NRLWA FTG&P Premiership – Round 06 Recap

By PETER ROWE

North Beach Sea Eagles overcame a great start from South Perth to record their fourth win of the 2024 NRLWA Fuel to Go and Play Premiership at Charles Riley Reserve on Saturday and in doing so closed the gap to two points on leaders Rockingham Sharks.

After Ethan Gourgaud had scored from a clever Corban Daniels grubber kick early the Sea Eagles hit back within minutes through centre Roydon Gillett with Justin Buckley adding a second 15 minutes later after a costly South Perth error five metres from their own try line.


Photo – Carmel Potter-Green

“We were a bit slow at the start and let them in, but recovered well,”  North Beach coach Phil Douche said.

“The heat was something we had to deal with and credit to them they came at us hard.”

Douche also admitted he had to reshuffle his pack just hours before kickoff when forward Brodie Whitehead tripped in the shower at home and broke a toe.

Big South African forward Shane Gillham then outpaced fullback Daniels from 30 metres out to finish off a great counter-attack as the Sea Eagles widened the gap and fullback Corey Craig then scored in the right-hand corner as the home side took control.

Buckley rounded off a great first half for the defending premiers with his second and his side’s  fifth score of the day.

The Lions became more involved in the wrestle after the break and were first to score through centre Dela Kanawale after the Sea Eagles had conceded a penalty a metre from the try line.

A superb 40-20 kick from Harry DeBique earned the visitors another chance minutes later and Hohepa-Tamati Tauiatini Galvin-Dawson reached out through a tackle to find the whitewash and close the gap to six points.  DeBique kicked the conversion and it was game on.

But their hopes were short-lived as Mackenzie Martin latched on to a clever short pass from halfback Darius Rogers to find a hole in the Lions’ defence and with the conversion kicked the home side extended their lead again to ten points.


Photo – Carmel Potter-Green

The never-say-die attitude of a young Lions side earned them another score when Jordan Fletcher dived over from short metres before the Sea Eagles rounded out the day with a penalty in front of the posts from Curtis Everett and a wayward pass from Fletcher saw Everett intercept 30 metres out. His run was halted a metre short, but back rower Tyler Moeau was on hand to dive over.

Douche knows his side will have to be ready from start next when they travel to Fremantle. “We gave away too much ball and penalties, something we will address during the week,” he said. 

“But there are good signs and I know we are going in the right direction.”

For the Lions it was another disappointing day but team manager Paul Brown said he could see improvement in every game.

“We were in the game and Brandon Wright was a good in for us in the centres. We lost half Jayden Evans with an injury on Thursday night so we had to reshuffle,” Brown said.

“Our completion rate was only about 55 per cent in the first half but was closer to 75 per cent in the second half as we got back into the game. Then their late try ended it for us.”

Missing eight first team regulars the Sharks saw their unbeaten start to the season come to an end at Joondalup as the Giants secured their first win of the season with a surprise 48-22 victory.

The Sharks were clinically taken apart in the first half as the Giants scored six unanswered tries before a much improved second stanza made the score a little more respectable.

Error after error saw the home side rack up the points with early back-to back tries from centre Jamaine White and Juronia Raea before winger Dylan Davis, forward Joel Irvine, Davis again  completed first-half scoring.

The shell shocked Sharks, regrouped and looked in better shape after the break, as Kyle James and Eric Koroa crossed before centre Logan Barclay took a pass from brother Shawn to score, but the Giants weren’t finished, with winger Stanley Whyte and Davis again finishing off a superb day for the home side as halfback Gus Marshall kicked eight from eight conversions to send a message to the competition that they were back in the race.

“Mentally I think we were the better prepared and we wanted it more,” Giants hooker Taurean Sheehan said.

“We found a structure and stuck to it. Fair play to Rockingham, they came back at us and outscored us in the second half, but we managed the back end of the game well to take the points.”

For Rockingham coach Tom Murphy there were no excuses.

“None at all,” he said. “We were poor, too many errors and they (Joondalup) wanted it more.

“They had players out as well and I was impressed with their young fullback. 

“The first 20 minutes we had virtually no ball and they killed us. We held on to the ball in the second half and won the half, so there is something to take from the game.

“But it has shown how competitive this league is and we have to turn up every week and be mentally prepared no matter who is selected to play.”