NRLWA FTG&P Premiership – Round 13 Recap

By PETER ROWE 

 

South Perth got the monkey well and truly off their back on Saturday afternoon at George Burnett Oval with a thumping 40-10 win over the Rockingham Sharks in Round 13 of the NRLWA Fuel to Go and Play Premiership to record their first win of the season – and coach Marty Collis was delighted to see the smiles on the faces of his players after the game.

 

“We needed to get something from this season and I was so happy to see their faces on that siren,” Collis said.

 

“It has been coming for a few weeks, our halves are now working well and our youngsters have game time under their belts – they are learning all the time. Young winger Jordan Tuamoana is only 19 and he is improving with every match.”


Photo – Karmel Potter-Green

Collis was extremely happy with the Lions’ first half completion rate, but did admit they also capitalised on a number of Rockingham errors.

 

“I think we have matured a lot as a team and we had players ready to jump on those chances when they (Rockingham) spilled the ball. And we grew in confidence once we got got past 12-0.”

 

Halves Samisoni Langi and Jayden Evans were on fire in the first 40 minutes orchestrating six unanswered tries as the second-place Sharks looked on in stunned embarrassment.


Photo – Karmel Potter-Green

Evans opened the scoring after barely sixty seconds before lock Jarrad Smith, speedy winger Tuamoana and Langi extended the score.

 

Langi danced his way through a hapless defence and club legend Daniel Green made the most of a ball handing error from fullback Te Autoroa Awhile-Kerei to add four more.

 

The Sharks were desperate for the halftime siren but Tuamoana added another four minutes before the break when the visitors let a last tackle kick bounce into the hands of a South Perth player, who found the winger alone out wide to race for the line.


Photo – Karmel Potter-Green

The second half though, proved to be a better contest as James Blackburn was first to cross in the 46th minute for the Sharks, but once again their defence was nowhere to be seen as Caleb Norton broke from dummy half, setting up Langi for his second of the day.

 

Halfback Boston Smith added a consolation try 10 minutes from time to salvage some respect, but the day belonged to South Perth.

 

A few kilometres south Fremantle returned to action after a bye to put in a massive second half performance to beat Joondalup 52-10.

 

The Giants went into the sheds at the break with a slender 6-4 lead, thanks to a try from Rangi Kingi and a penalty from Gus Marshall, but were then on the end of a Roosters’ onslaught, conceding 48 points in that second half.

 

“We struggled for numbers through the week and three players stepped up from reserves, plus a couple carrying injuries. Yes, it was  tough day,” lock Taurean Sheehan admitted.

 

“First half I think we were happy with, then they scored twice after the break and we scored again through Dylan Davis  and we were still in it.

 

“But once they got on a roll we didn’t have the energy to stop them. It became like quicksand.”

 

The Roosters took advantage of a tiring opposition and scored almost from every kickoff.

 

Eli Beattie, who scored their first try, added two more in the second period, as Joe Po’uhila, Luke-David Wells Talamaivao, Gethin Thomas, Austin Cameron and a double from forward Ezra Taomia sealed the points.

 

“It really clicked in the second half, but fair play to Joondalup, they gave it to us in that first 40,” captain Duane Butler said.

 

“It was a windy, wet day and I thought I’d got the coin toss wrong after that first half that saw us struggle, but the wind changed in our favour and helped us get across the line.

 

“We played with enthusiasm and flair once we got in front and that augurs well for the run in to the finals.”