The Goose Step – Wednesday 25th August 2021 – Part 1

Welcome to The Goose Step.
This week it will be in two parts as we attempt to give our senior finals the previews they deserve in part 2, but this will be the wrap from last weeks game.

This week’s feature goose step… Taurean Sheehan from the Joondalup Giants!
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 Charles Riley Reserve, the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs were not perfect, but showed enough class to put away a fiesty North Beach Sea Eagles side 20-8. In a back and forth contest the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs dominated the early running off the back of some strong running from Sera Ah-Sam and Hineriu Thompsons, but could not entirely shake the Sea Eagles charges. The Sea Eagles frustrated the Rabbitohs into playing sideways, and then fought back, with Tamika Jones and Brianna Young showing great strength and speed. A breakaway to Jones looked certain to even up the ledger, but Paihau Pomare showed amazing speed to track her down and stop that raid. And that seemed to show the contest to a tee, with the Sea Eagles being eager, but ultimately not classy enough to defeat the Rabbitohs freight train, with Kailey Thompson, Pomare and Kyarn Paekau dotting down to effectively end the contest. A consolation try to Georgia Midson made the scoreline a more accurate reflection of the battle, and the Sea Eagles will go into this weeks elimination final with plenty of momentum and belief.

Fuel to Go & Play Premiership

Charles Riley Reserve – Friday & Saturday
In the Consolidated Energy Key Game, the men’s premiership took to a Friday night game for the Sea Eagles 70th year cellarbrations. And it was the northern derby between the minor premier North Beach Sea Eagles, and the defending premiers, the Joondalup Giants. And in a back and forth game where neither team gave an inch, it duly ended in a 16 all draw. With flashes of brilliance from both sides breaking the dead lock, it was a great reflection of tough defensive grinding football, with both teams taking confidence out of a game that couldn’t change the standings in any significant way.
The Sea Eagles, barring a catastrophe, had the minor premiership in the bag. With a couple of players rested, they came into the contest looking for a mental edge going into next week. They held the Giants out for 4 consectutive sets, before it all became too much, and a nightmare matchup one on one five metres out with Luke Turner was too much to stop. But they had some huge performances, particularly defensively from Adam Roy, and a couple of special never say die plays from Ben Taylor which pushed them over the line. Cairo Takarangi showed the flashes of flair that have made him a danger man his whole career as well in a good sign for the Sea Eagles. They have some interesting choices to make this week in first and reserve grade, with plenty of players putting their hands up for premiership.
The Giants would have been hoping for a good tough performance, especially missing a few key players in the forms of Beau White and Brad Sparrow, but they controlled the contest for most of the game and I thought were probably the unlucky side of the draw. In saying that they would be impressed with the form of captain Taurean Sheehan who continues to terrorize his old club, and the enterprising play of make shift lock, Davey Martin. Martin has been playing well above his weight in the middle of the field and has added a playmaking string to the Giants middle, and with Gus Marshall’s adept kicking game leading them around, they will always be a chance, especially with firecracker Robbie Smith chasing those kicks.
On Saturday the Sea Eagles continued their solid form in reserve grade, seeing off a defiant Joondalup Giants team 36-10. Both sides battled hard, and the Giants were impressive in the way they applied themselves, on the back of some heavy play from Domanyc Fidow-Kele and Ben Matthews. But the Beach would not be out enthused, and rebounded hard to finish off the second half and run away with the victory. Mitchell Wade showed some nice touches, while Jay Roa is still a threat from anywhere on the field, with his intense mix of size, speed and footwork cause issues for all teams.
In the Val Murphy Trophy fixture, the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs stole the game from the Sea Eagles, with a drop goal just before full time, 13-12. In a very even affair, the Rabbitohs fought hard on the back of star performances from centre Fred Mahi and silky playmaker Dylan Mahu. And while both forward packs tore shreds off each other in the middle of the field, youngster Malakai Chase was impressive out wide for the beach, with Dean Morgan showing he still has a bit to give, with his tear away runs. Morgan’s matchup with Mahi in the centres was worth the price of coming to watch alone.
And in a super important Women’s League Tag double header, the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs ensured their ticket to the finals with a 16-4 victory over the Sea Eagles. The Rabbitohs tightened up defensively and although Beach looked slightly better than in previous weeks, making numerous inroads, the bunnies scrambled hard with Tiarne Barnett big defensively along with Kailey Thompson and Bobbie-Lee Barker. Beach showed signs of life with Raegan Woolley, Ada Cox and Caitlan White impressive in the fixture with some scything runs.
With Ellenbrook winning the previous fixture, it left a big job for and against wise for the Joondalup Giants to make the top 4. But they ultimately fell short, losing 12-10 to the ladder leading South Perth Lions. Both teams scored two tries a piece with Danielle Barker and Shayla Taiwhati crossing early for the Lions, and hoping to shut the game down. Suphawadee Phondongnok was particularly impressive for the Lions. But the Giants wouldn’t go away, playing with pride, with Smiler and Utia hitting back in the second half. While they might not make the 4, an upset seemed on the cards, but the Giants just couldn’t land the knockout blow and will miss the playoffs for the first time in a long time.

