The South Perth Lions took one step closer to booking a ticket to the WA Smarter Than Smoking Premiership finals after defeating the Joondalup Giants 26-6 during Red Nose Round at Admiral Park on Saturday.
Fullback Kade McDonald produced a player of the match performance, scoring two tries and playing a hand in another as the Lions moved six points clear of the fifth-placed Ellenbrook Rabbitohs.
In wet and windy conditions, South Perth got off to a fast start as Jarrad Smith scored the game’s first try after just 14 minutes.
Only some desperate defence from Luke Turner prevented the Lions from extending their advantage as the Giants fullback pulled down Connor Hudson a metre shy of the try line.
The visitors wouldn’t be denied for long, however, as Harry Debique set up McDonald who crossed for his first try of the game to give his side some breathing room.
Joondalup entered the contest having lost six of their last seven games and needing a win to keep their thin finals hopes alive and soon hit back as five-eight Gus Marshall teed up Hemi Kani who powered his way across the line.
Marshall added the extras as the Giants took a 10-6 deficit into half-time.
Knowing they were locked in an arm wrestle, South Perth burst out of the blocks to start the second half – needing just three minutes to score as Debique’s chip and chase was picked up by Hudson who crashed over.
Hudson had his second shortly after the hour-mark as he linked up with McDonald to give the Lions a commanding 20-6 lead.
With time running down and the result no longer in doubt, McDonald put the icing on the cake with a stellar 100 metre solo try after scooping up Marshall’s kick into the in-goal before beating four Joondalup defenders.
In other results around the grounds, the Fremantle Roosters shutout Ellenbrook 38-0 while the North Beach Sea Eagles returned to winning ways with a 70-0 win over the Willagee Bears.
NRL WA would like to congratulate referee Ben Solomon who took charge of his 100th WA Smarter Than Smoking Premiership game over the weekend.
Joondalup Giants 6 (Tries – Kani. Goals – Marshall 1/1)
South Perth Lions 26 (Tries – J.Smith, McDonald (2), Hudson (2). Goals – Debique 3/5)
Chalk ‘N Cheese Player of the Match: Kade McDonald (South Perth Lions)
Joondalup Giants: 1. Luke Turner, 2. Brenton Scott, 17. Hemi Kani, 4. Luke Callan, 5. Rodney Mauga, 6. Gus Marshall, 16. Caleb Reedy, 8. Nathan Searle, 9. Davey Martin, 10. Adam Smith, 11. Daniel Sneddon 12. Daniel Smith, 13. Beau White, 7. Connor Favell, 14. Levi Mitchell, 15. Jeronia Raea, 19. Keanu Te Tai
Coach – Gus Marshall
South Perth Lions: 1. Kade McDonald, 2. Connor Hudson, 3. Will Smith, 4. Dylan Estriech, 5. Billy Judge, 6. Isaac Thomas, 7. Harry Debique, 8. Daniel Green, 9. Zac Wood, 10. Kiam Fletcher, 11. Ethan Gourgard, 12. Brandon Wright, 13. Jarrad Smith, 14. Caleb Norton, 15. Tim Noble, 16. Reno Burkhardt, 17. Taine Kingi
Coach – Isaac Thomas