The Goose Step – Thursday 19th August 2021

Welcome to The Goose Step.
Week to week, we will provide a wrap up of Rugby League in Western Australia along with a quick preview of the week coming up!
All out of the mind of yours truely, so please be kind in your reviews and on social media!

This week’s feature goose step… Peter Worth Jnr from the Rockingham Sharks!
Not sure if he is retired again or not, but there is always next year!
Send in photos of your favourite stepper’s to creedy@nrl.com.au to be our feature player.

REVIEW

Friday –  All Flags Signs & Banners Women’s Rugby League Premiership
In the Cash Converters Game Of The Round, at George Burnett Park, the North Beach Sea Eagles jumped into the top 4 with a 28-8 score against the South Perth Lions. It took the Sea Eagles 20 minutes to actually show up in this contest with the Lions jumping out of the blocks with their typical strong running game and great ball control. Gabby Canicosa on the wing for South Perth had plenty of good touches along with Tylah Edwards who continues to improve every week. But then off the back of some brutal running from Tamika Jones the Sea Eagles ladies finally showed up. Emysen Robinson and Macey Simpkins then used the room and momentum created by Jones to totally dominate the remainder of the contest and send the Lions back to the drawing board. Losing Mel Thomas for the second half didn’t help the Lions and they will hope she won’t be missing for long.
In the second game at George Burnett Park, the Joondalup Giants defeated the Kalamunda Bulldogs 40-0. After a couple weeks off the Giants were in a mood against the understrength Bulldogs side who valiantly conitnued to fight for the whole game. Winger Megan McAuliffe had a day out and scored a treble of tries, while the returning Elle Warren got over for a double in a typical show of speed. But the big story for the Giants is the mid season transfer of enforcer Heather Matoe. She has brought a tough edge to their side and will be crucial to their chances for the premiership this year. For the Bulldogs, Lita Tuialii lost no admirers with her strong running game, while June Marshall continues to impress in many circles.

And in the stand alone game, at The Kwinana Local Stadium, the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs made the long trip down south to take on the Rockingham Sharks. And the Rabbitohs left the new kids on the block with no doubt about what it takes to be a presence in this competition with a 64-0 performance. The Sharks were without Missy Buchanan, and quickly had injuries to Hereripene Williams and Lauren Lambert early. Which means their spine was completely decimated early. And the Bunnies were clinical. Tiana Graham was given space from the play of Thompson and Turner and she duly made them pay. With good performances all over the field, it was bookend Teryn Unasa who stole plaudits with a big display up front along with the power running game of Naya Nelio.

Saturday – Fuel to Go & Play Premiership

George Burnett Park
In the Consolidated Energy Key Game, the South Perth Lions clawed and scraped their way to a 20-18 win over a ultimately wasteful Joondalup Giants side. While the Lions actually dominated possession in the contest early, it was the Giants who jumped out of the blocks, thanks to a couple of long range efforts from Robert Smith who showed blistering pace to score a try off a scrum, and an epic run from Travis Haney, who was duly ankle tapped by a brave Jarrad Smith, only for Luke Turner to dive over from dummy half the next play. But South Perth showed great poise and confidence in their ability, and dragged themselves off the canvas to score the two point victory.
The Lions, while possessing quite a bit of the footy, were unable to crack the Giants defensive line for large stretches of the game, and you could be forgiven for wondering where their points were going to come from. Enter Tyler Thomas. Running for over 250 metres in this game, he cracked open the Giants line multiple lines to give the Lions hope and while a team performance was required to finish off the victory, he was the major exponent. With great footwork and speed, he has recaptured his form from a couple of years ago and along with the exception work of Ed Proudler and Caleb Norton, the catalyst for the Lions victory.
For the Giants, they showed flashes of their talent, but ultimately wasted too much footy and defended for too long and it is a testament to their defence that they only lost this contest by two points. Travis Haney kept them in the game with his carries out of his own territory causing all sorts of issues. Using speed, footwork and amazing strength he tried to drag the side over the line. Taurean Sheehan and Joell Irvine were also huge for the Giants, getting through tireless amounts of work.
In Women’s League Tag, on Women In League Round. the South Perth Lions showed they can still get the job done with out their premier speedster, with a 18-10 victory over the desperate Joondalup Giants. Zarah Suamili was huge for the Lions, along with the super consistent Imogen Howes. For the Giants, they relied heavily on Hayley Utia in the middle of the field, along with the experience of Smiler. But they will need to bring it up another level this weekend coming with a spot in the finals on the line.
In lower grade news, the Lions flexed their muscles, as they welcomed back a host of players into their lineup, with a 38-6 victory against the Giants. Cameron Jermy was the start with a hat trick of tries, but the pedigree of the players in the side was amazing. Lilli, Sullivan and Thomas were all in reserve grade this week, as they ran roughshod over the brave Giants side. Middle workers in Adam Smith, Connor Favell and Ben Matthews tried hard but they will need a big performance this weekend coming to keep their finals hopes alive.
In the Val Murphy Trophy fixture, the Mandurah Storm fought incredibly hard against the ladder leading South Perth Lions, only going down 14-8 in a bit of a fiery affair. The Storm tried to hang on hard after a send-off just after half-time, but the Lions did enough to maintain their advantage at the top. Tyler Anstis showed he can play footy in a best on ground performance, while young Ross Lund was tireless on both sides of the ball for the Storm boys.

