Perth Junior League – Finals Preview

U13s Girls
Minor Premiers – Ellenbrook Rabbitohs
Producing some of the games of the year so far, the U13s Girls competition is a fantastic little competition, and one we hope continues to grow. Ellenbrook Rabbitohs have come in as the benchmark this year, on the back of some blistering performances from speedster Leona Yusia and the talented goal-kicking Terina Tetana.
Newcomers Rockingham Sharks have improved every game so far, led by incredible youngster Te Whai-Aroha Huriwai-Brown, and could just be peaking at the right time. But they will have to get past the forward dominant juggernaut of the Joondalup Giants, who are an intimidating assignment, with Eston Tiakia the most dangerous ball runner and lockdown defender in the competition.

U15s Girls
Minor Premiers – Joondalup Giants
Similar to the above, the U15s Girls competition has so far been a revelation in 2021. With the games producing big crowds and intense contests, its fantastic to see some brilliant rugby league being played in this age group. The Giants have been the dominating force, with their strong forward pack featuring the ultra intimidating pair of Sienna Hodge-Cekic and Amiria Edwards making it incredible hard for teams to match them in the middle of the field.
But the challengers won’t die wondering, with the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs sneaking their first win over the Giants courtesy of some adept goal kicking. The Rabbits have a more free flowing style, with captain Jessica Kaukau directing the troops around the field. And the South Perth Lions have shown they won’t be intimidated with pint sized pocket rocket Leokadia Tairea showing some silky touches.

Girls League Tag
Minor Premiers – Joondalup Giants
The amazing thing about the Girls League Tag competition, is the level of improvement from every side in the competition. All teams have improved massively, and anyone can win on the day. For Joondalup, the dangerous Tyrah Parekura-Schirnack is an offensive dynamo with her scything runs in the middle of the field causing issues, but they will be sweating on the fitness of strike weapon Topaz-Jean Porter to be firing for the finals.
Challenging the Giants, are rivals Ellenbrook Rabbitohs, who will be looking for the experience of Shamaia Grey and ball skills of newcomer Koopu Mareikura-Heta to get them over the finish line. But don’t write off the others just yet. South Perth Lions have some real ballers, particularly intense leader Marnie McGuire, who can turn a game on her own. And the Sharks have their own game defining player in the talented fullback Haleigh Muriwai, who won’t let Rockingham be forgotten. This should be a cracking finals competition. A small shout out to the Roosters GLT who improved out of sight as the year went on. Lets hope the girls stick with it.

U13s Boys
Minor Premiers – Rockingham Sharks
So the finals for this competition came down to the wire. With last years U12s premiers North Beach not featuring in the finals, and early leaders Fremantle Roosters missing by the final four by a whisker. In a last round avalanche, the Rockingham Sharks finished minor premiers on the back of a squad full of talent and size. Majah Peachey in particular has impressed with his dynamic ball running and game awareness a great feature of his play.
In second spot on ladder, the Kalamunda Bulldogs are huge improvers, with fullback/centre Jacob Scoon’s try scoring ability leading the way week to week. His combination of balance and timing has been great to watch. But in this tight competition I wouldn’t be sleeping on 3rd and 4th, with the Alkimos Tigers hulking pack looking to out enthuse the South Perth Lions classy rosters. Led by Austin Tutt, the Lions will be looking to make the most out of their ball playing ability, and nullify the dangerous ball carrying of Tiger Dante Miria and his forward partners.

U14s Boys
Minor Premiers – Rockingham Sharks
The undefeated Rockingham Sharks will be deserved heavy favourites when the finals kick off this weekend. With the minor premiership locked up 3 weeks ago, they will have to be weary of complacency, and look for consistent performances from top performers Rihare Te Rauna and Ka Hao Huriwai-Brown. Its the Sharks competition to lose at this stage and they will need to be on top of their game with 3 weeks remaining.
Desperate to not let them get away with the trophy, the Lions be resting a lot of responsibility on the diminutive shoulders of halfback Zac Abercrombie and the enigmatic Gabriel Salele’a, and will need their discipline to be top shelf. Desperate to not be forgotten about, defending premiers Fremantle Roosters will once again looking for ace card William Blair to bring his considerable finals form back into the fray. Standing in the way of the Roosters is the Kalamunda Bulldogs, with the super talented Ricco Lilii a force to be reckoned with in attach and defence.

U15s Boys
Minor Premiers – North Beach Sea Eagles
Well what a final round we had. North Beach who were crusing in first position, fell asleep and let South Perth get a much needed shot in the arm of confidence heading into the finals. And with powerhouse sides the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs and Rockingham Sharks also making the four, this could potentially be the pick of the junior finals series to watch. North Beach will be sweating on the fitness of gun playmaker Latrelle Chase, who has had some injury problems this season. A deadly playmaker and try scorer, he can tear any game open.
They will run into the might of the Rockingham Sharks, who have had their own injury problems of late, with the health of gun forwards Stacie Reweti and Taitoa Te Rauna of particular concern. Their punch and leadership qualities will be difficult to replace. Enter form teams, the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs and South Perth Lions. For the Rabbitohs, the talented Hosea Letufuga and powerful Ohbion Rawiri will be looking to repay the Sea Eagles for last years close grand final loss, while South Perth are finishing fast behind the impressive performances of fast stepping fullback Mataio Pora.

U16s Boys
Minor Premiers – South Perth Lions
I remember looking at this competition six weeks ago and thinking I could almost see the future and pick the upcoming games with ease. That has all gone out the window in the last month of the competition. Minor premiers South Perth have had some big injury scares which have forced them to play a much more conservative game and lean on some of their younger crew. With Jack Clutterbuck throwing his slight frame into the contests with abandon, they have scampered and scraped their way to the top of the pile.
The other three sides involved will not be making life easy for the red and whites though. The Rockingham Sharks have hit form, with power pocket runner Taiatina Huriwai-Brown leading the charge for the erratic side. Got some talented footballers in this family. The Kalamunda Bulldogs have been there abouts all year, showing spurts of brilliance followed by a lack of maturity. The loss of Mathias Ah-Khoi is massive, with them relying more and more on the hot stepping of Harlem Tata-Paki. And while North Beach have taken a while to warm into the season, they are now truely in the conversation with lock Jake Matthews showing his considerable football nous to help lead this team on a late season charge.