By Justin Fris

 

Saturday’s 2014 WARL Smarter than Smoking Premiership Grand Finals at George Burnett Park will be remembered as the day that delivered compulsive Rugby League viewing.

As the sun beamed down brightly on players and spectators from 9am, no one could have predicted the several climactic finishes later in the day.

The schedule was chock full of eagerly awaited matchups, with full summaries as follows:

 

Pilbara U14

A Pilbara Representative tackled by two Rockingham Defenders

U/14 SHOWCASE- Rockingham 40-12 Pilbara

The prodigious talent from the Pilbara travelled down to Perth for a fantastic experience. Against a quality Sharks side, the northerners gave a good account of themselves.

Despite the loss, Brandon Saena caught the eye of many key observers.

Leevai Sutton was best afield for the Sharks, who celebrated another win at George Burnett Park in September.

 

WOMENS LEAGUE TAG- Fremantle 22-0 Joondalup

Women Premiers

2014 Women’s Leaguetag Premiers – Fremantle Roosters

Fremantle capped off a memorable year in women’s league, easily defeating Joondalup in the grand final.

The quality of football was impressive, but gamesmanship between the two sides was the real winner.

Some boys in other grades could learn a tip or two from you ladies!

FREMANTLE 22
Tries: Shanaaz Te-Ahuru 2, Lauren Chambers, Emily Calder
Goals: Lauren Chambers 3
JOONDALUP 0

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Lauren Chambers – Fremantle

Lauren Chambers

Women’s Player of the Match Lauren Chambers

 

THIRD GRADE- North Beach 18-16 Joondalup

As the heat began to intensify, so did the third grade grand final. Trailing 12-4 at half time, Joondalup made an inspirational comeback and fell centimetres short of an improbable victory.

Third Grade Premiers NB

2014 Third Grade Premiers – North Beach Sea Eagles

Beach’s ability to control the middle of the field proved the difference in the dying seconds. Dean Tamau and Maua Elasi were best for Beach, who gave the Joondalup defence nightmares.

Third grade was a breath of fresh air in 2014 and we look forward to an even bigger year in 2015.

NORTH BEACH 18
Tries: Nick Chase, Tainui Richards, Dean Tamou
Goals: Mick Kestel 3
JOONDALUP 16
Tries: Stephen Bennett, John Browne, Tyrone Davis
Goals: Daniel Sebine 2

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Dean Tamou – North Beach

 

U/18 GRAND FINAL- Rockingham 23-22 South Perth (Golden Point)

U18 Premiers

2014 U18 Premiers – Rockingham Sharks

Describing this match as ‘epic’ doesn’t even do it enough justice!

Rockingham raced to a 16-0 lead at halftime and looked destined for a crushing victory.

South Perth coach Damien Tahere changed the game at half time.

Speaking calmly to his players at all times, Tahere instilled a fatherhood-like bond on his players. And it showed in the second half.

With an opportunity to win the game off a fulltime conversion, the Lions’ luck ran out.

Golden point ensued, with Sharks halfback Liam Goodyear sending a 35m field goal through the uprights for the win.

Goodyear’s exceptional setup play ensured he was named man of the match.

ROCKINGHAM 23
Tries: Logan Barclay, Connor Hudson, Keelyn Tuuta-Edwards, Jayden Toelupe
Goals: Liam Goodyear 3
Field Goals: Liam Goodyear
SOUTH PERTH 22
Tries: Siailaoa Faafua, Savaan Tahere, Quintin Needham, Kyall Pepperell
Goals: Siailaoa Faafua 2, Akua Robert

Liam Goodyear Field Goal U18's

The moment after Liam Goodyear’s Golden Point field goal

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Liam Goodyear – Rockingham

 

NB Reserve entering

North Beach Reserve Grade entering the field

RESERVE GRADE- North Beach 22-18 South Perth (Golden Point)

South Perth and North Beach had been yo-yoing for supremacy all season long in reserve grade. Therefore it was fitting that this match came down to golden point.

The Lions led by 8-0 at half time and onlookers wondered where Beach’s spark would come from.

Enter Josh Rogers.

Rogers was unplayable in the second half, inspiring a Beach comeback that will warm the hearts of Sea Eagles fans over the summer.