Blueforce Park
In the battle of the beaches, the Rockingham Sharks came out of the blocks hard in a nothing to lose game, but were beaten convincingly by ladder leaders North Beach Sea Eagles, 26-8. It was a professional performance from the Sea Eagles, never letting the pressure or pace of the game get out of their reach, as they handily ran over the top of the sharks in the second half. For the Sharks, they actually showed flashes of the team they could be and will be impressed with some of the performances of a few of their youngsters.
The Sharks showed relatively good energy and desire in the game and looked up to it in the early exchanges, with Kieran Crowe, Sam Pera and Gethin Thomas really mixing it in the middle with the Sea Eagles pack. Some nice touches from Hayden Wood, who looks much more comfortable these days, let the backs have a bit more freedom. But they looked tired in the second half as the fitness of the Sea Eagles really kicked in, and the fatigue from some players playing multiple games really showed.
The Sea Eagles, were good without being spectacular, which is a positive. They rarely put the pedal down in the game, with their forward pack ultimately putting the Sharks to the sword in the second half. The end of season form of bookends Campbell and Breen would be particularly pleasing for the Sea Eagles faithful as they continue to play hard and tough rugby league. Adam Roy was also fantastic on the right edge, which is a warning shot to the other teams, with Roy and Benjamin the wider threats for the Sea Eagles.
In Reserve grade, the Sea Eagles showed no signs of slowing down, with a 56-16 victory over the Rockingham Sharks. The Sea Eagles scored from all over the pitch, with the speed of Kyani Byron and skill of Mitchell Wade a great balance with their ultra high tempo running games of Jay Roa and James Blake. It is a truely intimidating side. For the Sharks, the “Charles” duo of Tamatoa and Tanikoqi were happy to fight all game, but they were ultimately outclassed.
In Val Murphy Trophy, the young boys stood up for the Sea Eagles, with a 40-4 win over the low on numbers Rockingham Sharks. Brock McCaskill and Joshua Wallis showed they can they have got the pedigree and skill to be in the seniors with good complete performances. The Sharks were severely under manned, with many players putting their hands up while carrying injuries, and knowing they have another game coming up.
And in the Women’s League Tag, the Fremantle Roosters showed their is no substitute for speed in their 22-0 shut out of the now desperate North Beach Sea Eagles. The Roosters were super clinical in their performance, with Shanaaz Te-Ahuru showing her trademark pace. But the calming influence of Melody Foster is key within the squad. They are primed for the finals. The Sea Eagles, are in danger now, with the top 4 not certain. There seems to be a bit of a disconnect, which is in complete opposite to their tackle side which is now firing on all cylinders. They need to find the love again.

