Solomon steals it at the death for Sea Eagles

Credit: North Beach Rugby League Club

Kani Solomon scored a try after the siren to hand the North Beach Sea Eagles a dramatic 28-22 win over the Fremantle Roosters during Round 14 of the WA Smarter Than Smoking Premiership on Saturday.

With the game locked at 22-all and seemingly headed for a draw, back rower Jayden De Vorms produced a bit of magic to streak clear of the Roosters defence before teeing up Solomon who crossed for the winning try.

With the win, North Beach go outright clear at the top of the ladder – two points clear of Fremantle.

“Two teams who have played a really great game in really difficult conditions, and fortunately for us, we managed to come away with the chocolates in the end,” Sea Eagles coach John Hough said.

“We just kept going right till the very end and never gave up.

“It’s one of those things you can’t coach – players have either got that will to win or they haven’t, and we showed that today.”

In a contest between the league’s top two sides, entertainment was always going to be on the cards and it took just 90 seconds for the Sea Eagles to hit the front as Solomon intercepted Delane Edwards’ pass to streak 90 metres upfield to score.

The Roosters had scored a massive 214 points in their last four games and soon hit back as Regy Manu touched down in the corner for his first try of the season.

Not to be outdone, forward Bjorn Crotty joined the party – powering his way over to put the visitors ahead.

It would be a lead they held for just 11 minutes as North Beach five-eight Takarangi bounced off four Fremantle defenders before dotting down under the sticks.

Edwards then atoned for his earlier mistake with an inventive kick out of dummy half to send prop Mitch Kerr over before North Beach winger Zach Fitzgerald levelled things up before the break with a cool finish.

The change of ends did nothing to curb the high-tempo of the game, with North Beach taking just three minutes to score the first points of the second-half – Gershom Adams barraging his way over from Trent Trotter’s short pass.

Takarangi converted to give the hosts a 22-16 lead.

Playing at dummy half, as opposed to his natural fullback position, Edwards again conjured up a bit of brilliance with a between-the-legs pass to send Crotty over for his double just past the hour mark.

Crotty converted his own try to tie proceedings up at 22-all.

With time ticking on, Takarangi spurned the chance to give his side the lead as he flashed his field goal attempt wide, with Fremantle electing not to take the one-pointers on offer in favour of a try.

The Sea Eagles would make their opponents rue that decision as De Vorms broke down the Roosters’ left edge after the siren before setting up Solomon who crossed for the winning score.

The loss was Fremantle’s first since Round Nine, while North Beach have now won four straight.

In other games around the grounds, the Rockingham Sharks’ finals hopes took a hit after falling to a 22-12 loss to the Joondalup Giants, while the South Perth Lions remain third after downing the Willagee Bears 46-12.