WA 3 YEARS RUNNING NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

Western Australia retained their champion’s title in Rugby League National Affiliated States series in Adelaide on Sunday. They won their final game 30 to 10 against arch rival Victoria which put them ahead of Northern Territory in the tournaments points system.

It is the third year running that the two states faced off in the final game, with WA scoring a one point thriller to claim the title last year. It reinforces WA as the leading rugby league state outside of the heartlands of New South Wales and Queensland and vindicates the development program in place in their quest for NRL status in the future.

Western Australia set up the show down with Victoria after defeating South Australia 60 to 10 on Friday and then beating Northern Territory 16 to 15 on Saturday.

In the national titles format, points are received for winning both the halves of a game and the game itself. Northern Territory used a field goal to secure the first half points the day before with a 7 to 6 lead to put pressure on WA.

Going into the final game, Western Australia had to win at least one half and the game itself to claim the championship win.

They set that up with a 14 to 10 half time result and then ran away in the second keeping Victoria scoreless.

The win put them ahead of Northern Territory who also beat Victoria and had a 9 point to 7 lead in the series after beating South Australia in the morning. WA ended with 11 points winning three games and 5 halves overall.

Coach Justin Nixon was very pleased to retain the title won last year.

“The team overplayed itself yesterday, so we went out today and made an effort to stick to the game plan. They did that and the defense was outstanding. Right now the boys are very happy”.

Best players for WA were Jon Phipps and Scott Jones.

In the Under 18’s Combined Affiliated States Sam Davey Plate, WA only managed one win against South Australia. The competition is limited to players still at school and limits WA’s age group because of the school system.

Three players were selected into the national affiliated states side. They were Ashley Hunter from Hedland SHS, Mikey Gray from Thornlie SHS and Fou Tagiilima from Canning Vale SHS.