CLUB HISTORY 1951 - 2013
NORTH BEACH RUGBY LEAGUE CLUB 1951-2013
2011 marked the 60th Anniversary of the North Beach Rugby League Club. A week of celebrations and events were held 6-14th May and were attended by hundred sof current and past players, supporters and members from Western Australia, interstate and overseas.
The history of the North Beach Club has been documented in a new book, with over 90 pages of history and photographs. Included with the book is a CD of hundred of scanned photographs, news articles, programs and newsletters going back to the early 1950s.
1951 - 1959
By 1951, some of the North Beach Surf Club members were playing rugby league during the winter months for various clubs around other areas of Perth, and it has been well recorded that a group of them decided to get together to talk about the idea of forming a rugby league club in the North Beach district.
A misunderstanding about the location of the key to the North Beach Surf Club rooms meant the first meeting had to move to the only venue available at the time; the Church of England Hall in James Street, which has since been demolished.
The men who attended the meeting were:
J J Smith
J W Smith
And so a local rugby league club was started.
A committee was formed and the first President was Mr J J Smith, with Mr J W Smith elected Vice President and Mr Vern Landwehr taking on the Secretary position. It was decided to enter a side in the “A” Reserve Grade, metropolitan competition.
Roger Utting became the first coach and started the team training on West Coast Highway right outside the surf club rooms. The surface was limestone, not ideal, but in those days there were few cars and it wasn’t an easy task to find a convenient training venue. The beach was also used for training runs. As there were no football grounds of any sort in the district, the club was granted the use of Abbett Park in Scarborough as the home ground.
Members of the first team to represent the North Beach Rugby Club were: Jess Richardson, Wally Stein, Jimmy Smith, ‘Uppy’ Baker, C Smith, Keith Rogers, Vern Landwehr, Terry Garmony, Merv Buck, Mick Snow, Laurie Millman, Laurie Duncan and Ken Snow.
After the first two games, interest within the district became so high that it was decided to enter a 3rd grade team in the same competition.
The new club chose green and gold to be the club colours and the first set of jerseys were plain windcheaters which were dyed green and then Mrs Amy Rigoll sewed a gold ‘V’ across the front. When the first ‘real’ set of jerseys were purchased they were green and gold stripes. These first ‘real’ jerseys arrived in Perth by plane and were collected by Wally Stein and Vern Landwehr who then put on their jersey and wore them proudly back to show off to the locals at the Castle Hotel in North Beach. Rumour has it they stopped at a few pubs on the way to celebrate. A five gallon keg was purchased and lowered over the cliff by rope down onto the beach where the real party began.
Everything that was needed had to be started from scratch; funds raised and ways found to create or provide the necessary equipment and supplies. Thankfully the locals helped out where they could. The first goalposts were bamboo poles from the swamp at Arnie John’s Rosalee Nursery in Balcatta. Things didn’t always go to plan. The first goal posts were erected after training on the Thursday night in readiness for the home game on the Saturday. Overnight, local children cut them down to make a ‘cubby’ so bags had to be used instead of posts that week. Luckily there were plenty more bamboo poles at the swamp.
Fund raising to enable the purchase of the jerseys was undertaken. Terry Garmony, Wally Stein and Vern Landwehr operated a chocolate wheel from the back of Terry’s car at the Osborne Park Showgrounds and a raffle was run with a truck load of wood as the prize. Apparently the prize was not collected on that occasion.
The teams had plenty of dedication and enthusiasm, but Wally Stein recalls that many a result looked more like a cricket score – they had quite a few hard losses in the early years. It was suggested the first win was from when an opposition team played an unregistered player, and North Beach then received the game points! Despite this tough start the ‘A’ Reserve team made it to the first semifinal before losing to the Northern Suburbs side 15-10.
The local members of the RSL, rugby, cricket and surf clubs combined to place pressure on the local Council for a recreation ground. While an area was eventually allocated, no funds were given for clearing the land. The group and local helpers, including some of the local school children, took to the bush with shovels, axes, mattocks and hand saws to clear space and the local squatters also had to be contended with. The effort was described as herculean; it took years and the Council’s conscience must have got to them; they brought in the heavy earthmoving equipment to finish the job.
In 1952 the club had a severe setback when it lost the use of Abbett Park and consequently went through the season without playing a home game. In 1953 the club was able to use Langley Park as a permanent training venue and home ground and were to stay there for most of the decade, with home games eventually transferring to Charles Riley Reserve.
