South Perth Minor Premiers in Day of Twists

The make-up of the final five took a number of twists in the last round of the Harvey Norman Premiership, but the one sure thing was the emphatic finish by South Perth Lions beating Willagee Bears 100 to nil to claim the minor premiership and set themselves up for a fourth straight title defense.

They finished ahead of rivals North Beach Sea Eagles who beat Kalamunda Bulldogs 88 to 12 through a superior aggregate total, with both sides finishing on 11 wins for the season.

Fremantle Roosters also on 11 wins finished in third spot by holding off a determined Goldfields Titans in Kalgoorlie 34 to 14. They moved ahead of Rockingham Sharks who dropped to fourth after drawing 24 all with Joondalup Giants.

In what has been the closest competition in recent seasons, there were seven of the eight clubs still with a chance to play finals well into the last half of all games being played on Saturday.

High drama unfolded at Joondalup with both sides locked at 24 all with 15 minutes to play. The Giants made two attempts to get over the line but were defended out by the Sharks who played the day with 12 men after Wellington Tuliloa was sent off in the second set of the day.

There was never more than 6 points in the game and it was the more dominant efforts of the Giants in the second half who went so close to redeeming their season.

In the last roll of the dice the Sharks forced two scrum feeds to get within 30 metres of goal and just missed a field goal attempt on the bell to almost snatch the game.

A win to Joondalup would have seen them into the finals on their aggregate score. The loss reflected the season for the Giants who were clearly a better side than their standing showed.

Byron Hutton, coach of Joondalup was very disappointed.

“We had to win to get the finals, the draw means nothing”. Best players were Jeremy Browne and Sean Comiskey for the Giants.

Rockingham coach Martyn Wood was not happy at the end, and believed some of the decisions affected them at the end. Also of the concern for next week will be getting hooker Kevin Brown fit after damaging his knee in the first half.

Goldfields Titans also missed out in getting finals action by 10 aggregate points to finish in sixth position just behind the Bulldogs.

Minor finals will be played next Saturday at North Beach between the Sea Eagles and Fremantle Roosters with the Sharks taking on Kalamunda Bulldogs at Port Kennedy. South Perth have earned the right to a week off.

Game Results
First Grade
South Perth Lions 100 – Willagee Bears 0
Fremantle Roosters 34 – Goldfields Titans 14
North Beach Sea Eagles 88 – Kalamunda Bulldogs 12
Rockingham Sharks 24 – Joondalup Giants 24

Premier Grade
South Perth Lions 74 – Willagee Bears 12
South West Warriors 64 – Fremantle Roosters 0
Kalamunda Bulldogs 32 – North Beach Sea Eagles 30
Rockingham Sharks 86 – Joondalup Giants 0

Under 18
Kalamunda Bulldogs 34 – North Beach Sea Eagles 24
Joondalup Giants 30 – Rockingham Sharks 24

South Perth Lions 14 – Willagee Bears 4
Fremantle Roosters 16 – South West Warriors 0
Kalamunda Bulldogs 10 – North Beach Sea Eagles 8
Joondalup Giants 18 – Rockingham Sharks 10