NRLWA Westpac Womens Premiership – Round 03 Recap

By PETER ROWE 

 

A masterclass from Anneka Stephens helped earn Joondalup Giants a 38-10 victory over the North Beach Sea Eagles on Friday Night, a performance that had her coach Kurt Lahtz purring.

 

Stephens led from the front, setting up tries for teammates at key times in the game to ensure the Sea Eagles didn’t mount a comeback.

 

“She’s like a fine wine, gets better with age,” purred Lahtz. 

 

“She controlled the game and as a five-eighth did everything I asked of her, and more.”

 

But Kurtz also singled out Shanae Spence for her role in the win, adding the lock was a dominant player around the ruck.  “She is only going to get better with fitness,” he said.

 

Topaz Porter and Taria Arere gave the Giants an early lead and Arere added second after 16 minutes before fullback April Alan scored for North Beach after a big break from halfway.

 

Stephens set up Amieria Edwards six minutes later to increase the score and Sienna Hodge-Cekic added another six minutes from halftime as the Giants went into the break leading 24-6.

 

With no bench and down on numbers the gallant Sea Eagles stayed in the game for the early part of the second stanza before Stephens starred again, making a break down the left edge, spinning in the tackle and passing to hooker Tyra Parekura-Schirnack who finished off the move.

 

Beach centre Ada Cox then cleaned up a loose ball on the left edge to score and close the gap before a dropped high ball from a Stephens kick saw a scrum feed to the visitors that resulted in forward Kiri Smiler carrying two players over the try line to score.

 

With three minutes remaining Edwards grabbed a double as North Beach tired and Stephens kicked the extras to earn the Giants their first win of the season.

 

Ellenbrook are still hot on the Giants heels with a 24-20 win over the Fremantle Roosters, but they were made to fight for the points in a five tries to four tussle.