Jeremy Wallace played a starring role – scoring a pair of tries as the North Beach Sea Eagles retained the Motor Neurone Disease Awareness Trophy with a 34-18 win over the Joondalup Giants in Round 9 of the WA Smarter Than Smoking Premiership on Saturday.
Wallace, who leads the competition with 13 tries, produced a dazzling performance to help lift his side to their eighth-straight Premiership win.
“Eight on the trot – that’s going really good, I’m happy with the boys,” Wallace said.
“I’m really impressed with our side – it’s always a tough game against Joondalup.
“I’ve played in three of these (MND Awareness Trophy games). It’s a great cause and done well by both clubs.”
Playing against the competition front-runners, Joondalup burst out of the blocks as player/coach Gus Marshall opened the scoring after just three minutes with the English five-eight pouncing on a mistake by North Beach fullback Brad Sharpham to touch down.
North Beach, winners of seven straight games heading into this fixture took a while to kick into gear but hit the board just past the twenty-minute mark as Wallace charged down Marshall’s kick before regathering the ball to dot down under the sticks.
Wallace was again involved just five minutes later as he shrugged off a couple of Giants defenders to put his side on top for the first time in the game.
A try to debutant Tayla McGregor on the stroke of half-time stretched the Sea Eagles’ lead, giving the visitors a 16-6 advantage heading into the sheds.
Looking for a way back into the contest, Joondalup started the second half as they did the first as Caleb Reedy stripped James Blake of the ball from the kick-off before Davey Martin danced his way over to bring the Giants within four points.
Playing with their tails up, Joondalup almost found themselves back on top but for a desperate try-saving tackle by North Beach winger Dustin Hume on Rodney Mauga.
After soaking up a heap of defensive pressure, the Sea Eagles struck on attack as Wallace set up the returning Greg Lingard who crashed over.
A Josh Benjamin try 15 minutes from time gave North Beach a 28-12 lead before Bow Stein made sure of the result with a try of his own following some great build-up play from Tye Saus.
Reedy scored a late consolation for the Giants, but his 10th try of the year wasn’t enough to prevent the Sea Eagles from claiming the MND Awareness Trophy for a second consecutive year.
Joondalup Giants 18 (Tries – Marshall, Martin, Reedy. Goals – Martin 3/3)
North Beach Sea Eagles 34 (Tries – Wallace (2), McGregor, Lingard, Benjamin, Stein. Goals – Takarangi 5/6)
Chalk ‘N Cheese Player of the Match: Jeremy Wallace (North Beach Sea Eagles)
Giants: 1. Quinn Morgan, 2. Luke Turner, 3. Kukutai Jones, 4. Luke Callan, 5. Rodney Mauga, 6. Angus Marshall, 7. Davey Martin, 8. Nathan Searle, 9. Levi Mitchell, 10. Adam Smith, 11. Daniel Sneddon, 12. Keanu Te Tai, 13. Beau White, 14. Daniel Smith, 16. Caleb Reedy, 17. Junior Raea, 19. Te Wheoro Jones
Coach – Gus Marshall
Sea Eagles: 1. Brad Sharpham 2. Tye Saus, 3. Kahan Joyce-Vaughan, 4. Kristian Williams, 5. Dustin Hume, 6. Cairo Takarangi, 7. Jeremy Wallace, 19. Dave McCullough, 9. Trent Trotter, 10. Terelli Whaanga, 11. Josh Benjamin, 12. Tayla McGregor, 13. Adam Roy, 14. Greg Lingard, 15. Bow Stein, 16. Thomas Fry, 18. James Blake
Coach – John Hough