Harvey Norman Premiership Round 3 wrap-up

North Beach class shows through at end

North Beach Sea Eagles scored in the last 10 minutes of the Grand Final replay against South Perth Lions to win 22 to 20 in a game that had no more than a try in it from the start. The two rival clubs that have dominated the last decade in Rugby League showed they will again be benchmark sides this season.

This and two other results for the weekend have opened up an exciting start to the Harvey Norman Premiership race. Kalamunda Bulldogs remain the only unbeaten side on three wins with a comfortable 56 to 10 over Goldfields Titans. Fremantle Roosters continued their good form to score a 22 to 16 win over the Rockingham Sharks.

The form of the Bulldogs has been the big talking point of the opening games. They kept their winning record intact by dominating the play of the ball and had the game won in the first half with a strong 36 to nil lead. Although the Titans challenged in the second half, they were never a chance to make up the difference. Stand out players for the Bulldogs were Joe Parkinson and Tamati Kururangi.

The game between North Beach Sea Eagles and South Perth Lions was a classic battle and it was the Sea Eagles defensive game that made the difference. Best players were Kieran Tarrant and Ben Taylor for North Beach and Hugh Mackay and Kuraau Tamata for the Lions.

Fremantle spoiled the 25th Anniversary celebrations for the Sharks in a game that could have gone either way. They went into half time 10 – 12 down, but quickly took the lead in the second half with Tajhon Mailata going over the line in the first five minutes. The try was not converted.

For the next 25 minutes neither side could break the two point deadlock, but is was Fremantle who then scored a converted try to take and eight point lead with nine minutes to go.

The Sharks rallied immediately to get back to within six points and then were still pushing to level the score on the Roosters 10 metre line when the final siren sounded.

Sam Graham and Dixie Harris were the best for Fremantle with Josh Simm and Blake Nicholls the Sharks’ best.

Fremantle coach Lee Toon-Poynton was pleased by the win but a little critical of some parts of their game.

“Our defense won it in the end but it was the little things that made it hard for us. When we made a mistake we paid dearly. I did not think our kicking game was on tonight,” he said.

Sharks coach Martyn Wood was disappointed as he knows his side can be better.

“It was a fair effort from us, but we made mistakes in both halves that counted. With a lead at half time, we should not have allowed the try five minutes after the break with our boys rested. Fremantle did not deserve to lose,” Wood said.

Joondalup Giants recorded their first win for the season beating Willagee Bears 56 – 10. After a slow start the Giants scored an unanswered 40 points in the second half. Clint Fraser and Gus Marshall were the best for the Giants.

Game Results

First Grade
Fremantle Roosters 22 – Rockingham Sharks 16
North Beach Sea Eagles 22 – South Perth Lions 20
Kalamunda Bulldogs 56 – Goldfields Titans 10
Joondalup Giants 56 – Willagee Bears 10

Premier Grade
Fremantle Roosters 34 – Rockingham Sharks 30
South Perth Lions 36 – North Beach Sea Eagles 6
Kalamunda Bulldogs 30 – Southwest Warriors 10
Willagee Bears 30 – Joondalup Giants 14

Under 18’s
South Perth Lions 26 – North Beach Sea Eagles 22
Kalamunda Bulldogs 66 – Southwest Warriors 0
Joondalup Giants 26 – Willagee Bears 20

Fremantle Roosters 32 – Rockingham Sharks 0
North Beach Sea Eagles 14 – South Perth Lions 0
Kalamunda Bulldogs 48 – Southwest Warriors 0
Joondalup Giants 36 – Willagee Bears 10