The North Beach Bus Company was a big supporter of the club and players young and old were delivered to and from games each week. The small fee charged was used to cover playing fees, the bus trip and for the seniors, a ticket in the raffle for half a dozen ‘king browns’. Willing drivers of the bus included Merv Buck, Norm Buck, Ted Nutt, Ray Wilson, Mick Snow, Jim Smith, Don Francis, Les Picknoll and Cliff Godecke.
In 1956 the club combined with the Northern Suburbs R.L.F.C., who were folding, to form the Norths R.L.F.C. That year saw the club win their first ever premiership, that being the 3rd grade competition under coach Jack Gage. The following year they repeated this performance.
In the late 1950s the club ran a successful campaign to build a junior club within its ranks. There was no AFL club in the district yet. The response gradually became so great that by the end of the decade the North Beach Junior Rugby League Club became a separate entity. With a progressive committee and encouragement from the senior club, rugby league was established as a major sport for youngsters in the district.
In 1958 they had even greater success when they became both Premiers and Minor Premiers of the ‘A’ Reserve Competition. Due to their performances that year the club was elevated into the ‘A’ Grade Competition in 1959.
Their first year in open competition met with only limited success, however a young Harry Rayner became the first player from the North Beach club to gain state selection. Our first junior state selection also took place with Des Gordon selected to represent WA in the schoolboys (U16s) team.
1959 was also the year that Mr Vern Landwehr became the first Life Member Club in honour of his enormous contribution since the formation of the club.
1960 - 1969
North Beach started the decade on a high note with 19 year old Harry Rayner winning the Brice Trophy for the league’s most outstanding player.
The club then went into the 1960s with a change in the club colours early in the decade. Doug Cohen had arrived at the club from the Manly Warringah Rugby League Club in NSW and was able to arrange for them to donate playing jerseys to the club. The Western Australian clubs were at this time all being encouraged to take on the colours and designs of NSW teams.
The junior club was going from strength to strength with good numbers and good results from Under 8s through to Under 16s. The Kathleen Nutt Memorial Award for the Most Outstanding Junior Player was established in 1960, and continues to be the highest annual award for a junior player.
In 1962 the Western Australian state side played against the touring Great Britain side. Harry Rayner was a representative from the club; the side played well but lost 39-10 to one of the strongest teams in the world at that time. Interestingly, Great Britain played against the Australian side at the Sydney Cricket ground the same year with a similar score; Great Britain 31 defeated Australia 12.
In 1963, for the first time, an Under 15s Western Australian schoolboy’s team toured to NSW. North Beach had four representatives in the side; Graham Landwehr, Rod Hewton, Bruce Godecke and Geoff Taylor. They had a good result with two wins and two loses against strong NSW club sides.
In 1965 the club had its first real success when coach Peter Smith guided the first grade team into the first semi final only to go down narrowly to Victoria Park.
In 1966 John Bell was the coach and again the first grade team were able to make it to the finals before being defeated by Fremantle. Mr Wally Stein was made a Life Member of the club in this year.
It was not until 1967 that the club was using Charles Riley Reserve as both a training venue and a home ground.
Coached by John Bell, the first grade side made it to the grand final game for the first time in the history of the club. They were defeated by Applecross 15-5.
Reserve Grade were premiers, guided by captain/coach Bob Williams.
Also in that year 3rd grade (U18s), coached by Pat Begley, won a premiership defeating Willagee 19-4 in the grand final.
The club won the first of many Club Championships awards. Harry Rayner played his 150th first grade game and Richard White set a club record of an amazing 34 tries in a first grade season.
In 1968, long serving player Harry Rayner became the club’s third Life Member. Reserve grade were defeated in the grand final and Ross White coached the Under 18s to another premiership.
In 1969 the club successfully negotiated with the Shire of Perth for the formal lease of the North Beach Surf Life Saving Club premises as its clubrooms.
The club received national recognition for fielding an amazing eight junior and senior teams into the 1969 grand finals. Four of the teams achieved the premierships; the open 3rd grade side; Under 18s; Under 14s and the Under 10s.
The club took out its second Club Championship award.
1970 - 1979
In 1970 First Grade, coached by John Graffin, started off the season well, winning the preseason competition for the second year in a row. Six players were selected for WA representative duties and it seemed that a premiership was well within grasp. For a number of reasons the season disappointed. Reserve Grade were defeated in the grand final. The Under 18s were undefeated premiers, coached by Ray Thomasson.
