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LIONS DOWN PLUCKY ROOSTERS.
The Lions maintained their unbeaten record defeating Fremantle, 18-6 in greasy conditions at Ken Allen Field on Saturday. With many players backing up after the Perth City v Perth Kiwi game the night before, it was a brave effort from both teams in a tight and physical contest.
Fremantle appeared to have a mortgage on South Perth territory in the opening stanza as the Lions committed a number of unforced errors in the wet conditions and failed to get to their kick. Fremantle had a number of repeat sets on the Lions goal line but the team dug deep and held the Roosters out.
The Lions lost full back Harry Debique to concussion mid way through the first half when he was hit with a nasty shoulder charge. Harry did not return from this heavy knock and the team was one short on the bench for the rest of the game.
Although Fremantle were winning the territorial battle, the scoreboard didn’t reflect this and when interchange Dean Shepherd came on at the 30 minute there was still no score. Shepherd fixed this soon after, burrowing over from dummy half – the team rewarded for their earlier defensive efforts. Eddie Proudler converted the try to have the Lions up 6-0 with seven minutes to go in the first half.
Ill-discipline by the Lions in the final minutes of the half gave the Roosters one last chance to score and their fullback made the most of this, scoring a good individual try despite a last ditch effort from winger TK who came off his wing strongly and made good contact to almost shut the play down. Half-time score 6-6.
Mark Porges brought the game to life ten minutes into the first half when he made a clean break through the Roosters defense before committing the fullback and finding Jon Phipps who had positioned himself well back on the inside. Phippsy scored under the posts, giving the Lions a 12-6 lead.
The Lions increased their lead shortly after when they wisely elected to take the shot at goal after a Fremantle infringement. Mark Porges kicked the penalty goal, bringing up a handy eight point margin mid-way through the second half.
South Perth maintained this lead in the ensuing minutes with willing defense again denying Fremantle the points they needed to get back into the match.
Second Rower Mike Gray sealed the victory for the Lions when he delivered a neat cut-out pass for Eddie Proudler to score in the corner. It was a great ball from Gray and one that any half-back would of been proud of.
Coach Justin Nixon spoke of his teams’ great defense, believing it won them the game against very good opposition. He was impressed with the physicality of the game considering the amount of players involved (from both sides) in the representative game on ANZAC day. Special mention was given to his forward pack that played strongly and defended well all day and to the fitness of his squad who have trained hard under conditioner (and team centre) Hayden Fisher.
In other games, our Under 18’s won 30-18, maintaining their unblemished record. In the Women’s League Tag South Perth had a 10-10 draw, with (you guessed it) Janey Mackey taking out best player award yet again. The Reserve grade boys held off a late surge from Fremantle and won 25-16. Special mention to Daniel “Mat Dunning” Manning who kicked a field goal to bring up a 1-0 lead in the first half - the boys never looked back. Best player to Josh Parker.