The Goose Step – 2023 Junior Girls Grand Final Team Edition

Welcome to the Goose Step!
It’s Grand Final Week in the juniors, which means we get a bit of extra out of the Goose Step… I mean who needs sleep right?

Now there is going to be a Junior Grand Final Program, but with 6 female teams in the finals, this writer thought it would be fun to create a side from the 6 teams remaining from GLT, 13s & 15s girls.

Now anyone not on this list, please do not take heart as there are so many great players in our competition, and this is an arbitrary list for hype around our grand final. Also there are many players outside the grand final sides who are amazing players, but please bare with us as we only pick from the teams on Sunday.

Also if you made the list last year, we tried to go for new players. Everyone needs the love!
With only 6 teams, we are just doing a starting lineup in the Girls.

Anyway, picking at least two players from every team lets get into it –

1. Fullback – Alyssa Sanders – Fremantle Roosters – GLT
Cheated a bit with this first one, with gun player Maddison Mann on last years list, Alyssa gets the nod at fullback in this one. A revelation in the grand final last year, she has gone from strength to strength this year. A very fast and balanced back, she could fill any spot in the back line. But it is her game awareness that has improved out of sight this year. Her ability to be in the right place at the right time has been on show during the season and the Roosters will need every bit of that ability if they are going to knock off the Lions in this one.

2. Wing – Janelle Vosota – Fremantle Roosters – GLT
Janelle rounds out our Roosters duo, in what could be an electric combination for the Roosters in future years. While diminutive, she doesn’t lack any heart and is willing to get amongst it. Even when the ball gets kicked or is contencious, she has a willingness to put her body on the line to fight for the ball. Extremely quick off the mark, her ability to go from 0-100 is top class and will need to be nurtured moving forward. While she has work to do on the ball skills side, its her running and tagging game that puts her on this list.

3. Centre – Manea Sheehan-Browne – Joondalup Giants – U15 Girls
In the Joondalup Giants, that’s two last names that command a large amount of respect, and young Manea is showing that there is a hell of a football player in her as well. Not the quickest or biggest centre in the competition, her ability to hit a line, or support in the right position has seen her make more than her share of linebreaks off some great ball playing inside her. Her defensive decisions are sound and her recent performances actually belie a hidden competitiveness that hasn’t been fully seen before. She will have to bring all her skills to bear in a big grand final performance this weekend.

4. Centre – Kaiya Puki – Joondalup Giants – U13 Girls
Not a lot need be said about this player. Most people who have gotten out to a 13s or 15s game for the Giants has seen the flash of blue headgear and the talent possessed. She has some pressure to live up to there is no doubt, but the one word to explain Kaiya is “natural”. She was born for this game. With speed, evasiveness and ball handling skills that most players would dream to have, she is also aggressive on both sides of the ball and is incredibly strong in contact, which is rare for young girls in the U13 age group.

5. Wing – Kalissa Moon – Ellenbrook Rabbitohs – U15 Girls
Young Kalissa is surrounded by some big names at the Rabbitohs, but she has turned into the quintessential outside back. Fast, with good hands and very reliable defensive work, she is a great young prospect. Runs the ball well, with a quick play the ball and low error rate, wingers are sometimes underrated, especially in the junior game. But Miss Moon is a capable finisher who doesn’t need to be told twice when a try scoring opportunity is in the offering. A great young player, she will have a big matchup with the giants outsiders this weekend.

6. Five-Eight – Terina Te Tana – Ellenbrook Rabbitohs – U15s Girls – CAPTAIN
Terina is one of the best prospects as a half in junior rugby league at the moment. Notice how I said nothing about the girls competition. She has skills that some players in our game wish they had. A pure talent, she can kick and pass with the best of them, is a monster in defence, and runs the ball as hard as a front rower. She can kick goals if needed, and provides a jaw-dropping one-two punch with Kylah-Rae Tuheke-Kupa for the Rabbitohs, and it makes it difficult for teams to know where their attack is directed. A great leader in the making, Terina consistency is what sets her apart, and she captains this rag tag bunch.

