The Goose Step – Senior Semi Final Edition – Women’s

Welcome to the Goose Step!
Well I’ve been showing the juniors a lot of Goose Step love Its been a busy year, but finals time, coffee and love of the game has reinvigorated me to get some words on the page!
This weeks Goose Step Star… Tamika Jones in her ANZAC colours from the North Beach Sea Eagles!
With the senior finals action kicking off this week, lets have a look at the games!

Women’s Tackle – Friday – 6:40pm & 8:00pm
Blueforce Park, Charles Riley Reserve, North Beach
Minor Premiers – Ellenbrook Rabbitohs

Major Semi Final – Rabbitohs vs Sea Eagles
And we are back, and the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs are in the Major Semi again. Looking to go 5 in a row as defending premiers, they will be put through their paces by the ever improving North Beach Sea Eagles, who earnt the right to play in this fixture with a tight win over the Giants two weeks ago. But we know when the finals come around the competition starts again and it will be who turns up over the next 3 weeks will be the team that holds the trophy at the end.

The Bunnies have been here before and know what it takes. But they come in this year with a massive piece missing in Kailey Thompson, as well as without the services of Trilleen Pomare until the Grand Final at least. But with Juraea Turner and Mahinarangi Clair leading them around, along with the ever improved Amiria Clark-Manahi and strike weapon Paihau Pomare, they will still come in as raging hot favourites. They will also be banking on the services of wide running Ariana Hira-Herangi and Huia Swannell to dominate their opposition this week.

For the Sea Eagles, they have improved yet again. Last year they shocked a few teams and were a nice plucky side to watch. This season, they have graduated from cool outsiders, to premiership hopefuls and are playing a tight strong standard of football, reminiscent of their mens premiership side. Sinead Loundes is probably the competitions most improved, with her safe play and speed at the back a trademark this year. But the rest of the spine is also a massive watch. The combination of Charmondelae Whaanga, Melodie Toby, Anahera Te Rahui and the enigmatic Tamika Jones have been setting the competition on fire. Can they upset the competition favourites? Time will tell.

Elimination Semi Final – Giants vs Titans
In the elimination game we have a really interesting game here with the veteran Giants taking on the new kids on the block in the Kwinana Titans. Basically one of the best experienced sides, who have been here many times before in the Giants, taking on a bunch of fresh faced kids from Kwinana who will hold no fear.

The Giants will be full strength this week and will be slightly annoyed to be in the elimination game, but they won’t be taking the Titans lightly. With huge respect for their opponents, they will look for their experience and their power game to take the game away from the kids down south. Chanelle Edwards up front will lead this group, but there are some new names this year that they will look for a tonne of work from. Shenae Gillmore-Spence and Roimata Toa Amoa have stamped themselves as player to watch out for in the forwards, while the positional shift of Jeune-Kelly Biddle to fullback allows Elle Warren to play in the front line. But the class of Anneka Stephens will be key, on both sides of the ball. The classy half/lock is still one of the best players in the competition.

The Titans come into this game full of running. Last week they were asleep in the first half and went into half time 8-0 down. And then they erupted. Scoring 30 unanswered points, leaving the other team and everyone watching going “What in the world happened there?”. Samantha Wood at hooker seems to be the key for this group. An amazing league player with great ball skills, a solid running game and a better kicking game than almost anyone in the women’s game, she will be key in this contest. Throw in young guns in front rower Shiane Kani, fullback Taneka Doney-Vati and the ever elusive Tanonef girls, and they can hurt you from anywhere on the park. This should be one hell of a game.

Women’s League Tag – Saturday – 12:50pm
Treeby Community & Sports Centre, Treeby

Minor Premiers – Fremantle Roosters

Major Semi Final – Roosters vs Giants
The two dominant teams in this years competition. 3 losses between the two of them. One of them to each other. 606 points difference combined. The smart money is on the winner to come out of this game, but they’ve got to make sure they aim up. With the defending premiers out of the 4 this year, we will crown a new champion. Lets look at the two favourites.

The Roosters are probably the class team of the competition. And a lot of their games, they have psyched their opponents out before they take the field. But they won’t get a walkover here. Its finals time and the teams will be ready to play. But to stay with the Roosters and their speed you need to be on their game. They are the entertainers. Ball movement and sleight of hand, they happily go from one side of the field to the other, and can really put the after burners on. With speedsters Pears, Attwell, Higgins and captain Shanazz Te Ahuru in the mix they can score from anywhere. But they have some great skill players as well. With Michelle Traynor, Taylor Kerr & Tara Smith in their side they know how to set up as well as score tries.

But the form team of the competition in the run home was the Joondalup Giants. They were on fire as they swept everyone before them, and gave plenty of lessons along the way. They are full of bravado and confidence and while they are probably not as deep a roster as the Roosters, especially offensively, their defensive tenacity has gone up massively. They just aren’t letting easy tries in anymore, and their edge players are doing the job. With Utia in epic form, and Warren doing things only she can do they are always a chance. Not to mention the classy Gillmore-Spence, Wylie and Smith in the line up. They will give the Roosters a massive run for their money for a chance to be the first side in the Grand Final.

Blueforce Park, Charles Riley Reserve, North Beach
Elimination Semi Final – Sea Eagles vs Tigers
In the elimination game we have a cracker. The Sea Eagles have all the pedigree in this one. Premiers two years ago, and with plenty of experience in the finals, you’d think they would be big favourites. But the plucky Tigers have beaten them already this year and will not go quietly. Its their first foray into the finals here but their energy and feeling is on a high and they will throw some punches of their own in this one.

For the Sea Eagles, they are the class team. A couple of years ago they got extremely hot and rode the wave all the way to a grand final win, and they will be looking for that kind of spark here. With some serious ballers they are the one team who can probably match or even better the Roosters ball movement. With both Whaanga’s involved, along with B Robinson in their side, they can go from one side of the field to the other. Not to mention the classy Te Rahui, who might be the best hooker in the league tag game, and can give your side amazing width. Add in Sinead Loundes, who might be the fastest player in a straight line in the league, and April Alan who has an amazing feel for the game they will always have a chance. Watch for Ada Cox on the edge as well. Anywhere near the line she could steal a try at any stage.

Well the Tigers are playing with house money now. They have achieved what alot of the other teams probably didn’t think they could, and will play with some serious freedom. But they won’t be happy stopping here. They know they have the team to do some damage and with Stephens leading the team around they are always a chance. Horomona, Solomon and Rowe have all come into their own this season and have added some real edge to the Tigers as an offensive side. One of the keys here will be the play of Herewini. A leader in this side, she will need to step up and take some of the load this weekend if the Tigers are going to have a chance.

What a weekend for the ladies! Get down to the games for some great rugby league!