Roosters and Sea Eagles do battle for the Noel Williams Cup

North Beach Sea Eagles after winning the 2016 Noel Williams Cup

The final round of the 2018 WA Smarter Than Smoking Premiership regular season is upon us, and for the Fremantle Roosters and North Beach Sea Eagles, their game on Saturday will be extra special.

Not only will the game likely decide the winner of the minor premiership, but it will also be the stage of the sixth annual Noel Williams Cup fixture.

“The game’s never been at the end of the year like this, but it’s going to be quite good with both teams playing out for who is going to be the minor premiers,” Williams said.

“Both sides, this year, have the ability to come from anywhere to win the game.

“The last game at North Beach should have been a draw by rights, but North Beach just snuck in with a try at the end of the game.”

Williams, a legend of WA rugby league began his playing career with the Roosters in 1951 and made history less than a decade later, becoming the first WA player to be graded into a Sydney club.

Upon his return to WA, Williams won the 1961 Premiership with Fremantle before becoming captain-coach of Cottesloe for two years where he was named Clubman of the Year in 1964.

Williams saw out his playing days with the Roosters, winning the 1969 Brice Trophy before retiring in 1973.

His retirement was never going to last long, however, and when North Beach came calling a year later, Williams strapped on the boots again, becoming player-coach for the Sea Eagles.

In his first year at North Beach, Williams led his side to a Premiership despite being second bottom of the ladder when he arrived – playing a blistering finals series as the Sea Eagles won the crown.

Previously a State Selector, Judiciary Committee member, Referee Adjudicator and Advisor, Williams is a currently a member of North Beach Men of League Old Boys, Fremantle Centurions and was inducted as a WARL/NRL WA Life Member in 2012.

The Noel Williams Cup, played in Williams’ honour, will be presented to the winning team following the completion of the game, with the Man of the Match receiving an engraved medal and monetary award.

Fremantle are the current holders of the cup – reclaiming it in emphatic fashion, beating North Beach 64-0 during Round 6 last year.

This year, however, the game is expected to be much closer with both sides gunning for the minor premiership.

The game kicks off at 3.30pm on Saturday 25 August at Ken Allen Field.