NRLWA Westpac Womens Premiership – Round 06 Recap

By PETER ROWE

Joondalup Giants’ winning run continued on Friday night at Admiral Park as they saw off the challenge of the North Beach Eagles, emerging 30-6 winners, by seven tries to one, in round six of the Westpac Women’s Premiership.

 

And again it was the boot of star halfback Anneka Stephens who led the Giants in attack, with several defence splitting kicks the visitors were unable to contain.

 

Kicking early, often on fourth tackle, the Giants took advantage of possession to open the scoring after nine minutes when a clever switch from left to right allowed Jeune Mahuru to find space to cross.

 

Three minutes later they scored again, from another Stephens kick across field to left corner where fullback Taria Arere was waiting to pounce.

 

Trying to exploit space behind a North Beach defence, Stephens and fellow half Mahuru, opened up opportunities for further scores, but the Sea Eagles regathered to keep them at bay.

 

The third try of the evening didn’t arrive until a minute before the halftime break, when a Stephens kick after a line break from deep in their own half, saw Haylee Hifo score in the corner.

 

Tactically the Giants had the better options, but the Sea Eagles pushed for points and never gave up, even after Hifo scored again minutes after the restart.

 

Beach got their reward for effort on 39 minutes when hooker Anahera Te Rahui threw a dummy and dived over from short metres.

 

But their celebration didn’t last long. Six minutes later Mahuru dived over to score and after another Stephens kick saw centre Briana Bunce added another.

 

North Beach, to their credit, never gave up even after winger Mata Moeka scored the Giants seventh try three minutes from time to round out a solid performance from the competition’s frontrunners.

 

In the other game of the night, Ellenbrook Rabbitohs defeated the Fremantle Roosters 10-0 to stay second on the ladder, with the Roosters and Sea Eagles trailing third and fourth.

 

Centre Taliana Mika was the star with a double and captain Kailey Thompson kicked a conversion to seal the points.

 

“It was a tough game,” Thompson said. “Freo had the edge in much of the first half even though we led 4-0 at the break.  But we had good possession in the second half and it got us home.

 

“We dropped a lot of ball so we need to improve there, but overall we have to be happy with the win.”