The Lion Pride headed to Rockingham on Saturday and in tough playing conditions kicked off the 2014 season in style with victories in three of the four games. Our Women’s League Tag team went down 4-10 with Janey MacKay awarded best player. The U/18’s played some entertaining football in recording their 30-20 victory, with Akua Roberts the best afield. This team shows a lot of promise and with a few extra players and more games under their belt will only get stronger.

 In Reserve Grade, Reagan’s boys had a good hit-out winning 38-23, with Rick Edwards and Adam Bartholomew best afield.  This team has a good mix of youth and experience and with more training time together will mix it with the best in the division.

Fielding a team containing eight players from the South Perth juniors our first graders began their campaign on the right track with a 50-24 victory. In the opening minutes the game was played at a very quick pace with the Sharks getting on the board first with an unconverted try. The Lions scored next and were then able to string a few tries together and move out to a 20-4 lead. But, feeding off South Perth mistakes, Rockingham hit back well and reduced the Lions lead to just a converted try at the break.

The majority of the second half was dominated by the Lions who showed great support play, resulting in good team tries. But, it was South Perth’s goal line defense that was a feature, with the Sharks being held out time and again with dour team defense. At one stage the Sharks had five repeat sets with the Lions holding strong - the tough pre-season training paying off.  In his first competition game as head coach, Justin Nixon (aka Barney) said he was happy to start the season with a win - even if it was a little rusty.  He said the team played well in patches and that the stop-start nature of the game (with numerous penalties and errors) was not conducive to the free- flowing and up-tempo brand of rugby the team wants to play this year. Like everyone else at the game, the coach was very impressed with the Lion’s terrific goal-line defense.

Try scorers for the Lions were Dean Shepherd with 2 tries and Joss Boyton,  Hayden Fisher, Reno Burkhardt, PK Te Wara, TK Kahaki and Mikey Gray each picking up one.  Wade Kelly kicked 6 conversions and James Turner, 1.
Best players were Dean Shepherd and Isaac Thomas.

Coach’s special mention to: Dean Shepherd who had a great game on debut for the Lions, Hugh Mackay, Jon Phipps backing up after playing a lot of minutes in Reserve Grade and Wayde Kelly who competed all day. Barney was also very happy with the young guns from last year’s U/18’s - TK and Jordan Jacobs who were not out of their depth in first grade.

Next week, please note we play North Beach away on SUNDAY as the Storm v Bulldogs game will be played here in Perth on Saturday. 

C’mon South Perth fans, let’s get there in numbers on Sunday to support our teams in what should be a great day of Rugby League at the beach.  There will be a $5 meal of Bangers & Mash back at the club after the games at 6.30pm.



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