LIONS ROAR IN CLASSIC DECIDER

By Justin Fris South Perth Premiers

South Perth scored an epic 28-26 I victory over Fremantle in Saturday’s WARL Smarter than Smoking Premiership Grand Final at George Burnett Park.

Trailing 28-14 with 12 minutes left, the Roosters fell two points short of a miraculous comeback.

Both sides had two men sin-binned after 23 minutes, as the warm conditions and physical nature of the game tested patiences.

This incident proved fatal for the Roosters, who lost their early 6-0 lead and momentum.

Lions veteran Brandon Timlin cut ferocious holes in the Roosters’ defence, which allowed speedsters Dean Shepherd and T.K Kahari to take advantage.

Wayde KellyKahari scored his first try of the day in the 35th minute, on the back of a great cut-out pass from Timlin on the short side of the field.

Leading 10-6 at half time, the Lions coughed up posession on their first two second half sets.

The Roosters, with stern words of coach Andrew Korn ringing in their ears, took advantage.

Wellington Tulilou bullocked his way through a weary Lions defence and fed the ball to Delane Edwards.

Edwards motored down the left untouched and restored the Rooster lead.

The Roosters were awarded two penalties midway through the second half and opted to kick at goal twice.

Zane PatrickZane Patrick missed the first but converted the second from long range.

Sensing their rivals were losing ground, the Lions poured on three tries in the next eight minutes.

Kahari and Timlin both bagged their second tries, along with and Dean Shepherd joining in.

No side coached by Korn goes quietely and this match was no exception.

After a hotly disputed penalty, Craig Madden surged under the black dot, giving the Roosters life with 11 minutes to go.

Lions coach Barney Nixon sensed danger and rallied his men to play conservative.

It only spurred the Roosters on further.

With the crowd at fever pitch, Roosters forward Trident Pamatanli scored an emotive try with only four minutes to go.

Shepherd and Jon Phipps then took matters into their own hands for the home side.

The Lions stoicly held their nerve in the final minute, forcing the brave Roosters out of attacking range.

Shepherd was best afield and won the Ron Hudson medal.

It was a deserved premiership win for the Lions, who were league leaders throughout 2014.

It was further grand final heartache for the Roosters, who lost their third consecutive grand final in a row.

SOUTH PERTH LIONS 28Dean Sheppard
Tries: TK Kahaki 2, Brandon Timlin 2, Dean Shepherd
Goals: Adam Bartholomew 4

FREMANTLE ROOSTERS 26
Tries: Craig Madden, Tridant Pamatangi, Jordan Stringer, Wellington Tulilou
Goals: Zane Patrick 5

Ron Hudson Medal for Player of the Match – Dean Shepherd

 

Results from other matches

RESERVE GRADE
North Beach Sea Eagles 22 defeated South Perth Lions 18 (in extra time)

UNDER 18’s
Rockingham Sharks 23 defeated South Perth Lions 22 (in extra time)

THIRD GRADE
North Beach Sea Eagles 18 defeated Joondalup Giants 16

WOMEN’S LEAGUETAG
Fremantle Roosters 22 defeated Joondalup Giants 0

 

Pictures:
Picture 1 – South Perth Lions 2014 WARL Smarter than Smoking Premiers
Picture 2 – South Perth’s Isaac Thomas playing the ball to Wayde Kelly
Picture 3 – Fremantle’s Zane Patrick converting a try
Picture 4 – Ron Hudson Medal recipient Dean Shepherd