7. Halfback – Canaan Suifili – Joondalup Giants – U13 Girls
Young Canaan has flourished at the Giants, and along with Puki, creates the most devastating halves combination in junior rugby league in Western Australia. Fast, with elusive skills, while not the target her partner is, she still enjoys an amazing understanding of the game that is above her contemporaries. With many years in front of her in the game, the scary part is that she can still go to another level in terms of her progress and is a big reason why the Giants are heavy favourites in this division. A hugely underrated defender as well, watch her be involved on both sides of the ball this weekend.

8. Middle – Harper Waikari – South Perth Lions – GLT
Harper is another one of the young brigade in this team, being only 14, but she brings some serious swagger to this lineup. A confident baller, she has an extra bit of something that all good players have. Some call it attitude, others flair. Lets just say whatever it is, Harper has it in spades. And the effect it has on those around her, and her opponents is obvious. She attracts opposition attention and drags is away from her team mates, while simultaneously making those around her better players. A great ball player, with super skills and better than average speed, the lions will be looking to her to make a difference.

9. Hooker – Ariana Hatsell-Kimura – Rockingham Sharks – U13 Girls
A sneaky under the radar pick for this squad, if Avalu was the hammer in last weeks preliminary final, then Ariana was the scalpel. A surgeon like performance, she picked apart the Tigers on a couple of occasions to get her name on the score sheet twice. Roaming around the field, while she is at hooker in this team, she could be comfortable in the middle, or on an edge. As a runner or a playmaker. It doesn’t really seem to phase her. But it is also her willingness to defend that shows through and her team mates will need to follow her to stop the Giants this weekend.

10. Prop – Leilani Tongi-Finau – Ellenbrook Rabbitohs – U15 Girls
The Rock of Gibraltar for the Bunnies, Leilani is the immovable object in the heart of the Ellenbrook lineup. Tough, determined and selfless, she doesn’t care about the accolades or awards. She gets in there and just does her job better than the other person, which sets the platform for the flashy players to do there thing. In the mould of James Fisher Harris, she is at the forefront of every set for the Bunnies, and defends with a zealot like fervor. A true get behind me type of player, her leadership skills are at the forefront of everything she does, and she grabs a deserved spot in this side.

11. Left Middle/Edge – Emmilea Prior – South Perth Lions – GLT
While her sister Bella has grabbed some of the headlines in recent memory, the emergence of Emmilea as a classy middle/edge player for the Lions GLT has been nothing short of amazing. A confident, classy and skilful player, she has really turned the corner and improved out of sight. Fast, with great feet and the ability to see the game before it happens, she has a great combination with her sister and they help make the Lions a much better side this season. At only 14, she has evolved into a leader in GLT and one of the players to watch.

12. Second Rower – Aymilon Fuimaono – Joondalup Giants – 15s Girls
An absolutely mammoth defensive performance last weekend see Aymilon force herself into the grand final team to watch. While not the biggest, fastest or most talented player, she was everywhere in the preliminary final. Tackling everything that moved, she threw herself in defence at anyone that came near her, and chased hard out of marker to make the next tackle as well. A brave and willing participant, while her ball carrying doesn’t get her kudos, she does her work with no fuss and with the same bravery. A great edge defender, watch herself put her body on the line this weekend.

13. Lock – Avalu-Jasmin Tiomai – Rockingham Sharks – U13 Girls
Not a tough pick this one. She basically willed the Rockingham Sharks on her back last week. Undermanned and down early, she score 6, yes 6 tries, in an unstoppable performance. Big, powerful and quicker than she looks, she is a devastating ball runner and fantastic to watch. It will take a massive team effort from the Giants to keep her off the score board. Watch her ability to get a head of steam up in a short space. The Sharks will be looking to her again this week as she is the leader in this side. Also news flash… she is only 12 years old.

I hope you enjoyed the write up. It will be an amazing weekend for girls rugby league!
Boys coming up next tomorrow…..