Giants edge Bears in scrappy contest


Josh Houghton grabbed a double as the Joondalup Giants recorded a scrappy 32-12 win over the Willagee Bears at Admiral Park on Saturday.

The Giants crossed for five team tries to notch their fourth win of the season.

“I’m just happy to get the two points,” Joondalup Coach Darren Smith said.

“We were good in patches, we just need to make sure we play for the full 80 minutes.”

After claiming a tense 30-22 win over the South Perth Lions last weekend, the Giants started strongly and grabbed the first points of the afternoon after just three minutes when Houghton got on the end of Macey Howarth’s flat pass.

The prop forward brushed off two Bears defenders before dotting down under the sticks.

Davey Martin negotiated blustery conditions to add the extras.

Handling errors and poor discipline prevented either side from threatening the try line for the next 30 minutes – Bears five-eight Luke Pollock spending 10 in the bin for not rolling away.

The Giants took full advantage of the extra man as Wananga Kingi crossed untouched after a clever cutout ball from hooker Craig Richardson.

Martin converted from out wide to give the hosts a 12-0 lead heading into the sheds.

After a lacklustre opening term, both sides showed more intensity after the break – Troy Nicho capitalising on some weak Willagee defence to crash over.

Holding a 16-0 lead, the Giants sensed the opportunity of a blowout and notched their fourth try of the afternoon when Rodney Mauga crossed in the corner.

The Bears, desperate to salvage some pride hit back – Ryan Mills bundling his way over in his final game for the club before joining Vancouver Rowing Club Rugby.

Any hopes of a Willagee fightback were quickly dashed, however, as an error from the restart led to Houghton grabbing his second with a powerful run from close range.

Bears fullback Robbie Smith produced a bit of individual brilliance with a solo chip and chase try shortly after, before Giants winger Bryce McRobert bounced off a couple of defenders to score the final try of the contest.

With the win, Joondalup moves to 4-3 on the year, while Willagee remains winless.

In other games around the grounds, North Beach Sea Eagles snapped the Rockingham Sharks’ four-game winning streak with a 28-14 victory, while South Perth pulled off an upset, defeating the Fremantle Roosters 28-26.