NORTH BEACH 22
Tries: Matt Kaiwai, Nathan Roa, Jeremy Wallace, Ethan Williams
Goals: Josh Rogers 3
SOUTH PERTH 18
Tries: James Turner 2, Anthony Piggott, Pikari Te Wara
Goals: Anthony Piggott

Reserve Grade Premiers

2014 Reserve Grade Premiers – North Beach Sea Eagles

PLAYER OF THE MATCH – WALLY STEIN MEDAL: Josh Rogers – North Beach

 

FIRST GRADE- South Perth 28-26 Fremantle

For the full First Grade match report click on the below link:
http://warugbyleague.com.au/lions-roar-in-classic-decider/

SOUTH PERTH 28
Tries: TK Kahaki 2, Brandon Timlin 2, Dean Shepherd
Goals: Adam Bartholomew 4
FREMANTLE ROOSTERS 26
Tries: Craig Madden, Tridant Pamatangi, Jordan Stringer, Wellington Tulilou
Goals: Zane Patrick 5

PLAYER OF THE MATCH – RON HUDSON MEDAL: Dean Shepherd – South Perth

SP First Win

South Perth Lions celebrating victory

 

The matchday experience delivered by the South Perth Lions on Saturday was a true credit to their club. Along with the WARL and stakeholders, they created an atmosphere that could be easily replicated in NSW or QLD.

It was a day that we will never forget and we can only now count the sleeps until 2015 kicks off!

By Justin Fris South Perth Premiers

South Perth scored an epic 28-26 I victory over Fremantle in Saturday’s WARL Smarter than Smoking Premiership Grand Final at George Burnett Park.

Trailing 28-14 with 12 minutes left, the Roosters fell two points short of a miraculous comeback.

Both sides had two men sin-binned after 23 minutes, as the warm conditions and physical nature of the game tested patiences.

This incident proved fatal for the Roosters, who lost their early 6-0 lead and momentum.

Lions veteran Brandon Timlin cut ferocious holes in the Roosters’ defence, which allowed speedsters Dean Shepherd and T.K Kahari to take advantage.

Wayde KellyKahari scored his first try of the day in the 35th minute, on the back of a great cut-out pass from Timlin on the short side of the field.

Leading 10-6 at half time, the Lions coughed up posession on their first two second half sets.

The Roosters, with stern words of coach Andrew Korn ringing in their ears, took advantage.

Wellington Tulilou bullocked his way through a weary Lions defence and fed the ball to Delane Edwards.

Edwards motored down the left untouched and restored the Rooster lead.

The Roosters were awarded two penalties midway through the second half and opted to kick at goal twice.

Zane PatrickZane Patrick missed the first but converted the second from long range.

Sensing their rivals were losing ground, the Lions poured on three tries in the next eight minutes.

Kahari and Timlin both bagged their second tries, along with and Dean Shepherd joining in.

No side coached by Korn goes quietely and this match was no exception.

After a hotly disputed penalty, Craig Madden surged under the black dot, giving the Roosters life with 11 minutes to go.

Lions coach Barney Nixon sensed danger and rallied his men to play conservative.

It only spurred the Roosters on further.

With the crowd at fever pitch, Roosters forward Trident Pamatanli scored an emotive try with only four minutes to go.

Shepherd and Jon Phipps then took matters into their own hands for the home side.

The Lions stoicly held their nerve in the final minute, forcing the brave Roosters out of attacking range.

Shepherd was best afield and won the Ron Hudson medal.

It was a deserved premiership win for the Lions, who were league leaders throughout 2014.

It was further grand final heartache for the Roosters, who lost their third consecutive grand final in a row.