Webber Reserve
In the VMT, the Kalamunda Bulldogs last chance saloon was had, but they were ultimately no match for the hungry Alkimos Tigers. The Tigers made some positional changes, and it was a treat, as they ran away with the game 42-4. Corey Broughton controlled the game from start to finish, while Tuipolotu was again involved in everything on both sides of the field. But the win was setup with Will Akroyd and Glenn Wylie coming up big in the middle against the Bulldogs pack. The Bulldogs were flat, and lack their usual fire. With Haedon Carley getting over the line, they just lacked their usual punch and it was a fairly meek way to surrender their season.
In Women’s League Tag, the Willagee Bears took care of business against an 8 player Kalamunda Bulldogs, with a 38-4 win. Micklyn Paul continued her epic run of form with 4 tries to her name, while Brianna Young continues to show her footwork in the tag game with an 18 point haul.
And Ellenbrook Rabbitohs jumped into 4th place on the back of a 36-0 victory against the Alkimos Tigers. Kailey Thompson was the architect with a three try haul, while support from the talented Tiarne Barnett kept the scoreboard ticking over. For the Tigers, they have one more game to finish the year and they will be looking to have a bit of fun, with their attack a bit stunted in this game.

PREVIEW

All Flags Signs & Banners Women’s Rugby League Premiership

In the Cash Converters Game of the round, the North Beach Sea Eagles will now face a big test, with the powerhouse Ellenbrook Rabbitohs in front of them and a spot in the semi finals on the line. Led by dynamic ball runner Tamika Jones, and the ever assured presence of Donna Huinga, they will need big games from the supporting cast as well this week, With recruit Makaylah Savage yet to stamp her game with the Sea Eagles team, she could really prove a big difference. While the Rabbitohs will be looking for another big statement game this weekend, with eyes firmly set on another big showdown with competition leaders Joondalup Giants in week one of the finals. Youngsters Lillee Wearing and Hineriu Thompson will be looking to mortgage a spot in the starting side, with the Rabbitohs strong all over the field.

And down at The Kwinana Local Stadium, the South Perth Lions will get to play the Kalamunda Bulldogs, in the final match before the start of the finals series, and they will look to fix up certain parts of their game. With ball control and winning the battle priorities, they will need to be not so wasteful near the line and burning tackles with one out hit ups. Michaela Turner-Wallace really needs to take ownership from dummy half, while young halves pairing of Tairea and Tanonef need to take control. For Kalamunda, its a final chance to show up and run around with their team mates. Expect some serious offloading and ball movement, as they look to continue to upset South Perths rhythm.
And in the final match of the round, the Joondalup Giants take the long trip down the motorway to take on the finals hopefuls the Rockingham Sharks. It is a massive game for the Sharks, who while they were completely outclassed last week, have been the seasons great improvers and probably deserve to be there come finals time. But the Giants won’t hand them a place, and in a wierd twist of fate, it may come down to for and against. Look for the experienced Xanthe Grey be called upon to lead the Sharks around with her kicking game, while the Sharks forward pack will be asked for a big effort. For the Giants, they will have one eye on next week, with this game a chance to get their combinations right. They welcomed back gun player Lana Hawkings back in the fold, and the cchance to get more minutes on the field will be invaluable.

Fuel to Go & Play Premiership
The  Consolidated Energy Key Game this week sees a friday night match with the red hot North Beach Sea Eagles hosting their 70th anniversary celebrations against the Joondalup Giants. The Sea Eagles, barring a catastrophic loss, have the minor premiership wrapped up, while the Giants will be looking for a big performance heading into next weeks do or die semi final against the Roosters. The Giants will be sweating on numerous injury problems and availability, while hoping to settle their spine and come out with a tough performance. Gus Marshall will need to control affairs with his kicking game, while Jeremy Browne will need to bring his impressive running game back to threaten with the ball. For the Sea Eagles, they will look to settle their roster and show the old boys they can play tough as well, with Bowman Stein looking to improve on his already impressive season.

And at Ken Allen Field, the Fremantle Roosters will look to secure a home final, and say goodbye to their home ground in style next week rather than this one, as they take on the hurting Rockingham Sharks. The Sharks will be looking for the finish line this year, in a year that has been hurt with injury and players leaving along with availability because of work. The Roosters however will be looking to get their systems in place and their timings done, as they look on to a elimination final with the Giants. Delane Edwards will want a polished performance from the erratic Roosters to give them the confidence moving into next week.

And if you manage to record or snap a good goosestep, please feel free to let me know.