The Goose Step – Thursday 5th 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… Toby Sullivan from the South Perth Lions!
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 Charlottes Vineyard Pavilion, a new look Kalamunda Bulldogs showed up with a point to prove against the home town favorites, Ellenbrook Rabbitohs. And in a bruising encounter, the Rabbitohs showed a bit too much class with a 44-16 victory. But the Bulldogs can take alot of solace out of the fact that they troubled the Rabbitohs at times, scoring the most points against them, that any side has scored all year. The inclusion of Tui Cope, along with the hard running of Lita Tuialii, Tessah Roache has made Kalamunda a different kind of beast in the second half of the year. Although, good performances from Aliyah Grey, Tiana Graham and Juraea Turner led Ellenbrook to victory. The highlight however was the ever improving peformances of the a bunch of new players to the competition this year. Both teams have a large group of new girls who are showing big strides are being made.

Saturday – Fuel to Go & Play Premiership

Kwinana Local Stadium
In the Consolidated Energy Key Game, the Rockingham Sharks were brave but ultimately lacked the class to go with the South Perth Lions, falling 28-0 to the red and whites. A 4-0 scoreline showed there was life left in the Rockingham side, but a strong second half from the Lions ultimately showed the sharks injury worries and missing depth are affecting them. Defensively in the first half the Sharks were fantastic, a solitary try to Tere Cameron-Ramea the only concession the Lions were able to take.
The Sharks welcomed back Peter Worth Jnr, who came out of retirement for the 8th time to right the ship in the halves and he was his usual solid self, and provided a nice foil for Hayden Wood, who was allowed to feel his way into the game. This allowed young Gilchrist to play in the middle of the field off the bench and he played much more comfortably. Benjamin Bolth was also a good presence out wide for the Sharks as his aggressive defence and strong carries led the Sharks all game. The glaring problem for the Sharks now, apart from their need to win all 3 games remaining, is that two games in a row they have been held to zero. Their stuttering attack needs to get going this week against the Roosters to save their season.
Eddie Proudler led the Lions with purpose all day and was great for his side, while the move of Daniel Green to the front row showed the poise and starch they were looking for. Ethan Gourgaard was immense on the left edge and has returned from injury with great purpose and form. His late offloads and footwork at the line were fantastic, and while still young, he looks to have that spot sewn up for the coming future. Their attacking fluency got going in the second half and they piled up 24 points, but it still remains a question of are they starting too slow? Time will tell for the men in red and white.
In lower grade news, the South Perth Lions were too good for the Rockingham Sharks as well, with a 28-12 win. While it was a whole team performance from the Lions with backs and forwards both putting in, the performance from youngster Noel Samuel was top shelf, very much reminding onlookers of a younger Harry Debique with some classy touches. For the Sharks, Josh Neal was again a lightning rod for the side and tries his heart out every game.
The Val Murphy Trophy game was the game of the day, with a tight 12-10 win to the Lions effectively ending the Sharks season in this grade. But they refused to die wondering, with bookends Charles Tamatoa and Tupou Koroa big for the home team. For the Lions, father son duo Lui Talamavaio and Ben Wells-Talamavaio shared a special moment in a Lions jersey, with Jared Cole having a busy game out of dummy half.
In Women’s League Tag, the South Perth Lions got the job done against the Rockingham Sharks, 20-0, but didn’t have it all their own way. Teams might want to take a leaf out of the Sharks book, with the Lions vaunted attack stuttering at certain points in this match. Although their class got them home, the sharks smothered their attacking pods with Carroll, Smith and Turner-Wallace not being allowed free reign. Relative unknown Jaymee Johnson made up the difference with a coming of age performance for the Lions.

