2024 NRL WA Premiership Preview – Round 11

By PETER ROWE 

ROUND 11 of the NRLWA Fuel to Go and Play Premiership is set to see the three-way tie at the top of the ladder broken on Saturday afternoon as Fremantle, fresh from victory last weekend at South Perth, travel to North Beach in what is undoubtedly the game of the round.

The Sea Eagles fought out a 26-26 draw at Rockingham in round 10 and will know they will have to be at their best again against a Roosters side full of talent. 

“We have a few sore bodies from last week and a couple missing through injury or work, but we still have a strong squad,” captain Duane Butler said.

“We’ve had four games in a row and the bye next week couldn’t come sooner. But a win at Beach will give us some space at the top.”


Photo – Liam Sallur

Centre Joe Po’uhila is out through work commitments and tough tackling forward Bjorn Crotty is still injured but Butler is confident his side will turn up for another battle at Blueforce Park.

“We have the best defence in the competition and that could prove crucial when first and second spots are decided,” Butler said.

“We leaked the least amount of points and while attack wins you games, defence wins you championships.

“Beach are always quality, they have some great talent and they like to play fast footy. It will be 80 minutes where we have to match them and put in a big shift in defence to come away with the points.”


No Lights….No problem for North Beach Sea Eagles Premiership Squad

The Sea Eagles will also shuffle their squad, having lost centre Tyler Moeau and Brendan Shepherd through suspension, Moeau for three weeks and Shepherd for a week,  but welcome back half Darius Rogers, winger Jesse Rafferty, Tom Fry and captain Keiran Tarrant.

“It’s time for some creative thinking on the team sheet,”  North Beach coach Phil Douche joked.

“I’m definitely outside of the box this week. We’ve been working on combinations and continuity with new faces in different roles. It’s a challenge.

“We have to improve our kicking game. Last week we just weren’t getting deep enough and that gives the opposition more attacking options, it’s something I have spoken about before, but it has to be better.”

Improvement is also high on the agenda at South Perth, where a win is vital if they are stay in the race for a playoff spot.

The Lions travel north to Admiral Park to face the Joondalup Giants – the team currently sitting just above them on the ladder in fourth.

Caleb Norton is back to his best and, according to team manager Paul Brown, coach Marty Collis has to still to decide whether to play him at hooker or second row, with Jarrad Smith the other option.

Photo – Karmel Potter-Green

“Both have been playing well and both bring something different to the side,” Brown said.

Dela Kanawale has been getting rave notices for his performance in the centres and is likely to continue, but Chris Tuatara is out with a hamstring injury and Corban Daniels is 50-50.

“There’s a few bodies from last week, but our key objectives this week in training have been to ensure we hold on to the ball,” Brown added.

“Against Fremantle we dropped the ball six times on first tackle and put ourselves under so much pressure. We have to manage that better.

“We know Joondalup will be out to get one over on us to widen the gap on the ladder, so we have to be prepared.”

The Giants return from a week off refreshed and ready for the challenge.

Payden Porter and River Colman are among a number of returning players with halfback Taurean Sheehan saying numbers are “very good”.

“Probably the best we’ve had for a while,” Sheehan said.

“We’ve been working on our combinations and despite their lowly standing we have respect for the opposition and know they will pose problems for us.

“It’s how we manage them, that’s important.”