Ken Allen Field
In the Fuel to Go & Play Premiership game, the Fremantle Roosters were ruthless in their dismantling of the Rockingham Sharks, winning the contest 58-8. The Sharks willingness to show up, low on troops and morale is commendable, but they were thoroughly outclassed by the Roosters outfit, who had no less than 9 different scorers in the eleven try rout. But while happy with their offensive intensity, coach Edwards will not be happy with allowing the Sharks to score two tries, with defensive tenacity being a key ingredient to any premiership tilt.
The Roosters were in a mood early, spreading the ball with abandon with their trademark movement and option play being a trademark. Outside backs Kemp, Riggs, Parkinson and Wilson were all super impressive early with the ball in hand, cause numerous breaks and missed tackles for their opposites. But it was all setup with the great punch from Crotty and less hailed Richie Hicks in the middle of the field. With all their guns returning for the finals and their spine more settled, the Freo boys will be looking to go after the other 3 sides left in the competition with no fear.
For the Sharks, it was a testament to how their season has gone. With a grand final appearance last year, they seemed to be the hunted more than hunter this year, with teams going after them offensively with plenty of results. Shifting rosters, with injury, suspension and unavailability causing team changes all the time, the Sharks will be looking to rebuild again in 2022. Although will have to do so without the looming presence of Coach Pete Williams and club legend Andrew Jeffrey, who are both moving on. Jeffrey’s influence on the club stretches almost a decade of loyal service and he will be incredibly hard to replace.
In Reserve grade, the Fremantle Roosters outlasted the Rockingham Sharks 18-14 and will meet again this weekend coming in the elimination semi final. Due to a quirk in the draw from COVID, this will be the 3rd time in 4 weeks they will have met, and the previous two times the Roosters have snuck away with a victory in both games. Discipline will be on the mind with both teams. When you consider penalty goals and field position penalties have been crucial in these games, who can keep their heads on and not let penalties and errors dictate in the finals. Ruamai Erueti was his usual classy self for the Roosters, while Sean Barlay scored a hat trick for the Sharks. Keep an eye on Patrick Amm for the Sharks, who won plenty of admirers for his performance in the middle of the field.
In the Women’s League Tag, the Fremantle Roosters continued their march in style, on the back of a Simone Johnson hat trick, to get past the Willagee Bears 42-12. They played a professional high tempo game, and had too much speed for the Bear side, although Brianna Young and Gabrielle Mouat tried hard and got some points on the board for the proud bears. The Roosters however would be hoping to improve their goal kicking, with a 30% ratio slightly unnerving. With sharpshooters Grace Smith, Kailey Thompson and Sinead Loundes lining up for their opponents in the finals, this might come back to bite them.
And the Alkimos Tigers finished off their season in style with a 6-4 victory over a flat Rockingham Sharks side. The Sharks would have fancied themselves at least the 6th best side this season, with some impressive results in their artillery, but no one was telling the Tigers that. The Tigers who have left it late in the season to show they can match it with some of the better sides, had Tiaree Horomona touch down, with youngster Donna Hati duly converting and doing just enough to hold onto that two point win. Candice Tamatoa got over the line to give hope to the Sharks, but they missed Missy Buchanan’s class in the middle of the field. The Gilchrist sisters used their considerable experience to try get them home, but ultimately fell short.

Hartfield Park
In the VMT, the Madurah Storm finished their season on a high, with a rugged 26-20 victory over a powerful but undisciplined Kalamunda Bulldogs team. They took advantage of a numbers advantage at certain points in the game to skip clear and ultimately outlasted the Bulldogs fight. Young hooker Kane Briggs has been turning heads with his tenacious defence and speed out of the ruck causing teams numerous issues, along with willing and hard working lock Jayden Rowe. For the Bulldogs, Michael Collins-Davis continues to show his worth to the side, with John Bruce getting through a tonne of work.
And Kalamunda Bulldogs and Mandurah Storm came together in a up beat contest to finish their season. In high spirits the Bulldogs won 48-0 and duly tried to get all their ladies on the scoresheet, with guns June and Alkira setting up other players. The Storm ladies continue to show spirit, trying their hearts out every game, and the question will be, can they get an influence of new blood to gain numbers for next season?

PREVIEW to come in PART 2!

And keep the pictures coming!