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… Tuakana Rangihaeata of the Fremantle Roosters!
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 Admiral Park, the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs blinked first and suffered another narrow loss to league leaders the Joondalup Giants. An unconverted try to Rueben Cherrington from Joondalup in the middle of the of the second half was enough, as they stayed strong to close out the match against the tough but wasteful Ellenbrook Rabbitohs team. Both sides will rue some lost chances, but the Giants, with their one on one steals a highlight, were to tough in the conditions. While the normal stars stood up, the absorbing battle of wingers Tiarne Barnett and Michelle Grace Matiu was worth the watch, with both wingers having outstanding games.


Also at Admiral Park, the brave Willagee Bears went down to the Kalamunda Bulldogs 28-22. In a stop start affair, the Bulldogs jumped out to a big lead on the back of some hard running from Lita Tuialii and Celia Reid. But the Bears wouldn’t go away with a hatrick to Cheyenne Campbell and a length of the field effort to Micklyn Paul causing a few heart palpatations for the Bulldogs faithful. It will end up being the last hurrah for the Bears, with major injuries and continual struggling numbers forcing them to withdraw their side for the season.

And in the other women’s fixture, the Rockingham Sharks tightened their hold on the 4th position on the ladder and a finals birth, with a 19-12 victory. Courtesy of a player of the match performance from Stavey Teariki, they were able to hold off a youthful North Beach Sea Eagles side desperate to stay in touch. With Emysen Robinson scoring a double there was a hope of a comeback, but a smart field goal by Missy Buchanan ended the contest with an unassailable lead.

Saturday – Fuel to Go & Play Premiership

Ken Allen Field
In the Consolidated Energy Key Game, the Joondalup Giants finished over the top of the Fremantle Roosters, overcoming a 19-12 halftime deficit, to win 36-25. The Giants looked tight in the first half, with Fremantle welcoming back Taka Peneha and Bjorn Crotty to stiffen up their middle and cause problems for the Giants early. But after halftime they settled and were too clinical for the Roosters, who tried hard, but were unable to stem the tide.
For Fremantle, Bjorn Crotty was a noticable difference, as he dictated terms in the first half, and was a massive handful for the Giants defence. In their spine, Delane Edwards and Tuakana Rangihaeata were strong, with Lewis Samuels doing some nice things out of hooker, but Paora Kemp was a noticable absentee, limiting their offensive prowess on the day.
Speed seems to be the word for the Giants. With wingers Turner and Haney get free air, along with Kingi and Huiswaard running a muck in the centres, they are just oozing speed at the moment. Long distance tries, along with the injection of Davey Martin, created too many attacking options for the Giants and they benefited greatly. They are hoping to keep players on the park, with Walker and Te Maari notable limpers after the game.
In lower grade news, Joondalup Giants went back to back in a tough contest against the Fremantle Roosters. In a dour affair both teams were guilty of too many drop balls and penalties, with the Giants enthusiasm getting them over the line in the end, and knocking on the door of the top 4. A mature performance from Kyran Namana was enough to guide the giants, with Rima Los’e and Te Haunui Parkinson trying their best to get Fremantle over the line in the contest.
In Women’s League Tag, Fremantle Roosters were at their most ruthless, with Caitlin Pears scoring a hatrick in a dominant performance against the Joondalup Giants. The 30-4 scoreline was a blowout, and has people wondering can the Giants bounce back. They are missing strike weapon Elle Warren, and need more help for the gutsy performances from Hayley Utia and Shenae Gilmore-Spence.

Blueforce Park
Well what a difference a week makes. The embattled South Perth Lions turned up the heat and came out firing against the form North Beach Sea Eagles and sprang a 28-16 upset against the league leaders. With South Perth having some problems in terms of slow starts and gelling issues, they came out full of fire and brimstone against the shocked Sea Eagles, and duly take the game by the scruff of the neck. They were more intense in the middle than they have been in weeks, and the ball movement was incredbly crisp. For North Beach, they battled hard but ultimately were unable to match the intensity of their Lions counterparts.
For the Beach Adam Roy was an honest toiler on the edge, and Bowman Stein was his usual energiser bunny self. But their usual effortless combination on the left edge was missing its usual punch, and Lindegaard and Takarangi looked a bit out of sorts. Can just count it up to one of those games where a few things went wrong, and the line speed of the Lions took its toll on Beach.
Lets get one thing out of the road. Edward Proudler was back at halfback. And they looked infinitely better. More crisp and direct, they moved the ball effectively while still straightening their attack. I know I also talk about him a bit, but Mason Hiko was moved to prop and duly came up with a man of the match performance in the middle. They need him on the paddock at every opportunity they get. And enter the new man, Rob Williams in the centres. A try scoring double announced to the world that this late season pickup may solve a couple of their outside back issues.
I could copy and paste the reserve grade result week to week for the Sea Eagles. While pushed until the half time break, they were simple too classy for the Lions boys, who fought incredibly hard, 46-14. At hatrick to the evergreen Deba Cook, and double to Jason Godeke begs the question, could they be the most dominant reserve grade team ever in our competition. Oisiin Keating in the middle of the field was enormous for the Lions, and one to watch.
In Val Murphy Trophy, North Beach fell asleep right at the end of the contest for South Perth to snatch a 10 all draw. With both teams having discipline issues, it was North Beach who played the majority of the game with 12 men, but it seemed to hinder the Lions rather than the Beach. The Lions tended to go away from their forward heavy football, and Beach duly hung tough right until the end of the game, and were unlucky not to get the spoils.
In Women’s League Tag, the Lions answered the Roosters statement on the same day, with a 26-0 shutout of the highly fancied North Beach Sea Eagles. The Sea Eagles had a couple of noticable outs, but still looked off the pace against the out right speed attack from the South Perth Lions. Imogen Howes did the damage on the wing, with a double, while Shayla Taiwhati was instrumental for the Lions in conducting the middle of the field.