The Supporters Club was formed in 1970 which generated a new source of revenue to provide incentives for existing players and to assist attracting new talent to the club. This was the first of its kind in WA rugby and revitalised interest in the game.
In 1971 new captain coach Arthur Miers and the club had its greatest success by winning the First Grade premiership for the first time by defeating Applecross 8- 5. Reserve Grade lost to South Perth in the grand final and Third Grade also were defeated in the grand final by Fremantle.
To top off a successful year North Beach were awarded the Club Championship and Pat Begley and Brian De Mamiel were presented with Life Membership.
Reserve Grade won their third Premiership in 1972 and the club was awarded its fourth Club Championship. First Grade lost in the grand final to South Perth and Ross White played his 150th First Grade game.
In 1972-73 the very first Australian Schoolboys team was selected from players within NSW (Queensland did not send players to the trials) and one Western Australian player - Chris Barugh from North Beach. The players were Under 16 years of age and toured Great Britain.
The team played 11 games for 11 wins and scored 108 tries to 1 against.
Prolific points scorer Stuart James set a then club record of 219 points for the 1973 season. First Grade was coached by Phil Robertson and was defeated 16-5 by South Perth in the Grand Final.
In 1974 the First Grade side received a severe setback through the loss of captain/coach Phil Robertson midway through the season to a knee injury. The appointment of Noel Williams as captain/coach regenerated enthusiasm within the club and it is now history that we came from 5th position to win our second First Grade premiership.
Reserve Grade also made the grand final but was defeated by Fremantle.
The 25th anniversary of the club was celebrated in 1975. In that year North Beach had four players selected to tour Papua New Guinea and to represent the state against a visiting English team. Geoff Kent was presented with Life Membership for distinguished service on and off the field and Eddie Campbell reached 191 first grade games.
Reserve Grade was unlucky to be defeated by Victoria Park-Canning in the grand final, losing in extra time. This was the first in a frustrating string of events where for four years in succession, Reserve Grade was to make the grand final only to be defeated on each occasion. It was not until their grand final appearance in 1984, under coach Eddie Campbell, that the hoodoo was broken.
In 1976 Richard White played his 150th first grade game for the club and brother Ross received Life Membership. Reserve Grade lost to Applecross 15-10 in the grand final. Fourth Grade (U18s) won the premiership.
In 1977 club stalwart Wally Stein received Life Membership of the WARL for his outstanding contribution as a referee and advisor.
In 1978 Richard White represented the State for a then record fourteenth time. The Under 19s were beaten in the grand final by South Perth.
In 1979 North Beach had all senior teams in the finals, but only the Under 19s team coached by Harry Rayner made it into the grand final round. They defeated Fremantle 10-6.
In 1979 Cam Coutts Snr commenced discussions with Mr Jim Clarko (MLA) and Mr George Strickland (City of Stirling) regarding the construction of a new club facility for North Beach on the Charles Riley Reserve site.
Who conned the Eagles for a game with the Cons? (1971)
“With provisions on board, a compass and cut lunch and an outdated street directory, we set forth to do battle with the Wooroloo Wombats so furious and mean that they’re locked up at night. Our journey was pleasant with no major mishaps, only the crossing of a flooded river, fighting off wild animals and finding our way through a wet rain forest.
Arriving at our destination we were greeted by the inmates who gave us the quick once over, whilst the guards made us welcome by frisking, fingerprinting and escorting us under guard to the change rooms where we could change from our disguises of mild mannered citizens to the mighty Sea Eagles of North Beach. You should have seen the line up for the winged warriors – big Jack Parker, Mangrove Clegg (out of retirement), Bob ‘Dapper’ Williams, Horror Long, Bandy Baird, Twinkle Toes Godfrey, Padded Head Preston, Gags Wilton plus Shufflefoot Joe Alvaro.
For the Wombats there was Frank Nitty, Fingers Malone, Baby Face Nelson, Birdman of Alcatraz, Hatchet Jack, Trigger Jackson, Legs Diamond, Three Fingers Jack White and the Boston Mangler.
The game was played in ideal conditions with intermittent downpours of rain, hail, cyclonic winds and a field that wasn’t fit for ducks let alone Sea Eagles. The inmates opened the scoring after the kick off, a try being scored quite convincingly after strong arm tactics were being employed by the home team. Scores were soon even with John Harper making a copybook sideline try from 5 yards out. Shufflefoot converted, to the amazement of players, supporters and inmates – ten minutes later after picking himself up off the ground, Shufflefoot returned to the game suffering from a slight case of exhaustion.
