The Joondalup Giants snapped their three-game losing streak, running out 28-10 winners over the South Perth Lions during the WA Smarter Than Smoking Premiership’s Red Nose Round.
Tries to Craig Richardson, Davey Martin (2), Joell Irvine and Ollie Callan handed the Giants victory in Stand-In Coach Gus Marshall’s first game in charge.
“We’ve been on a bit of a tough run. Our last three second halves have been the most disappointing all season,” Marshall said.
“Today we came out and dominated that second half towards the back end and came away with the points.”
The Giants have started brightly in recent weeks before fading late in games and again got on the board first when Richardson darted out of dummy half to touch down after Troy Nicho put his side in great field position with a powerful 70-metre run up-field.
Martin added the extras from right in front to give the hosts a 6-0 lead.
The try came against the run of play, with South Perth dominating all of the early possession.
Coming into the game as the form team in the competition on the back of four straight wins, the Lions struggled to turn possession into points in the first half.
Handling errors and poor discipline cost both sides during a scrappy opening 40.
With the game needing a bit of a spark, five-eight Martin produced a bit of magic on the stroke of half-time – chipping the ball over the South Perth defence before collecting his own kick to dot down and give his side a 12-0 lead heading into the sheds.
It was a lead the Giants almost threw away immediately after a disastrous start to the second half.
After Nicho was sin-binned just three minutes after the re-start, the Lions took full advantage with Isaac Thomas and Daniel Green scoring back-to-back tries to bring the visitors within two points.
With Joondalup set to regain their full quota of men, Martin turned the tide back in his side’s favour after scooping up Richardson’s ricocheted kick to crash over.
A sin-binning to South Perth fullback Kade McDonald allowed Joondalup to extend their lead – Irvine getting on the end of Martin’s kick into the in-goal area before Callan spun past his man to secure the victory for the Giants.
In other games around the grounds, the Fremantle Roosters recorded a convincing 62-16 win over the Rockingham Sharks, while the North Beach Sea Eagles returned to winning ways, downing the Willagee Bears 70-12.