The Kwinana Local Stadium
The Kalamunda Bulldogs surprised the Rockingham Sharks in Val Murphy Trophy at home with a 14-8 victory. With a brusing forwards battle happening all game, Joshua Ngapuhi was the hero, scoring a double and providing a platform for the Bulldogs team all game, with Derek Collins-Davis causing all sorts of issues when he had the ball. For the sharks, Hayden Toby and Tupou Koroa got over the stripe and while they had a good platform from the Tamatoa in middle of the field, lacked that class edge to finish the Bulldogs off.
In the other Val Murphy Trophy match, a top of the table clash between the Alkimos Tigers and Ellenbrook Rabbitohs fought out a 22-22 draw. With the game seemingly in the bag for the Rabbitohs leading into the second half, the Tigers never say die attitude came to the fore and they had a chance to win it with a long range penalty goal after the siren. Although Kris Maurirere’s kick went wide, they showed they are never out, with new man Donovan Kahupukoro scoring a double for the tigers faithful. For the Rabbits, young centre Tuveia Leon showed he is one to watch with a monster performance out wide.
And in a triple header for womens league tag, the Rockingham Sharks mini resurgence continues with a 28-0 shutout of the previously impressive Kalamunda Bulldogs. With a great team performance from the Sharks, 5 different scorers got over the line, while the Bulldogs rarely looked in a position to get over the line. The Bulldogs were missing a couple of troops for this one, but will look to rebound next week.
The Alkimos Tigers enjoyed some free running in their 26-12 win against the Willagee Bears. With Maran Collins having a game to remember with a fantastic hatrick, the Tigers girls were full of running once they got in front. For the Bears, Micklyn Paul showed she has wheels for days. Is Paul fast enough to take on Carroll from South Perth in a match race?
And the brave Mandurah Storm went down 68-0 to a tough Ellenbrook Rabbitohs side. The Rabbitohs and Storm played in good spirits, with a few sore bodies from the Rabbitohs glad for the social nature of the contest after a torrid affair the night before. With Amiria Clark-Manahi scoring a hat trick for the Rabbitohs, full credit goes to the Storm girls who never say die, with Wairiringi Ayris showing great heart all game.

PREVIEW

All Flags Signs & Banners Women’s Rugby League Premiership

In the Cash Converters Game of the round, the South Perth Lions take on the hurting Ellenbrook Rabbitohs up at Admiral Park in Heathridge. The Rabbitohs, while brave last week, were ultimately sloppy in execution and will be looking to get some consistency and jump back into 2nd spot. With Juraea Turner looking to be back this week, that is a huge in for the Rabbitohs, with her class and expertise a vital piece of the Rabbitohs puzzle. The Lions have had a few weeks off and will be looking to hit the ground running.
And the Joondalup Giants will be looking to lock up first place against a vastly improved North Beach Sea Eagles outfit. The Sea Eagles have welcomed some new recruits in recent weeks, and will benefit from the Willagee Bears folding with some able troops coming into their side. But with Tiakia, Walters and the undeniable class of Stephens, can anyone touch the Giants?

Fuel to Go & Play Premiership
The  Consolidated Energy Key Game this week sees the re-energised South Perth Lions take on the stop start Fremantle Roosters at George Burnett Park. The Lions took two steps forward last week and seem to have found that much needed balance, with Holiday looking much more comfortable with Proudler at half, and a vastly improved performance from Harry Debique. For Fremantle, its time for them to start building for the season. Anyone can still miss the finals, and they need to start delivering on their potential and timing their run to perfection.

And the Joondalup Giants host the Rockingham Sharks, which has enormous ramifications for the competition. If the Rockingham Sharks lose, they make life that much harder to make the final 4 for the season. But they also welcome back some big troops in Ben Bolth and Logan Barclay. But their spine is an issue. While Hayden Wood has been solid without being spectacular, Brody Gilchrist does not look comfortable with the 6 on his back and his game is being affected. For the Giants, there won’t be a lot different. They look settled and while losing some pieces, Searle will be close to back, and Josh Houghton comes in to be his normal damaging self. While the odds are against the Sharks, they have beaten the Giants both times this year so will fancy themselves a chance.