The game was a hard 80 minutes with the trustees muscling their way through on many occasions. Only incident of the day was when Horror Long became carried away with one of his ballet high kicks for the crowd that one of the inmates flaunted himself at Horror and received one in the stomach. Apart from multiple lacerations to parts of the body, a few broken bones, head and chest injuries and various bruising we did not sustain any injuries.
Overall it was a hard fought game with both sides giving no quarter, a feast of ball for players and spectators and if you weren’t there you missed a good day.
After the game we returned to the Wooroloo Social Club for drinks and socialising and because of the inclement weather were able to use the officer’s mess to cook our BBQ.
Our thanks must go to the officers and inmates of the Wooroloo Training Centre for a most enjoyable day had by all.”
(North Beach Club Newsletter Article, 1971)
1980 - 1989
North Beach headed into the decade in a fairly positive frame. First Grade coach again was Noel Williams who guided the team into the 1980 grand final appearance against MosmanCottesloe. The game was a draw – and even with extra time the score was locked at 18-all. This forced a replay of the match the following week. A couple of injuries meant a couple of player changes and North Beach went into the match the underdogs. Things looked grim when Mosman-Cottesloe headed into the half time break ahead 10-5. North Beach staged a terrific comeback to win the match 19-10.
Coach Jeff Brimble led Third Grade to a Premiership and the club won another Club Championship.
One of the club’s most successful years culminated with Len ‘Pop’ Standen winning the highest rugby league award in WA; the Brice Trophy.
In another outstanding effort Cam Coutts Snr became only the second North Beach official to receive Life Membership of the WARL.
1981 heralded a new era for the club. A wake was organised by Glenn Buck to bid farewell to the old clubrooms on the beach and members of the North Beach Surf Lifesaving Club and North Beach Rugby League Club said ‘goodbye’ in fine style.
The opening of the new premises and enclosed grounds at Charles Riley Reserve was celebrated equally as well! The club received wonderful support from the City of Stirling, Hon Jim Clarko (MLA), George Strickland (Councillor), Pat Begley (Builder-Advisor), Reg Bowers (Designer), Rod Gundry (Supervisor) and Cam Coutts Snr (Organiser) along with the many players and supporters involved in the construction.
The resultant facilities, which set a standard that other clubs were to attempt to emulate, came from many years of planning and hard work and are a fitting tribute to all concerned.
Highly respected ex-player and coach Fred Griffiths joined the club in 1981 as the new First Grade coach after extensive experience with UK club Wigan and North Sydney.
George Taylor set the remarkable feat of playing 100 consecutive First Grade games and won the First Grade Fairest and Best Award for a record 5th time. 1982 saw long serving club and league official, Cam Coutts Snr become our eighth Life Member for outstanding service.
Evergreen Eddie Campbell played his record 216th First Grade game for North Beach. Reserve Grade was the only senior team to make the grand final, but they missed out on the premiership that year.
Canberra Raiders forward, Richard Cooke returned to the club in 1983 as captain/coach and led First Grade into the grand final game; only to be defeated 14-10 by South Perth. The Colts side coached by Fred Griffiths also made the grand final but were beaten 22-12 by Canning.
1984 brought another First Grade premiership, again under the leadership of captain/coach Richard Cooke. North Beach defeated Willagee 17-8 to claim the club’s fourth First Grade premiership and sixth Club Championship.
It would however, be a long wait until our next First Grade premiership was won 14 years later. Reserve Grade, coached by Eddie Campbell, regained the premiership that had eluded the club for 12 years by defeating Applecross 12-6 in the grand final match.
The Under 18s also made the grand final but were beaten by Applecross 12-6.
In 1984 the junior club was starting another remarkable run of success. They would be awarded the Junior Club Championship for 10 out of the next 11 years, and record numbers of North Beach juniors were selected as state representatives.
Captain/Coach William Hutton led Third Grade to a premiership against MosmanCottesloe in 1985. The score was 12-0. The Under 19s coached by Jeff Brimble were grand finalists.
1986 saw club stalwart Eddie Campbell awarded with Life Membership for outstanding service as a player and coach.
Reserve Grade won the 1987 Grand Final after a remarkable fight back. Down 16- 0 at half time, the team rallied and defeated Fremantle 18-16. Captain/ coach was Miles Wilson.
