It was a strong Day One of the 2018 Combined Affiliate States Championships for WA, with both the Under 18’s and Senior Men’s recording victories.
After watching Victoria thump South Australia 82-0 in the opening game, our U18’s responded by notching a hard-fought 18-14 win over Northern Territory.
Jaiden Wilkinson, Ace Maki and Ollie Callan grabbed the tries for WA, and despite a late NT fightback, held on for a first-up win.
In an entertaining opening 10 minutes, NT almost took a surprise lead, but for a desperate try-saving tackle from fullback Will Smith.
Smith, who usually plays in the centres or second row, looked accomplished at the back and put in a solid shift as the last line of defence.
WA scored the first points of the game – NT’s fullback letting a high ball bounce before Wilkinson pounced to give his side the lead.
Trinity Miller added the extras to make it 6-0.
Moments later, Devontay Tutai-Tauiti broke down the left edge before offloading to Maki who crossed for the second try of the game. Miller again added the extra two.
NT hit back with a try of their own before the half-time break, with West Coast Pirates halfback Trent Wedding heavily involved.
Jaylen Grey was given ten in the bin for back-chatting after the break and NT made the most of their man-advantage to close the game to just four points.
With the game getting too close for comfort, up-stepped the older Callan brother who crashed over after a flat pass out of dummy half from Austin Cameron. Miller knocked over the conversion to make it 3/3 on the afternoon.
A breakdown in communication between Smith and Brenton Scott allowed NT in to set up a grandstand finish, but the WA defence held firm to secure the win.
In the third game of the day, the Senior Men ran in 10 tries to two in a 54-8 win over South Australia.
Rockingham Sharks trio Logan Barclay, Tevita Pomale and Julian Wilson Wylie and North Beach Sea Eagle Kani Solomon all bagged doubles, while Fremantle Roosters pair Bjorn Crotty and Alan Cowan also crossed in a convincing win for the eight-time reigning champions.
South Perth Lions’ Scott Jones kicked 4/5 conversions, while North Beach’s Cairo Takarangi slotted 3/5.
The Senior Men now prepare for a clash with Victoria on Day Two, while the U18’s face off against South Australia.
WA U18 v SA U18: Saturday 9 June, 8.30am (WST)
WA Senior Men v Vic Senior Men: Saturday 9 June, 12.40pm (WST)