SOUTH PERTH LIONS 28Dean Sheppard
Tries: TK Kahaki 2, Brandon Timlin 2, Dean Shepherd
Goals: Adam Bartholomew 4

FREMANTLE ROOSTERS 26
Tries: Craig Madden, Tridant Pamatangi, Jordan Stringer, Wellington Tulilou
Goals: Zane Patrick 5

Ron Hudson Medal for Player of the Match – Dean Shepherd

 

Results from other matches

RESERVE GRADE
North Beach Sea Eagles 22 defeated South Perth Lions 18 (in extra time)

UNDER 18’s
Rockingham Sharks 23 defeated South Perth Lions 22 (in extra time)

THIRD GRADE
North Beach Sea Eagles 18 defeated Joondalup Giants 16

WOMEN’S LEAGUETAG
Fremantle Roosters 22 defeated Joondalup Giants 0

 

Pictures:
Picture 1 – South Perth Lions 2014 WARL Smarter than Smoking Premiers
Picture 2 – South Perth’s Isaac Thomas playing the ball to Wayde Kelly
Picture 3 – Fremantle’s Zane Patrick converting a try
Picture 4 – Ron Hudson Medal recipient Dean Shepherd

See how all Grand Finalist teams have performed against each other throughout the 2014 Smarter than Smoking Premiership season.

Head to Head

By Justin Fris

 

South Perth and Fremantle will compete in Saturday’s WARL senior grand final at George Burnett Park.

The Lions have been league leaders all season and held enough aces in the major semi-final. Coupled with a formidable home record, few could rise to their level on grand final day.

Fremantle split this rule in half.

South Perth coach Barney Nixon needs little reminder of the last time these two sides met in round 19

His Lions were rolled 36-4.

Riding an avalanche of success after the midseason break, Roosters coach Andrew Korn has steered his men into another senior grand final.

After comfortably defeating Willagee in the minor semi-final, the Roosters destroyed North Beach 28-0 last week.

Korn’s tactics against North Beach in the preliminary final were brutally effective, yet simple. Play conservative football up the middle and then bury them out wide.

Whether this will work against a seasoned team guided by Nixon, remains to be seen.

History shows that the keys to victory are vastly different for both sides.

The Lions are the masters of dictating the tempo of a game. Completed sets, solid kicks and trap the opposition in a hole.

Once the opposition is on the canvas, the talented backs can squeeze through the smallest of gaps.

Nixon will urge his men to complete their sets and match the dangerous Roosters forwards in the middle of the field.

In all three defeats this year, the opposition has needed to score over 30 points to beat the Lions.

Conversely, the Roosters will need a hard, physical start.

Wellington Tulilou and Samson Graham will need to get in the Lions’ heads early and impose their physical presence on the game.

Korn will want his men to score a few tries early and consolidate scoreboard pressure throughout the rest of the game.

If the Roosters trail heavily at half time, you might as well start singing “Goodnight Irene.”

Both sides have had memorable seasons and equally have the opportunity to create their own slice of history.

But if ever there was a side that could travel to George Burnett Park and dislodge Nixon’s conquering Lions from a premiership, it would be the Roosters.

GF 2014

Fremantle Head Coach Andrew Korn could take out an unexpected double in Saturday’s Grand Final after taking home the $500 cash prize for winning the 2014 TDH Insurance Services WARL tipping competition from the Smarter than Smoking Premiership.

Hovering in and out of the top five tipsters all season, ‘Korndog’ took out the big one in the final round of the season by claiming a perfect round – and a bonus point for doing so – by tipping all three fixtures correctly, including Joondalup’s 42-16 win over Willagee.

What made his win even more exciting was that it was only by a solitary point with ‘Angelo 73′ taking home second place after only tipping 2 of the 3 matches in the final round.

88 people registered for the inaugural TDH Insurance Services WARL Tipping Competition. The Tipping competition will be back again next season and we are already looking at ways to make it more exciting.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the inaugural TDH Insurance Services WARL Tipping Competition, we look forward to having you back tipping next season.

Finally, a HUGE thank you to Tom Heels and the team at TDH Insurance Services for getting on board and sponsoring the competition. If you require any information or assistance to find the best insurance products and policies to suit your particular needs visit http://tdhins.com.au/

 

The final tipping table is as follows:

tdh insurance

1. Korndog (52 pts)

2. Angelo73 (51 pts)

3. Staffi (50 pts)

4. Shannon (49 pts)tdh tipping winner

5. AustinLingard (48 pts)

5. Paramoops (48 pts)

5. Rooster7 (48 pts)

5. Wayde (48 pts)

9. Adam Frunks (47 pts)

10.Falks (47 pts)