Jeff Brimble coached Under 19s to a 14- 0 victory over South Perth and Third Grade went down gallantly in the grand final game to Applecross 16-2.
Richard White, former President and outstanding player and coach was awarded Life Membership in 1988 and Mrs Yvonne Coutts became the third North Beach member to be honoured with Life Membership of the WARL.
1989 saw the formal amalgamation of the North Beach Junior and Senior Clubs. For many years the North Beach Junior Club had been a dominant force in Western Australian Rugby League.
The contributions of Junior Club Life Members - Merv Buck, Kit Ray, Cam and Yvonne Coutts and Heather McWilliam - had been a major reason for their continued success.
This year also saw Laurie Ord awarded the Ron Hudson Honour Medal for his outstanding contribution to rugby league for the season.
Jeff Brimble and Eddie Campbell, along with the assistance of players, members and supporters, contributed to the completion of the new Members’ Bar.
North Beach won their third Club Championship for the decade with all junior and senior teams represented in the finals.
1990 - 1999
Former NSW Western Suburbs first grade player Ian Howcroft was appointed First Grade coach in 1990. Only Third Grade, coached by William Hutton, made it to the grand final in 1990 and was able to win the premiership game. The Under 19s played in the grand final but missed out on bringing home the premiership for coach Jeff Brimble this year. George Taylor’s Under 17s team were premiers.
1991 was a bleak season in the higher grades, but the Colts side was successful in winning a Premiership under coach Jeff Brimble. The Under 13s were also premiers and the Under 17s were undefeated premiers for the year.
Brad Hopes returned to the First Grade coaching position in 1992 with mixed results. Miles Wilson successfully guided the Colts side to a Premiership and Herman David and Dean Williams coached the Third Grade team to a premiership. The Under 16s were coached to a premiership by Jim Ritchie.
1993 was a very successful year for the North Beach club. Premierships were won by Reserve Grade (coach Miles Wilson), Third Grade (coach Jack Thompson) and also the Colts side who were coached by Jim Ritchie. The Juniors were also successful in winning flags with George Taylor’s Under 18s, Craig Sloane’s Under 16s and Eddie Campbell’s Under 12s. The Junior Club Championship was award to North Beach for the ninth year in a row.
Long serving player and coach George Taylor was appointed as the club’s 11th Life Member.
First Grade made the grand final in 1994 under coach Colin Clarke for the first time since 1984. Unfortunately, this gallant side was defeated by Canning. However, the Colts side was coached to a premiership over South Perth by Wayne Holz. George Taylor coached the Under 17s to a premiership, along with Jeff Brimble with the Under 15s and Keith Everest with the Under 12s. Laurie Ord and Jason Coutts became the 12th and 13th Life Members of the club.
In 1995 the Western Reds were entered into the national rugby league competition and was supported by Junior Reds sides playing in the Perth First Grade and Colts competitions. The Junior Reds teams provided a great development opportunity for some of North Beach’s talented junior players and a number were signed up to participate.
1995 saw First Grade in the semi finals and Reserve Grade won the premiership against Belmont under coach Miles Wilson. Andrew Peake coached the Under 19s to a premiership by defeating the Junior Reds side. George Taylor’s Under 17s team also won a premiership against the Junior Reds U17s and Jeff Brimble’s Under 15s were undefeated premiers for the year. Francis Brimble became the 14th Life Member for her outstanding work with both juniors and seniors.
Wayne Holz was appointed First Grade coach in 1996 and although it was a very lean year for the senior grades, both the Under 15s (coach Colin Phillis) and the Under 11s (coach Greg Panton) won premierships. A women’s team entered the competition for the first time.
The WA Women’s Rugby League became incorporated in 1997 after running as a social competition for women and girls over 18; promoting full contact league. The North Beach Women’s team was coached by Lee Luxford and won their first premiership this year
They also played one of the curtain raiser games during the NRL matches played in Perth.
1997 again saw Wayne Holz as First Grade coach. The team performed well throughout the season, losing a contentious semi-final to South Perth. Jeff Brimble was a successful coach once more, leading the Colts side to a further premiership. Coach Jason Coutts was able to get the Reserve Grade team to the grand final, but unfortunately they were not successful. Des Russell coached the Under 13s to a premiership, and coach Steve Buck’s Under 13s were also premiers.
Jeff Brimble was awarded Life Membership, the club’s 15th, for his outstanding services as a player, coach and committee person.
