The Ellenbrook Rabbitohs introduced themselves to the WA Smarter Than Smoking Premiership in emphatic fashion – recording a 56-4 win over the Willagee Bears at Webber Reserve on Saturday.
Making their Premiership debut, the Rabbitohs ran in 12 tries – including a hat-trick to dummy half Bryce Wilson as they got their 2019 season off to a perfect start.
“The hat-trick was nice, but it was just good to get the win and get us on the board,” Wilson said.
“We’re trying to live up to the hype this year.”
Fresh off the bye in Round 1, the Rabbitohs struck first as Willz Tuheke etched his name in the history books by scoring the club’s first ever Premiership try after just eight minutes.
Buoyed by the confidence of their first try, Ellenbrook seized control of the game as player/coach Jarek Goebel soon doubled his side’s advantage with a cleverly-worked try out of dummy half.
Keen to get involved in the action, hooker Wilson grabbed his first of the game as he touched down under the sticks following Fernando Ekeroma’s strong run before winger Nga Joseph gave the Rabbitohs an 18-0 lead.
Winless during the entire 2018 season, Willagee again had their backs up against the wall but soon hit the board as Caylis Ryan crossed in the corner to give the home side hope.
Just as soon as the Bears sensed a comeback, the Rabbitohs responded, however, as Wilson bagged his second before captain Manasseh Gudgeon and forward Charlie Adams scored to give the visitors a commanding 32-4 lead heading into the sheds.
Widely considered to be a genuine finals threat in their inaugural season, Ellenbrook kept up their momentum after the change of ends – centre Kade Pearce streaking away just seven minutes after the restart.
A quickfire double to Jesse Rihari padded to the scoreline before a sin-binning to Willagee’s Ryan Mills allowed Wilson to complete his hat-trick and Goebel to bag his double in the closing stages as Ellenbrook sent out a huge statement of intent to the rest of the competition.
“We won, which is good, but so much to work on,” Goebel said.
“That’s our first game together properly – we’ll get there.”
In other results around the grounds, the North Beach Sea Eagles made it two wins from two with a 40-26 victory over the Joondalup Giants while the Fremantle Roosters returned to winning ways – downing the Rockingham Sharks 56-6.
Willagee Bears 4 (Tries – Ryan. Goals – Mills 0/1)
Ellenbrook Rabbitohs 56 (Tries – Tuheke, Goebel (2), Wilson (3), Joseph, Gudgeon, Adams, Pearce, Rihari (2). Goals – Wilson 0/2, Kingi 2/6, Rihari 0/1, Evans 0/1, Palmer 2/2)
1 Te Toa Parkinson, 2. Joziah Tairea, 3. Jerrold Gare, 4. Luke Pollock, 5. Caylis Ryan, 6. Ryan Mills, 7. Lewis Samuels, 8. Victor Ulukita, 9. Tremayne Kamso, 10. Mitchell Marsh, 11. Stevie Aull, 12. Jordan Vae, 13. Marcel Mahuta, 14. Punce Nooroh, 17. Beaudine Tavipa, 18. George Taafuli, 20. Paul Howard-Daniels
Coach – Lenoir Tairea
1. Wananga Kingi, 2. Chazz Palmer, 3. Kade Pearce, 4. Jesse Rihari, 5. Nga Joseph, 6. Bruce Anderson, 7. Jarek Goebel, 8. Fernando Ekeroma, 9. Bryce Wilson, 10. Manasseh Gudgeon, 11. Chase Watson, 12. Charlie Adams, 13. River Colman, 14. Shaan Evans, 15. Phil Tunupopo, 18. Willz Tuheke, 20. Chris Tongi
Coach – Jarek Goebel