Sea Eagles not content with just the minor premiership

Credit: North Beach Sea Eagles

Despite clinching the WA Smarter Than Smoking minor premiership last week, North Beach Sea Eagles coach John Hough says his side are fully focussed on their major semi-final against the Fremantle Roosters on Saturday.

After securing a 30-all draw with the Roosters to round out the regular season last weekend, the Sea Eagles secured top spot and an all-important home final.

Having won seven of their eight games at Charles Riley Reserve this season, Hough knows all too well about the significance of home-advantage.

“We spoke about it in our season goals – we wanted to get a home final,” he said.

“Although the minor premiership was great, the home final was the most important bit.

“Our local fans give us a boost.”

The Englishman isn’t getting carried away, however, and says his side must improve if they are to have any chance of booking their spot in the Grand Final.

“We understand that the winners of the competition are the winners of the grand final and not the winners of the minor premiership,” he said.

“Defence was a bit of a red flag for us – leaking 30 points, we weren’t happy with.”

“That’s something we’re going to work on and hopefully our defence will be a lot tighter.”

A powerhouse of WA rugby league, the Sea Eagles missed out on the finals in 2017 – but are coming off a strong 2018 regular season where they won 14 of their 19 games.

“We’re fortunate to have quality players all over the park – the guys are all playing particularly well,” Hough said.

“We’re at the end of the season where we need to play the best we can.”

Their opponents, Fremantle, have a lot to play for, and as last year’s premiers are looking to go back to back.

Zac Speir’s men own the league’s best attack, having scored 766 points across their 19 games at an average of over 40 per contest.

In fact, the Roosters’ points tally is the most by a team in a single season this decade.

The sides have met on four occasions this season, with each game decided by fewer than 10 points.

“They’re a dangerous team and we have to worry about that,” Hough said.

“We just need to make sure that we’re on the board, ready for Fremantle.”

In team news, both sides go into the clash relatively unchanged from last week with Fremantle forward Mitch Kerr the only notable absentee.

In the minor semi-final, the South Perth will host Rockingham Sharks, looking to record their eighth win in a row.

Both games kick off at 3.30pm, with the Sea Eagles v Roosters game available via the Local Media Services Company live stream.