After playing in the year in the Super League competition the Western Reds (now called the Perth Super League) were closed down, unfortunate for local players such as Jared Millar who had successfully earned a place in the first grade side.
1998 became the year of our fifth First Grade premiership. Coached by former Newcastle and Western Reds player Jeff Doyle, the team won an absolute nailbiter against Canning. North Beach former junior Russell Ord kicked an amazing field goal right on the siren to clinch the flag for the club.
Reserve Grade were premiers once more after defeating Rockingham in the grand final; the successful coach was Jason Coutts. Mick Smith scored a rare double through coaching both the Under 20s and Under 18s teams to premierships. The Women’s team was defeated by Marangaroo in the grand final game.
Life Membership was awarded this year to one of the clubs most successful long-term players Bob Boyce.
The season ended for North Beach on an outstanding note when Jared Millar won the WARL Ken Allen Medal for most outstanding player in the league. It was the first time since 1980 that this award had gone to a North Beach player.
Local club junior Jason Coutts was appointed as coach of First Grade in 1999, having coached Reserve Grade to two successive grand finals. First Grade narrowly missed out on winning back to back premierships, defeated by Canning in the 1999 grand final.
First time coach Simon Aiesi successfully guided Reserve Grade to another premiership by beating Rockingham and coached by Jim Abbott the Third Grade team also won a premiership against Fremantle. Steve Buck coached the Under 13s to a premiership win.
Unfortunately, after years of success the Colts (Under 19s-21s) competition folded.
2000 - 2011
The new millennium celebrations came and went and the first year of the new decade brought some mixed success. Jason Coutts was reappointed as First Grade coach in 2000. Both First Grade and Reserve Grade, coached by Jeff Brimble, were eliminated in the preliminary finals this year. Three junior teams made the grand final games, however all were defeated. The highlight of the season would be Troy Beecham being awarded the Ken Allen Medal as most outstanding player in the league that season.
2001 brought up the club’s 50th anniversary and a dedicated committee went about collecting information and photos, preparing displays and events for what was a terrific week of celebrations. The senior anniversary game was played against South Perth and the team wore replica jerseys in the club’s founding colours of green and gold.
A new First Grade coach was appointed in former Western Reds player Chris Dever. The positive mood at the club and the new coach contributed to a very successful year for the club. First Grade was undefeated minor premiers and went on to beat Joondalup in the grand final. Captain/coach Jamie Rogers led the Reserve Grade to a premiership over Joondalup as well. It was a fitting end to a wonderful celebration year. The Under 18s team, coached by Aaron Watts were also premiers, beating South Perth in the grand final game and Ron Godecke’s Under 12s were premiers also.
North Beach Life Memberships were awarded to two great contributors to the club; Mark (Sharky) Williams and Raewyn Wilton. Beth Chapman and Kevin Criddle were awarded Life Memberships to the Western Australian Women’s Rugby League (WAWRL) for their contributions to the women’s league association.
Chris Dever coaching First Grade and Jamie Rogers coaching the Reserve Grade team was a combination that would continue at North Beach until the start of the 2007 season, when Jamie would take over the First Grade coaching duties; a remarkable achievement for both of them and the club.
In 2002 all senior and junior grades were strong. First Grade, Reserve Grade and the Under 18s all made it into the grand final, all against South Perth. Reserve Grade was able to win the premiership.
This year saw the Women’s league change the format of their game from the full contact version of the game to the LeagueTag format of non-contact (using flag belts). The North Beach team adapted well to the new style and made it into the grand final, but unfortunately were defeated on the day.
Sven Joensson coached the Under 11s to a grand final win over Rockingham, the game played almost underwater the conditions were so wet at Belmont. Ron Godecke’s Under 13s backed up as premiers again by beating South Perth and the Under 16s were defeated by Joondalup in their grand final game.
Past President Alan Pryce and club supporter and sponsor Steve Bevis were awarded Life Memberships for their valued contributions to the club.
2003 was again an outstanding year of achievements for the club with First Grade and Reserve Grade winning premierships after both defeating the Bulldogs in the grand final games. The Under 18s defeated South Perth 36-12 to also win the premiership. The Under 11s and Under 14s were defeated in the grand final game, but Ron Godecke coached another U12s side to a premiership.
Life Membership to the North Beach Club was awarded to Neil Rhatigan for his services to the committee and management of the club.
