Playing in front of some of the Western Reds’ greatest ever players, the North Beach Sea Eagles produced a performance any rugby league team would have been proud of as they defeated the Fremantle Roosters 30-10 in Round 8 of the WA Smarter Than Smoking Premiership at Blueforce Park on Saturday.
With the Reds’ 25th year anniversary function watching on, the Sea Eagles outscored the Roosters five tries to two to remain the competition’s only unbeaten side and extend their lead at the top of the standings to four points – much to the delight of coach John Hough.
“We performed for the 80 minutes and I’m really pleased with the defence,” Hough said.
“We worked on that [defence] this week.
“We knew Fremantle are dangerous all over the park.”
In a game which pitted the competition’s top two teams against each other, it was the Sea Eagles who drew first blood as halfback Jeremy Wallace produced a bit of individual brilliance to break through the Roosters line before setting up Kahan Joyce-Vaughan who scored under the sticks.
Joyce-Vaughan then turned provider as he teed up winger Brad Sharpham who doubled the hosts’ advantage with a try in the corner on the half-hour mark.
Playing in wet and windy conditions, North Beach took advantage of the slippery surface to score their third try of the afternoon just moments later as Wallace’s grubber kick was fumbled by Fremantle winger Mitch Wade-Whalan straight into the arms of a grateful Adam Roy who crossed untouched.
Trailing 18-0 and starring down the barrel of just their second loss of the season, the Roosters hit back on the stroke of half-time as Wade-Whalan made amends for his previous error by rising highest to gather Duane Butler’s cross-field kick.
The winger converted his own try from the sideline to give the visitors some confidence heading into the sheds.
Keen to do the double over their opponents after claiming a 42-22 win in Round 1, the Sea Eagles had other ideas, however, as they burst out of the blocks after the restart – Wallace again turning provider to set up Jayden De Vorms three minutes in.
Needing to be the next team to score, Fremantle peppered North Beach’s line, but couldn’t find a way back into the contest as Hough’s men, led by defensive anchors De Vorms and Josh Benjamin held firm.
At the other end of the field, the Sea Eagles were clinical as Kani Solomon put the result beyond doubt with a try 15 minutes from time.
Fremantle leader Delane Edwards crossed for a late consolation try, but North Beach had the final laugh as Cairo Takarangi knocked over an 80th minute penalty to seal a comfortable 30-10 win.
North Beach Sea Eagles 30 (Tries – Joyce-Vaughan, Sharpham, Roy, De Vorms, Solomon. Goals – Takarangi 5/6)
Fremantle Roosters 10 (Tries – Wade-Whalan, Edwards. Goals – Wade Whalan 1/1, Crotty 0/1)
Chalk ‘N Cheese Player of the Match: Jayden De Vorms (North Beach Sea Eagles)
Sea Eagles: 1. Kahan Joyce-Vaughan, 2. Tye Saus, 3. Kani Solomon, 4. Kristian Williams, 5. Brad Sharpham, 6. Cairo Takarangi, 7. Jeremy Wallace, 8. Eoghan Lofts, 9. Trent Trotter, 10. James Blake, 11. Josh Benjamin, 12. Jayden De Vorms, 13. Adam Roy, 14. Bow Stein, 15. Sam Buckley, 17. Thomas Fry, 18. Terelli Whaanga
Coach – John Hough
Roosters: 1. Delane Edwards, 2. Mitchell Wade-Whalan, 3. Regy Manu, 4. Manihera Eden, 5. Cameron Rupapera, 6. Cassius Read, 8. Brad Gibson, 9. Blake Hignett, 11. Takaroha Penaha, 12. Duane Butler, 13. Bjorn Crotty, 15. Ricky Cathro, 17. Tamaho Teirney, 18. Callin Tereu, 19. Tarin Katu, 20. Aaron Hodges
Manager – Zac Speir