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… Harry Debique from the South Perth Lions
Send in photos of your favourite stepper’s to firstname.lastname@example.org to be our feature player.
Friday Night – All Flags Signs & Banners Women’s Premiership
So the South Perth Lions roared and showed who the king of the animal jungle was against the Kalamunda Bulldogs In our Cash Converters Game Of The Round at George Burnett Park. Winning 44-8, it was the evergreen Mel Thomas who did most of the damage, showing she still has alot of running left in those troublesome knees. But the Kalamunda Bulldogs should not lose faith. They are improving, and have some really strong forwards in the middle of the field. If they can get some speed, they will be a devastatingly hard opponent moving forward. Mel Thomas was also the recipient of the Ilpasto Inglewood player of the game and came away with an $80 voucher to be used at our good friends and sponsors.
After the main game, again on a freezing night, the Joondalup Giants took on the Rockingham Sharks in a danger game for the ladder leading Giants. Unfortunately the Sharks took a while to warm into the contest and at the half time break trailed 22-0 and it looked like a long way back for the girls from Rockingham. The did fight back to win the second half 10-0 but the damage was done and the Giants kept themselves onto of the ladder for another week with their 22-10 victory. Hereunga Te Ao was best on ground in this game with a coming of age performance for the new Giant.
The Joondalup Giants finally arrived in 2021 with a devastating first half performce, to shock the Fremantle Roosters with a 44-10 victory. While the Giants have struggled to score points this year, they showed none of that difficulty in the opening stages, with their forwards totally dominating the middle of the field in this contest. With a 28-0 halftime lead, the writing was on the wall in second half, and while the Roosters improved to score two tries, they will lament a lacklustre performance in the middle of the park, which is sure to be a wake up call. Although they were missing some troops, the Roosters boys take pride in their performances and will not like the fact they conceded so many points.
With a positional change the catalyst for the Giants, Taurean Sheehan started at hooker, allowing for the debut game of assistant coach Andy Walker at lock. While not the tackle busting, try scoring player that he was in his youth, his attitude, energy and communication was infectious and the rest of the Giants players reacted, with Joell Irvine playing probably his best game at prop forward since he moved into the pack. For the Fremantle Roosters, Delane Edwards tried extremely hard to marshall the troops and showed moments of brillance but it just wasn’t enough. Mitchell Kerr was also strong in a pack that was thoroughly beaten but can still hold his head high.
In reserve grade, Fremantle Roosters outlasted a vastly improved Joondalup Giants 26-20. It was an incredibly fast paced game with both teams not wanting to give an inch. While more of an arm wrestle than the try fest that we see sometimes in reserve grade, the Fremantle Roosters number 5…. WOW. Breaking tackles at will he was irresistible at times and laid the platform for the Roosters tries with some early carry’s resulting in linebreaks and quick play the balls. For the Giants, it was another one that got away, but they can take solace out of the fact they were immensely better then they have been.
In Women’s League Tag, the Fremantle Roosters continue to flex their muscle as they took the scalp of the Alkimos Tigers, 42-0. While the Tigers showed some fight at certain times in the game, the Roosters are clicking brilliantly, with the play making skills of Michelle Trainer and Aynslee Henry making the outside running of stars like Caitlin Pears all too easy. Harlee Horomona continues to be a shining light for the Tigers side with her pace and competitiveness shining through.
George Burnett Park
Now everyone knows that Premiership rugby league is an 80 minute game. But in the space of a 15 minute barrage of points, the Sea Eagles sprinted to the top of the standings with a 34-14 victory over the South Perth Lions. While both teams competed fairly well for the first 25 minutes of the game, the Lions fell asleep, and the Sea Eagles pounced. With a few late positional changes, some forced with flying winger Chazz Palmer out with injury, the combination on the left edge for the Sea Eagles was in fine form. The ever present danger of Josh Benjamin, with multi talented weapon Jayden De Vorms and captain Ben Taylor on the wing, they were simply irresistible. Joey Halpin for the Lions who is all heart and doing a Luke Capewell like job playing out of position for the Lions was under a constant barrage from the Sea Eagles players. A halftime score of 28-2 was always going to be hard to pull back.