Long-serving Women’s league player Rhodda Capewell was awarded Life Membership to the WAWRL. Still playing full contact rugby at 50 years of age, Rhodda was selected and played in the Australian Inaugural Indigenous Women’s Rugby League team for a test match against New Zealand. Rhodda lived up to her nick name as the ‘smiling assassin’.
In 2004 Reserve Grade was eliminated in the semi finals. First Grade made it to the grand final game only to go down to South Perth. The Under 18s were premiers again along with Martin Laurie’s Under 12s and Ron Godecke’s Under 13s teams. The Under 16s were defeated in the grand final. The season still ended on a positive note with North Beach awarded the Club Championship.
John Thomson was awarded Life Membership to the club in recognition of his ongoing contribution to teams, coaching staff and club management.
The North Beach club was very proud when club junior Daniel “DJ” Holdsworth was picked up by NRL team St George for two years. He went on to play at the top level for the Canterbury Bulldogs; an outstanding achievement. He is currently playing for the Salford City Reds in the UK, and was voted captain of the side for the 2011 season.
2005 appeared to be a repeat of the previous season. First Grade again was defeated by South Perth in the grand final and Reserve Grade was eliminated in the semi finals. The Under 12s and Under 13s also went down in the grand final games.
The highlight of the year was the awarding of the Ken Allen Medal for most outstanding player to Craig Phillis. Past President Brian Burns (Snr) was awarded Life Membership for his efforts and contribution to the North Beach club.
Things picked up a bit for the club in 2006. It would be the last season for First Grade Coach Chris Dever and the team didn’t disappoint, winning the premiership after beating South Perth in the grand final. Reserve Grade made it into the grand final, but was defeated by South Perth. The Under 16s were also beaten in the grand final game. Coached by Martin Laurie the Under 13s won the premiership; with Junior President Brian Burns (Jnr) saying that in his 18 years at the club he had never witnessed such an unbelievable game.
In 2007 Jamie Rogers took over the coaching role for the First Grade team. He led the team to a premiership by defeating South Perth in the grand final game. New Reserve Grade coach Nathan Johnson also brought home the premiership after beating South Perth in the grand final. The Under 15s team coached by Ron Godecke was the only junior team in the grand finals, bringing home another premiership flag. Peter Baker was awarded Life Membership for his contribution to the committee, club management and many senior teams.
In 2008 the WARL entered the WA Reds team into the NSW Jim Beam Cup competition. Made up of local players the WA Reds competed in the 2008 and 2009 seasons. North Beach contributed nine of our own players to this side during the two seasons along with coach Chris Dever. 2008 saw both First Grade and Reserve Grade, again coached by Jamie Rogers and Nathan Johnson, eliminated in the semi finals by Rockingham, and the Under 12s and Under 17s were beaten in their respective grand finals. Jamie has continued to coach the First Grade side through to 2011, our current season.
In 2009 both senior teams were again eliminated in the semi finals – this time by the Bulldogs. The Under 18s lost to Bulldogs in the grand final and all junior teams bowed out in the finals. Incoming Junior President Kevin McIntosh set a strong goal to increase junior numbers during the next two years, which with hard work by all the members has met with a successful increase in the number of players at North Beach.
In 2010 our senior players returned to the club from the WA Reds side, the WARL changed the focus and instead of the NSW Jim Beam Cup competition they entered a WA Reds side into the NSW SG Ball Under 18s competition. North Beach again had players selected in the squads and playing teams. Jamie Rogers coached the First Grade side to the grand final, losing closely to South Perth 22-18.
Glen Godecke undertook the coaching role for the Reserve Grade who were premiers with a win over South Perth 18-4 in the grand final.
Under 18s coached by Sam Lofts and Travis Dodd were premiers after beating the Bulldogs in the grand final. The Under 11s coached by Tony Tangira went through the season undefeated. They kept this record going to the end with a convincing grand final win.
Long serving players, committee members and coaches Steve Buck and Martin Laurie are the most recent members awarded Life Membership to the North Beach Club.
In 2011 we see the First Grade side coached by Jamie Rogers. New to the club, Allen Hall is in charge of Reserve Grade.
Targeted recruitment has seen an increase in the overall numbers at the club, including Women’s LeagueTag and the inclusion of a new 12-16 years Girls LeagueTag team.
Two new Under 6s teams have been fielded for the first time in the WARL competition. These are a highly entertaining group of players, some of which are the children of current and past senior players.