WA State Champions

WA Win Three in a Row

The Western Australian Senior State side won their final game in the Rugby League Affiliated States Championships against Northern Territory 24 to 20, and remained unbeaten for the weekend to claim their third straight title.

It confirms their status as the leading rugby league state outside of the heartlands of NSW and Queensland and will build momentum for the strong local competition and the development program. The side had many new faces in the line-up this year who were selected on their club form and did not disappoint the selectors.

Western Australia had control for most of the game and held a 12 to 6 lead at half time. They were convincing for another thirty minutes and held what was thought to be a game winning lead at 24 to 10. But with five minutes to go, Northern Territory threw everything at the game to push over two more tries, but time and WA’s defense held out to win the game.

Coach Justin Nixon had an anxious time at the end which was reminiscent of the past two years when they won by one point each time.

“We always had it in control, but at the end I really felt being the coach was a tough job! For all but the last 10 minutes we were convincing and Northern Territory who came to play did not give up on the chances they had. We were a bit fatigued after three games in three days at the end. Our efforts over the weekend were rewarded,” he said.

Best players in the final for WA were South Perth’s Eddie Proudler, Rockingham’s Caleb Reedy, Delane Edwards from Fremantle and Josh Benjamin from the Bulldogs.

WA kicked off its title defense with a resounding win on Friday beating South Australia 66 to 16. In the second game they beat Victoria 16 to 6. Northern Territory set up the do-or-die final by winning both their games as well.

Players from the tournament will be selected to represent Australia later this year for the Combined Affiliated States team to play in Tonga. In the past, up to 10 players have been selected from WA, which is again expected.

In the other state championship results, WA Women’s LeagueTag retained its national title on score aggregate by beating South Australia 30 to nil and drawing with Victoria 12-all over the weekend. The Under 18’s could manage just one win against South Australia from their three games for the championships which was won by Victoria.