ONE STEP FROM GLORY FOR WARL JUNIORS

By Justin Fris

The drama and tension of the preliminary final sees junior rugby league families travelling to Ken Allen Field on Sunday.

Playing in a grand final is a fantastic memory for any youngster and for hundreds of these footballers, the dream is less than an hour away.

Festivities kick off at 9.30am, with South Perth facing Rockingham in the U/11’s preliminary final.

Bravely edged out 6-0 by Fremantle last week’s major semi, South Perth will be excited to have another opportunity to earn a rematch.

Rockingham were simply awesome in their 44-0 win over Joondalup last week, but the opposition will be far tougher this week.

It will be hard to top the tension of last week’s minor semi final of the girls league tag, but no doubt Willagee and South Perth will provide another solid showcase of football.

One wonders if Lions star Kalani Kahu will be required to kick the winning score again in golden point?

The U/12’s matchup between Fremantle and Joondalup should not be missed by anyone.

Both sides were awesome in their finals last week, with excellent effort rising to the top.

The Giants have several aces around the park, but in order to win this match, they must limit Trey Peni’s output in the ruck.

Peni, amongst several players on both sides, could turn the game with one act of brilliance.

North Beach was left heartbroken after the U/13’s major semi final, losing 26-22 to rival South Perth.

Meannwhile across the other side, Kalamunda’s kiwi contingent left onlookers looking on in awe, with their excellent cohesion and skill during the minor semi final.

Both sides will fancy their chances, with no side clearly favoured to advance to the grand final.

South Perth will be itching to earn a rematch with Rockingham in the U/14’s grand final next week.

Trailing 20-6 midway through the second half, the Lions clawed their way back, falling inches short of a memorable comeback victory.

North Beach should have buried Joondalup by half time in the minor semi, but fatigue and poor ball control ensured a nervy finish.

The Lions would fancy their chances of defeating Beach, who don’t appear to have the legs to keep up with their opponents.

As the day winds to a close, Fremantle and South Perth will face off for the right to play a ravenous Rockingham Sharks U/16’s next week.

Thing is, have the Roosters recovered from their 55-18 belting?

South Perth were clinical in their 45-18 victory over Joondalup, but Fremantle will be desperate to make up for last week’s effort.

Regardless of how matches go this Sunday, all players should be satisfied of playing a part in finals football.

Junior football is all about having fun with friends and sharing quality time with family.

Good luck to everybody involved in matches this week and make the most of this wonderful experience.

Junior Semi Finals

*Picture – WA Junior Rugby League Semi Finals at George Burnett Park on Sunday 24th August 2014