy said.

“North Beach are on a for and against ratio probably the best side in the competition right now and we have to be wary of that.

“They are strong in attack and we have to have our defence at its best. We know we can score but defence might be the key to victory here. It will be a tough game.”


Photo – Libby McMillan

North Beach coach Phil Douche said his side had trained well and apart from a ‘small’ halfback issue, we are at full strength. 

“In the forwards we look strong but we are without Darius Rogers in the halves, he’s suspended for a week after a grade one lifting call against Joondalup two weeks ago.

“So I will make that call before kickoff.”

Douche knows that the five or six youngsters he’s been blooding this season still have a lot to learn and he’s hoping they step up.

“It’s about field management and possession,” he said. “Sometimes they want to score on every play, but I can’t fault them for what they give us, it’s a hundred per cent.

The Sea Eagles took the opportunity of the bye to hold a team refresher meeting, where players gave feedback on the season so far and Douche was happy with what he heard.

“We reviewed our systems and talked through a lot of stuff and the feedback was very positive,” he said.