For the second year in a row, the Fremantle Roosters are WA Smarter Than Smoking Premiers after a convincing 32-10 win over the North Beach Sea Eagles during Saturday’s Grand Final at Dorrien Gardens.
The Roosters crossed for six tries as they secured the title in emphatic fashion and become the first team to go back-to-back since North Beach in 2012 and 2013.
“The boys came away tonight and absolutely blitzed them – it feels great,” Fremantle manager Zac Speir said.
“Point-scoring is something that we’ve been good at all year and tonight we just turned it up.”
Fresh from a week off following their major semi-final win over the Sea Eagles, the Roosters started like a house on fire – scoring two tries in the opening 10 minutes to take control of the game.
Tane Peakman ran a strong line to crash over after just five minutes before winger Jason Nicholls grabbed his 15th try of the season to give Fremantle an early 10-0 lead.
The defending premiers continued their rampant start just minutes later – opposite winger Alan Cowan getting his name on the scoreboard with a clever finish down the left edge.
North Beach battled through a physical Preliminary Final with the South Perth Lions to book their Grand Final berth last week and looked like a battered team as they struggled to complete their sets.
Having scored a decade-high 766 points during the regular season, the Roosters soon got on the scoreboard again – Jordan Stringer stripping Kani Solomon of the ball to touch down under the sticks.
The Roosters five-eight then turned villain as he was sin-binned for a professional foul on the stroke of half-time, but the Chooks held on to take a 20-0 lead into the sheds.
Neither the change of ends or numerical disadvantage didn’t do anything to slow the Roosters down as Bjorn Crotty sent captain Delane Edwards through before Te Punner Sellers crossed for Fremantle’s sixth try of the evening.
Ben Taylor and Justin Buckley pulled back a couple of late consolation tries for North Beach, but it wasn’t enough to stop Fremantle recording a comfortable win.
Despite the loss, North Beach’s first-year coach John Hough was proud of his team’s efforts.
“Disappointed the boys didn’t show what they can offer on this big occasion,” Hough said.
“The boys are hurting and rightly so.
“All credit to Fremantle – they did a really good job on us. Well done to them.”
Crotty was awarded Player of the Match for his eight points and try assist.