It was the Kani Solomon show at Charlottes Pavilion on Saturday, as the North Beach Sea Eagles star scored two tries and set up two more to help his side to a 34-16 win over the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs in Round 11 of the WA Smarter Than Smoking Premiership.
Everything the Kiwi centre touched turned to gold as the Sea Eagles claimed their tenth-straight Premiership win.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Solomon said.
“I’m just happy the boys got the win – we knew we had a big game on our hands and we came away with the chocolates.”
Looking to achieve a milestone rarely reached by rugby league sides, North Beach got off to the perfect start as Solomon scored the first try of the game after just four minutes.
The WA State player then turned provider five minutes later as he teed up winger Dustin Hume who dotted down to extend the visitors’ lead.
Coming off a heart-breaking 36-34 loss at the hands of the Rockingham Sharks last weekend, Ellenbrook came into the contest in desperate need of a positive result and soon found themselves back in the contest as Bryce Wilson sent vice-captain Manesseh Gudgeon crashing over from close range.
Joana Chase added the extras to bring the Bunnies within two points.
With the game firmly in the balance, North Beach forward Josh Benjamin gave his side some breathing room – setting up Solomon who crossed for his second of the game just past the half-hour mark.
The Sea Eagles took that momentum into the second-half as they jumped out of the gates following the restart – Solomon turning provider once more for Hume to score his second.
With a 10-point buffer, North Beach started to play more expansive footy and almost extended their lead even further, but halfback Jeremy Wallace fumbled the ball over the try-line when he looked destined to score.
The ladder-leaders weren’t to be denied for long, however, as Benjamin set up Hume for his hat-trick just over twenty minutes from time.
Solomon continued his perfect day by converting from the sideline to give the Sea Eagles a 22-6 advantage.
An explosive run from dummy half Trent Trotter teed up Cairo Takarangi who dotted down under the sticks just three minutes later to all but wrap up the result for North Beach.
A couple of late tries to River Colman and Chase gave Ellenbrook fans something to cheer about, but it was North Beach’s day as Wallace capped off the win with his league-leading 14th try of the season.
In other results around the grounds, Rockingham edged the Joondalup Giants 22-20 in a nail-biter while the South Perth Lions took care of the Willagee Bears 58-16.
Ellenbrook Rabbitohs 16 (Tries – Gudgeon, Colman, Chase. Goals – Chase 1/1, J.Grey 1/2)
North Beach Sea Eagles 34 (Tries – Solomon (2), Hume (3), Takarangi, Wallace. Goals – Takarangi 1/5, Solomon 2/2)
Chalk ‘N Cheese Player of the Match: Kani Solomon (North Beach Sea Eagles)
Rabbitohs: 1. Jona Chase, 2. Carlos Waretini, 3. Charlie Adams, 4. Kade Pearce, 17. Jesse Rihari, 14. Jaylen Grey, 7. Tyrese Grey, 8. Fernando Ekeroma, 9. Bryce Wilson, 10. Manasseh Gudgeon, 11. Chase Watson, 12. Damien Karini, 13. River Colman, 15. Malakai Chan-Boon, 16. Koen White, 18. Willz Tuheke-Wade, 21. Christopher Finau
Coach – Jarek Goebel
Sea Eagles: 1. Kahan Joyce-Vaughan, 2. Tye Saus, 3. Jayden De Vorms, 4. Kani Solomon, 5. Dustin Hume, 6. Cairo Takarangi, 7. Jeremy Wallace, 8. Wiremu Paki, 9. Trent Trotter, 10. Terelli Whaanga, 11. Josh Benjamin, 12. Tayla McGregor, 13. Adam Roy, 14. Bow Stein, 15. Eoghan Lofts, 16. Kristian Williams, 17. Josh Nolan
Coach – John Hough