Harvey Norman Premiership Finals Series Week 1 wrap-up

Roosters in strong Finals form

Fremantle Roosters showed they are a Grand Final contender with a powerful second half of football, beating Rockingham Sharks 38 to 22 and advance to meet North Beach in the second semi final of the Harvey Norman Premiership.

At half time neither side had any great advantage and were only playing in patches. The Sharks started strongly and dominated the first 10 minutes of the game, but could only manage six points on the board against a slow starting Fremantle. The Roosters then had a purple patch putting on 10 points in five minutes to take the lead.

With a 16 to 10 advantage at the break, the Sharks were controlling the play mainly through Caleb Reedy. Their scoring was on the back of double sets set up by the half back and forcing the Roosters into errors with his kicking game.

Errol Dare, with two tries early in the second half, sent Fremantle to the lead and set the pace for the final 40 minutes. They were in total control and it was not until the 76th minute that Rockingham posted their only score for the half.

Fremantle, who had a solid start to the season, is the only side to have beaten North Beach in Round Two. They fell off the pace through injuries mid-season, however they have now got all but one of their best 17 on the field. Delane Edwards, back into five-eighth, and Joseph Skipper were best for the Roosters.

Coach Lee Toon-Poynton was happy with his side’s efforts.

“We set our game plan and the guys stuck to it. We wanted to be strong up the middle and that was a key in the second half. Fitness was also a factor we have been working on in the build-up,” he said.

Sharks’ coach Martyn Wood knew they lost an opportunity.

“The terrible start to the second half cost us and reflected a poor week on the track, where we did not have the full squad at training,” he conceded.

South Perth Lions ended Kalamunda Bulldogs’ season with a strong 52 to 26 win in the Elimination Final. It would be disappointing to go out so easily for the Bulldogs, who were on top of the premiership table for the first five rounds.

Veteran Pikari Te Wara led the Lions’ charge with four tries, and was well supported by hooker Brandon Timlin. It is a timely reminder to the other sides in the competition that South Perth are still hungry and keen to defend their premiership title.

Next week Fremantle meet North Beach Sea Eagles in the second semi final and the double chance to go into the Grand Final. Rockingham Sharks go up against South Perth for the sudden death first semi final. Both games will be played at Charles Riley Reserve in North Beach.

Game Results (subject to official Team Sheets)

First Grade
Fremantle Roosters 38 – Rockingham Sharks 22 (QUALIFYING FINAL)
South Perth Lions 52 – Kalamunda Bulldogs 26 (ELIMINATION FINAL)

Premier Grade
North Beach Sea Eagles 42 – South Perth Lions 24 (QUALIFYING FINAL)
Fremantle Roosters 20 – Rockingham Sharks 16 (ELIMINATION FINAL)

Under 18
Kalamunda Bulldogs 36 – Joondalup Giants 34 (QUALIFYING FINAL)
South Perth Lions 38 – Willagee Bears 34 (ELIMINATION FINAL)

Kalamunda Bulldogs 20 – Joondalup Giants 0 (QUALIFYING FINAL)
South Perth Lions 32 – North Beach Sea Eagles 6 (ELIMINATION FINAL)