Ken Allen Oval
The North Beach Sea Eagles set up a mouth watering clash with the Giants this weekend, with a never say die victory against a very difficult Fremantle Roosters outfit, 32-24. The Roosters who fielded one of their most complete sides all year, missed Sonny Kerr’s poise and kicking game in the end, with the North Beach halves effectively proving the difference. While a top 2 finish is not out of reach for the Roosters, they will need to start getting it all together over the next 3 weeks to overhaul the Sea Eagles or Giants.
For the Roosters, wingers David Wilson and Alan Cowan had typical busy performances in the Roosters offensive structure. And the Roosters were big in the middle, welcoming back Crotty and now with Taomia in town. Hopefully they get to keep them all to provide the starch in the middle they desperately need. Was also surprising to see big Paasi Fine run out in Premiership, with the big Tongan representative showing some big running in the middle of the field, which you would think would only get better with time. While the Roosters can still score points with ease, they need to fix up their defense, leaking points in bunches this year.
The Sea Eagles started young Bailey Millar at the back, and he scored a try and had a solid starting debut for the Beach. He looks a classy type, with speed, balance and a beautiful feel for the game. The architect for the Sea Eagles on Saturday though was dynamic half Cairo Takarangi. All year Beach have been looking for their halves to take a game by the scruff of the neck, and Takarangi and his halves partner Lingaard were at their dominating best. With time and mature play, they led the Sea Eagles around, without panicking and allowing edge players such as Taylor and Roy to really get into their games with room to spare. It was a great sign for the North Beach faithful this close to the semi finals.
In Reserve grade, the bulletproof Sea Eagles showed they are human, with a close 30-18 victory over a frustratingly inconsistent Fremantle Roosters team. Deba Cook scored 4 tries, but the real story was how the Roosters dominated sections of this game, but unfortunately faded in and out of the game, and were unable to turn the screws when it counted. While sin bins and penalties played a part in the close scoreline, the Beach are not unbeatable and sides will be backing themselves to get a crack at them come the finals. Rima Los’e was big again, and will need to get more involved moving forward.
Alkimos Tigers were too strong in the Val Murphy Trophy, leading 20-0 while a late fightback to the Beach had the score finishing 20-12. But coach Bronz will lament the continuing late fades of the Tigers, and will want his side to really finish off games. Will Akroyd continues to be a monster in the middle of the field, while the return of Manu Rakena at hooker gives them even more weapons. Young Malakai Chase got a double for the Sea Eagles, and led a large group of youngsters who are showing promise.
In Women’s League Tag, the Tigers improved in a massive way defensively, only losing 22-0 against the finals bound Fremantle Roosters. The Tigers showed real heart in limiting the offensive weaponry of the Roosters, who still looked likely to explode at any moment. Freo have a tricky game against the Sharks coming up to secure a top 2 spot, while the Tigers will be looking for a win against the Bulldogs.
And the North Beach Sea Eagles WLT side stamped their authority on the Willagee Bears, with a 60-0 scoreline and announcing to the Lions and Roosters that they can turn on the points if they want to. While the battle for 4th is really heating up, the top 3 sides are jostling for that every important top 2 finish.

Charlottes Vineyard Sports Pavilion
And this is probably what you came here to read alot of you. It finally happened. The Mandurah Storm Val Murphy Trophy side, and yes the Mandurah Storm seniors won their first competitive game in senior competition, with a gutsy 18-16 win over a wasteful Ellenbrook Rabbitohs team. The Rabbitohs, who should have led 18-0 early, wasted numerous early opportunities and led 16-6 just after half time. And when Ellenbrook scored halfway through the term and the score got to 16-12, an air of expectation went around the Storm faithful. Led by Steve Taylor’s astute kicking game, Kane Briggs scored from dummy half with 5 minutes remaining, the Storm hit the lead. Holding strong for the last few minutes, the fulltime hooter sounded and sent the Storm faithful into raptures. Erin Winitana did everything in his power to get the Rabbitohs home, but unfortunately they fell short in the end.
In Women’s League Tag, the Joondalup Giants received a needed shot in the arm with a 64-0 win against a brave but short of numbers Mandurah Storm side. 9 players got in on the scoring for the Giants, with the much needed win keeping them in the hunt for the top 4 spots.

PREVIEW

All Flags Signs & Banners Women’s Rugby League Premiership

In the Cash Converters Game of the round, the Rockingham Sharks will look to improve from plucky underdogs, to genuine contenders against the South Perth Lions. The Lions have had a poor run in the last couple weeks, with their eyes on this game. With the teams almost guaranteed to face off in the elimination semi final in a few weeks, it will be a massive mental edge for the team that gets up here. The Sharks will be looking for a huge game from the experienced halves pairing of Missy Buchanan and Xanthe Gray to get one over their inexperienced counterparts. For the Lions, they need their imposing forward pack, back and fit to put their front foot forward. Mel Thomas still tries her heart out, and the emergence of Shiane Kani only adds to their forward power.

The second womens premiership game, sees the resurgent Kalamunda Bulldogs taking on the young impressive North Beach Sea Eagles. And this game will be great to get down to watch simply for the contrast in styles. The Bulldogs impressive power game, versus the speed and skill of the young North Beach ladies will be a sight to see. Tui Cope has been immense for the Bulldogs, which has allowed June Marshall to shoulder less of the responsibility and relax in her role. While Emysen Robinson continues to be one to watch in a young but talented North Beach side.

Fuel to Go & Play Premiership
The  Consolidated Energy Key Game this week sees the Rockingham Sharks put it all on the line against the Fremantle Roosters down at Lark Hill Sportsplex. While needing to make sure they don’t leak points, the Sharks will be looking for an all out offensive display to try and power their way to victory. You need to score points against Fremantle, and the Sharks will not die wondering. For Fremantle, they need to hit their stride now. With 3 weeks to go, and a BYE next weekend, they will be hoping to get their systems and structures in place for the finals push. Look for Edwards to start putting his impression on games more often now we are at the business end. The Sharks will be looking at stalwart Jeffrey to lead them to an upset victory.

Up the other end of town at Admiral Park, Heathridge, we see a massive MND Awareness clash between the Joondalup Giants and North Beach Sea Eagles. In a qwerk of the draw, they play each other twice in the last 3 weeks, which will go a long way to who takes the minor premiership, as they currently sit first and second. With special made jersey’s for this clash, the Giants, who were once considered the younger brothers in the northern clash, hold the advantage over the last few clashed when versing the Sea Eagles. But history means nothing when these rivals meet, and this game will mean a lot mentally to either club moving forward.

Get out to your local rugby league games this weekend! They are sure to be absolutely cracking games!