Revenge is a dish best served cold. At least it was for the North Beach Sea Eagles as they wiped out any memories of last year’s WA Smarter Than Smoking Premiership Grand Final loss to the Fremantle Roosters, defeating the Chooks 42-22 at Ken Allen Field on Saturday.
Last year’s minor premiers scored early and often – running in eight tries, including a hat-trick to winger Brad Sharpham as they opened up their 2019 season in perfect fashion.
“We’re not going to get carried away with ourselves,” Sea Eagles coach John Hough said.
“It’s good to put up those points but we’ve got to back it up next week.”
A top contender to go all the way this year, North Beach burst out of the blocks – Sharpham opening the scoring after just 10 minutes.
Not be outdone, Fremantle hit back immediately as dummy half Alan Cowan put the hosts on the board five minutes later.
Led by second-year coach Hough, the Sea Eagles looked organised and potent on attack and soon took control of the game as Sharpham grabbed his second of the contest before tries to centre Kani Solomon and five-eight Jeremy Wallace but the visitors up 18-6.
Sharpham soon turned enemy, however, as he dropped Raana Peakman’s high-ball straight into the hands of Cowan who pounced to score his second of the game.
A late Cairo Takarangi penalty on the stroke of half-time gave North Beach a 20-12 lead heading into the sheds.
Trying to prevent their first home loss since Round 7 of last year, Fremantle jumped out of the gates to start the second half as winger Blake Hignett dotted down in the corner just six minutes after the restart.
The teams then traded tries as Wallace shrugged off a tackle from Bradley Gibson to touch down for his second of the contest before Bow Stein’s error allowed Mitchell Kerr to respond straight away for the Roosters.
Now just a four-point game, North Beach’s captain Trent Trotter stood up – darting over from dummy half to re-establish his side’s 10-point cushion.
With just nine minutes to play, the Sea Eagles made sure of the points as Sharpham dotted down for his hat-trick before Trotter turned provider to set up Takarangi who capped off an impressive first-up win for North Beach.
“That was the goal to come down here today to get a bit of revenge for the Grand Final,” Sharpham said.
“Credit to the boys in the middle, it makes it easy for me.”
In other results around the grounds, the South Perth Lions overcame a resolute Rockingham Sharks side 20-10, while the Joondalup Giants rode a strong second half on route to a 36-6 win over the Willagee Bears.
Fremantle Roosters 22 (Tries – Cowan (2), Hignett, Kerr. Goals – Teirney 3/4)
North Beach Sea Eagles 42 (Tries – Sharpham (3), Wallace (2), Solomon, Trotter, Takarangi. Goals – Wallace 0/1, Takarangi 5/8)
1. Delane Edwards, 2. Blake Hignett, 3. Reggy Manu, 19. Tarin Katu, 6. Raana Peakman, 5. Cameron Rupapera, 17. Rangitukia Teirney, 15. Bradley Gibson, 9. Alan Cowan, 10. Mitchell Kerr, 11. Ezra Taomia, 12. Tane Peakman, 13. Bjorn Crotty, 8. Niku Sollet-Mackey, 14. Joseph Hewitt, 4. Jamie Le, 20. Aaron Hodges
Manager – Zac Speir
1. Kahan Joyce-Vaughan, 15. Tye Saus, 3. Kristian Williams, 4. Kani Solomon, 5. Bradley Sharpham, 6. Jeremy Wallace, 7. Cairo Takarangi, 8. Terelli Whaanga, 9. Trent Trotter, 10. Eoghan Lofts, 11. Joshua Benjamin, 12. Wiremu Paki, 13. Adam Roy, 14. Bow Stein, 16. Ben Dickson, 17. Jayden De Vorms, 19. David McCullough
Coach – John Hough