I think its safe to say that Bowman Stein won’t be going back to hooker. Kobi Aiesi started this game, and has earned plenty of admirers and then with the players on the back foot, Justin Buckley was thrown into the fray and attacked the middle of the field with no mercy. Along with Steins undeniable form at lock, he will be anchored to the back of the pack for the season. For the Lions, their right side unfortunately had a day to forget. But the prevalent question remains. What is the best spine for the Lions? Harry Debique, Eddie Proudler, Luke-David Wells-Talamavaio, Nick Holliday, Isaac Thomas and Caleb Norton. As you all know seven doesn’t go into four, as you would think Jarrad Smith has a mortgage on the 13 jersey when back. They have time, and will show faith I believe, but lets hope they click soon.
Another week goes by and another big win by the North Beach Sea Eagles. The depth shown at the club in the 70 year anniversary is really showing with another dominant performance. While the Lions are a good reserve grade team and don’t lack courage, 40-6 was the final score, and the question is beginning to be asked. Can the Sea Eagles even be pushed, let alone beaten? Jason Godecke is having a ball out there, using his exceptional acceleration to cause nightmares for opposition forward packs.
In Val Murphy Trophy, the Lions put the foot down to consign the Mandurah Storm to another loss, 38-6. But after watching the tape, the Storm were not as bad as the scoreline reads. However young half Unawin Clarke was injured, and has far and away been their best player. Greg Jones has got the Lions ticking along beautifully since a shock loss to the Rabbitohs almost a month ago, and Jad Meale is showing he still has some tricks up his sleeve.
North Beach also got back in the winners circle in Val Murphy, stunning the Kalamunda Bulldogs 42-10, to give themselves some much needed breathing room in fourth place. While the Bulldogs looked to have been building to something special, they were out played by a hungry Sea Eagles side who would have been hugely disappointed in the way they were blown off the park by the Tigers last week. Cameron Hoff was a welcome addition to the Sea Eagles, along with a mature performance from Jake Ryle who steered them around with aplomb.
In Women’s League Tag, South Perth Lions showed no mercy against the Mandurah Storm, running away with an 86-0 victory. While not a lot need be said, the tag line “Speed Kills” seems appropriate, with the Lions showing pace to burn all over the field.
And while the Lions flexed their muscle on field one, the Sea Eagles did what they had to do against a plucky Kalamunda team, winning 38-10. While not comprehensive, the Sea Eagles are normally a team who build into the finals series, and will be waiting for their time to punch the accelerator when it counts.
Charlottes Sports Pavilion
In a double header, the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs took on the Rockingham Sharks in Val Murphy Trophy and Women’s League Tag.
With the Rabbitohs taking the spoils in both contests, they didn’t have it all their own way. The Rabbitohs in Val Murphy had to withstand an early barrage from the Rockingham Sharks. The sharks unfortunately only came away with one try from their opening 15 minutes of dominance, and the Rabbitohs duly made them pay, scoring 3 quick tries before haltime. And the less said about the second half the better, with both teams enjoying about a 40% completion rate in a scoreless half.
And in a tight contest, the Rabbitohs outlasted the Sharks 10-6 in women’s league tag. In a lacklustre affair, the Rabbitohs did just enough to see off the Sharks, and keep themselves in touch with the top 4. Glenn Kennedy will be looking to build some combinations and stability in his side, as they hope to knock off one or two of the top sides and sneak into the 4. In the legendary words of Dominic Terretto, “It doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile” and the Rabbitohs will gladly take the 2 points.
PREVIEW – COVID WEEK
Unfortunately, COVID has reared its ugly head again, and this weekends games are all postponed! But lookout for next weeks version of the Goose Step! Will have an expanded preview with a look at all competitions!
Be good, stay safe, and work on that Goosey!