By Justin Fris

Round 21 – WARL Smarter than Smoking Premiership

South Perth v Kalamunda – George Burnett Park
Joondalup v Willagee – Admiral Park
Rockingham v North Beach – Franklin Offshore
South West v Fremantle – Bunbury Runners Club (no First Grade)

Click here for all fixture times, including the Junior Finals: http://warugbyleague.com.au/fixtures/

 

LIONS SLEEP WITH ONE EYE OPEN

Team selection will be fierce on Saturday for South Perth, who face Kalamunda in their final premiership season fixture at George Burnett Park.

With injuries playing their part, now has never been a better chance to catch ‘Barney’ Nixon’s eye if you wear red and white.

Expect the Lions to focus on set completion and ball retention in this match, with several players tested in different positions.

Last time Kalamunda travelled to George Burnett Park, they were whacked 72-10.

The Bulldogs hopefully shed all inhibition for this match and just go out and enjoy their football.

 

WILLAGEE ‘BEAR DOWN’ ON FINALS SERIES

Willagee’s finals preparations conclude with a salivating matchup against Joondalup.

Last time these two sides met, fans were treated to a 46-36 thriller, with more action than a Jason Statham gangster film.

The Bears have been piling on the points in recent weeks, with 32 and 52 in recent outings against South Perth and Rockingham.

Joondalup will be out of finals action this season and only have themselves to blame.

In order to finish with a win on Saturday, the Giants must think before passing and be creative when near the Willagee line.

 

BATTLE OF THE BEACHES

Rockingham’s 2014 curtain call sees North Beach travel down the freeway to Lark Hill on Saturday.

The Sharks have had a rollercoaster season, with injuries and work commitments crippling their playing stocks.

Despite these issues, there have been several highlights for the Shark supporters, who would fancy a victory to end the season.

North Beach naturally has other ideas.

Ryan Gundry would be keen to cap off a memorable week personally by getting his men perfectly primed for next week’s finals opener.

Expect Beach to tinker with their line up and test players with different matchday roles.

By Justin Fris

 

South Perth sealed another WARL minor premiership, spanking Joondalup 58-12 at George Burnett Park.

The Lions torched their leg-weary opponents, who failed to deliver in arguably their most important match of the season.

It went sour for the Giants within the opening minute.

After a negligent high shot from Yvan Fidow-Kele, the Lions made the most of positive field position and scored first, courtesy of Brandon Timlin.

When the Giants did threaten to score points, they let the Lions defence off the hook with atrocious passing and a chronic inability to hold onto the football.

T.K Kahari was best afield for the Lions, although he had plenty of teammates rewarding the hard work generated by the forward pack.

The Giants scored two successive tries midway through the second half, but it made little imprint on the overall contest.

Fremantle has the bye next week, while Joondalup will end their season with a trip to Willagee.

We would like to congratulate Ryan Gundry on his appointment as Head Coach of the West Coast Pirates U18’s to participate NSW SG Ball Competition.

Ryan has had a long and distinguished playing career starting right here in WA at the North Beach Sea Eagles as a junior before playing for the Western Reds Under 19’s. Gundry was then signed by the Melbourne Storm as part of their inaugural First Grade squad in 1998.

Ryan went on to play 181 games in the QLD Cup for Brisbane Norths and as Club Captain at the Burleigh Bears. During his decorated career in the QLD Cup, Ryan was rewarded with being named in the Queensland Cup Team of the Decade after the competitions first 10 years.

Ryan returned to WA to finish off his career with a Grand Final appearance with the North Beach Sea Eagles before turning his hand to coaching. Since then he has shown tremendous success as the North Beach First Grade Coach with the past two consecutive premierships to his name, and they are right in the hunt for third consecutive Premiership in 2014.

We are excited and confident about what the future holds for the West Coast Pirates under Ryan and his staff’s guidance.

We wish Ryan and his team all the very best for season 2015.

By Justin Fris

South Perth Lions v Joondalup Giants – George Burnett Park
Willagee Bears v Rockingham Sharks - Webber Reserve
Kalamunda Bulldogs v Fremantle Roosters – Pioneer Park

For all game times got to http://warugbyleague.com.au/fixtures/

 

STUTTERING LIONS TO ADDRESS FORM SLUMP

 South Perth will be hoping to avoid déjà vu on Saturday against Joondalup at George Burnett Park.

Despite missing players last week, no one could have predicted that Fremantle could brush the Lions aside so easily.

Last time these two sides met in June, Joondalup caused one of the biggest upsets in recent years.

Both sides would fancy their chances of victory, as their attacking capabilities are simply breathless at times.

With their rivals growing in confidence, it is time for the Lions to remind their fans why they are league leaders.

 

BEARS FACE TRICKY HOME FIXTURE

 Willagee must capitalise on recent good form and defeat Rockingham at Webber Reserve.

Despite dominating virtually every aspect of their game against North Beach, the Bears were left heartbroken on the scoreboard.

The Bears documented their improvement last week; they just need to maintain it for the rest of the season.

Rockingham would have been gutted to lose at Kalamunda last week.

Both sides should be keen to throw the football around and break each other’s defence along the wings.

 

ROOSTERS EYE STRONG FINISH

Fremantle would be licking their lips ahead of visiting Kalamunda at Pioneer Park.

With North Beach having the bye, the Roosters can place further heat on the top two.

Last time these two sides met, the Bulldogs were licked 58-8.

But the home faithful were rewarded for their patience, with their boys recording a stirring 40-34 win over Rockingham.

The Roosters should win quite easily, but the Bulldogs should display greater resistance on Saturday.

BLK TEAM OF THE YEAR

The BLK TEAM OF THE YEAR!!!!

This Jersey will be presented to 13 players and the Coach of the Year at the Ken Allen Awards Dinner on Friday 19th September at the Pan Pacific Hotel.
Thanks to BLK for this great Jersey that incorporates all WARL Senior Clubs.

The BLK TEAM OF THE YEAR will be selected from the Ken Allen votes from the 2014 Smarter Than Smoking Premiership, based on the top players in the votes and the positions they play.

Get your tickets to the WARL Ken Allen Awards by calling the WARL on 9228 9275.

Promo TOTY 2014