The Goose Step – 2023 Junior Preliminary Final Edition

Welcome to the Goose Step!

Preliminary Final time! And its a shot at the Grand Final on the line, and we have a full day with 7 games going ahead as we add in the GLT and the U13s Girls to the mix. Last weekend was a ripping day at Ellenbrook and this week we shift to the home of the Joondalup Giants for our Preliminary Finals.

With the action kicking off this Sunday, 9:00am at Admiral Park, Heathridge, lets have a look at the fixtures.

GLT – 9:00am
Grand Finalists – South Perth Lions
Preliminary Final – Roosters vs Rabbitohs
Its a wierd sight in our GLT competition as the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs come in as massive underdogs for one of the first times in a long time in a female competition. But that’s the equation that stands in front of us at the moment. The Lions were the most dominant GLT side all year and earned a spot straight into the grand final, but it was the Roosters who pushed the Lions in all their games and will be looking to see off the rebuilding Rabbitohs in this one. For Fremantle it has been a process of years, as they went from being a side who were not a threat in the competition to becoming a girls program which provides great Women’s League Tag players for the future. For the Rabbitohs, its a total rebuild. Alot of the young girls who won the competition last year have moved away or aged out, so they are really just getting back into the swing of things. Can the Rabbitohs spring an upset?

U13 Boys – 10:00am

Grand Finalists – Willagee Bears
Preliminary Final – Tigers vs Bulldogs
Probably one of the best games on the card today, both these teams match up really well with each other. Both possessing some good strike power, along with some handy forward packs and a talented spine, all matches this year have gone down to the wire. For the Tigers, they played one good half last week, and then didn’t come out of the sheds at halftime. But they learnt they can hurt anyone when in the mood. Travarn Ackerman is a future prospect to watch out for. Blessed with great speed and balance, he is a free wheeling ball runner who can score from anywhere on the field. For the Bulldogs, they were were too good for a Roosters team missing a couple of players, and deserve to be in this fixture. The dogs are a well balanced side and share the ball more than most teams. With great sweeping plays and spreads, they have got some nice strike out wide. Sam Fifita is on of those strike centres. Fast and strong, he likes the ball early and is a tough mark for any opposing player. This will go right to the wire.

U13 Girls – 11:10am
Grand Finalists – Joondalup Giants
Preliminary Final – Tigers vs Sharks
Another interesting game on the card, in the U13 Girls, the Joondalup Giants are the team to beat, and rightly have gone straight into the Grand Final. While they aren’t a defensive rock by any means, their ability to score tries is almost unfair in some stages. But this preliminary final looks to be an awesome contest. The Tigers have gotten better as the year has gone on, and begs the question that they could be a force to be reckoned with in the future. While still learning the game, they have the natural talent and athleticism to really succeed in rugby league if they stay at it. For the Sharks, the talent is not the issue. The girls are gifted players already, but they have had issues with numbers and having a consistent squad on the field from week to week. With some amazing players, lets hope they can show the competition what they can do this weekend.

U14s Boys – 12:20pm
Grand Finalists – Willagee Bears
Preliminary Final – Rabbitohs vs Roosters
Well both games could have gone either way last week and we end up with a brilliant U14 Boys preliminary final out of it. For the Rabbitohs, it might seem like a chance gone begging against the formidable Bears, but it shows them, and the Roosters, that the Bears could be beaten. And will light a fire in both teams in this one. The Rabbitohs were great last weekend. All over the field they played their best full game of the season and came up slightly short. Asic-Wade Evans in particular was a hurricane on both sides of the ball. Whether it was running, passing or making defensive plays, he was in everything. For the Roosters, they had to see of a Bulldogs team who just wouldn’t give up. But the size and speed of the Roosters ended up playing a part and they just had too much for the brave Bulldogs in the end. The dual punch of Aziah Collard and Gabriel Hei Hei had the blue and whites seeing double for the length of the game. But the Roosters will have to go up a level to match the Rabbitohs this weekend.

U15s Girls – 1:10pm
Grand Finalists – Ellenbrook Rabbitohs
Preliminary Final – Giants vs Titans
Ellenbrook clung on for dear life, they qualified into the grand final after a high octane game against the talented Joondalup Giants team. And what a game it was, only decided by 4 points and both teams had their chances to run away with it. A brilliant cover tackle on a flying Leona Yusia by the equally fast Teiana Mainwaring showed the supreme calibre of play and the Titans will have to show up with that intensity to match those teams. Watch for the Giants youngster Kaiya Puki, who showed all kinds of footwork and speed to score a brilliant solo try last week to keep the Giants in the hunt. For the Titans, they rested up last week after a forfeit and will be chomping at the bit for this one. They’ve got some real players in their team, including the impressive Bailey Vasukicakau. A fullback or outside back, she has shown a real talent for the game this season and will be looking to make her mark in this game.

U15s Boys – 2:20pm
Grand Finalists – Kalamunda Bulldogs
Preliminary Final – Sharks vs Giants
Lets start with the Giants. They got on a roll last weekend and could not be stopped by the Titans who just didn’t have their best game. Joondalup played with a mix of pace, skill and speed and managed to play at a high tempo for the full 50 minutes and now get a chance at jumping into the grand final. The nous and composure shown by Lincoln Williams at halfback for the Giants was a shining light, as everyone around him went to another level. But the Giants will need to go up another gear in this one. On the other field, the Sharks were playing in the game of the season against the Bulldogs. Tied up at 8-8 at the end of normal time, the Bulldogs scored a brilliant try to end the contest and see off the minor premiers. The Sharks will be hurting after that one, and will be all fire and brimstone in this one. Tamarau Haimona will have a point to prove on Sunday, and is a super talented and physical halfback in the mould of Nathan Cleary. With the Giants at home, they will fancy themselves, but the Sharks were the minor premiers for a reason.

U17s Boys – 3:30pm
Grand Finalists – Rockingham Sharks
Preliminary Final – Giants vs Sea Eagles
We said this was the division to watch, and they didn’t let us down last week. Firstly the Sea Eagles left it late to pinch a victory in what was a great game against the Rabbitohs. The Bunnies started like a tsunami and pounced on everything the Sea Eagles gave them. But the Sea Eagles scored on the cusp of halftime and then came out on fire and scored a barrage of tries in the second half. Young Cody Wynne was the pick of the Sea Eagles. A monster 60 minute effort on the park, he was tireless in defence and kept throwing his body into the fray in a monster effort. On the other field, the Giants scored first, but were taught a lesson in intensity as the Sharks just took a strangle hold of the game and didn’t let go until the late stages.  But they get a second chance here, and will fancy themselves to get another chance at the Sharks. Fraser Masterton led the way with a try scoring double. The diminutive half doesn’t get the credit he sometimes deserves, but he was involved in everything last weekend and will be trying to will the Giants over the line this week.

Anyway, thats the Goose Step this weekend! Get down to the games and support all the teams playing!