THE BELL RINGER – Round 9

By Donny Bell

 

North Beach v Fremantle #NRLWASeaEaglesRoosters

The Struddys BIG Game of the Round is supported by the North Beach Sea Eagles Game Day Sponsor – North Coast Concrete

Round 9 of the Smarter Than Smoking Premiership hands us what should be one of the matches of the season as the two teams sitting on top of the table run into each other in the Cash Converters Big Game of the round. This will be a feast for the eyes with North Beach fielding the likes of Josh Toole, Ben Taylor, Kani Solomon, Cairo Takarangi and Trent Trotter up against the likes of Alan Cowan, Delane Edwards, Jordan Stringer, Sonny Kerr, Brad Gibson and Bjorn Crotty. To make you salivate even more we can add in the likes of young up and comers like Kahan Joyce-Vaughan, Greg Lingard and Jeremy Wallace from North Beach, while Fremantle have the likes of Tamaho Tierney, Jason Nicholls and Cam Rupapera. It’s a long season and plenty can happen, but this shapes as a grand final preview and should not be missed by any league fan. The key to this game will be, as is usually the case, in the middle of the park. The Fremantle side have the more fancied forward pack, but they will need to dominate physically if they are to give themselves any chance of containing the super star backline that the Sea Eagles have at their disposal. The live stream will be brought to you by North Beach Sea Eagles Game Day Sponsor North Coast Concrete from 3:30pm, with Women’s League Tag (WLT) at 11:30am, Val Murphy Trophy at 12:40pm and Reserve Grade at 2:00pm at Charles Riley Reserve.

 

Rockingham v Joondalup #NRLWASharksGiants

Two teams coming off losses they would rather forget. Rockingham turned in their worst performance of the season and while you could use the loss of State players, injuries and missing their coach as excuses most would still agree the players that were left behind have the ability to perform better than they did against South Perth. The halves in particular were very poor, but the best thing about sport is that you get the opportunity every weekend to answer your critics and the talented Jack Wray and Josh Jerome get that chance against a team whose halves consist of a back rower and an under 18’s player, so they should get no better opportunity to best their counterparts. The halves from Rockingham also have a vital role to play in this game, because the Giants are a big outfit, with a front row rotation of Gillesbie Fai, Nathan Searle, George Nalesoni and Fernando Ekeroma as well as the reliable Adam Smith and Josh Houghton in their senior squad they are monstorous and if the Sharks halves can kick early and kick often to turn these big blokes around they may be able to get them at the back end of the game. The key inclusion for the Sharks will be Juls Wilson Wyllie who returns from state duties and he will have to move into the middle third of the field, because the likes of Damien Worth, Ricky Hayes and Kieran Crowe are no chance of controlling the ruck against the size and power the Giants possess. For the Giants they are getting back the reputation as the faders, which is a tagline they’ve worked hard to get rid of in recent years. They led North Beach at halftime last weekend, before failing to register a point in the second 40 allowing the likes of Trent Trotter and Ben Taylor to run riot. They are a big squad and their opposition is always going to be aware of that and implement tactics to wear them out. For the Giants their key inclusion is Oliver Callan, who returns from under 18’s state duties. He is the rock in the middle third for this side, with the motor to keep things tight around the ruck. It’s a big responsibility for a young bloke to take on, but Callan has shown every sign that he relishes the big stage so expect him to take on the challenge. Games are down at Franklin Offshore Sportsplex with the main game at 3:30pm

 

South Perth v Willagee #NRLWALionsBears

The Lions seem to be the team that is just about to click, if they haven’t already. They have a good mix of youth and experience throughout their team and despite having underperformed throughout the opening 6 rounds of the competition they find themselves in third spot on the ladder after 8 games. Really impressive last week missing 4 senior players against a Rockingham team who was nearly the benchmark just two rounds ago after winning 4 on the trot. It’s always tough games for a club taking on the Willagee Bears, because there’s not a lot for them to gain and plenty to lose. The Bears are not easy beats and always turn up with the attitude to compete, however their best opportunity for a win was last week against a Roosters side missing 8 players to representative duties and while they were able to match it with them for 40 minutes, they again fell away to lose fairly convincingly. With the Lions welcoming back the likes of Eddie Proudler and Scott Jones to name a couple it’s tough to see the Bears causing the upset. Games will be down at George Burnett Park with first grade starting at 3:30pm