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In a great day for Joondalup Rugby League, the Giants were successful in winning 50% of the Junior Premierships on offer – taking home the flag in the Girls, Under 12s and Under 14s and being very close runners up in the Under 16s.
This is an outstanding effort from all involved in our Club, and a great statement for the processes we have in place and the skill sets on show from the players.
The day started on a great note with our Girls Tag team producing a magnificent performance in avenging their first Semi Final defeat and winning the Grand Final over Rockingham by 24-16.
Faith Johnstone picked up 2 great runaway tries and Selina Mahu also scored a double, being on the end of a very slick backline all game. Jazz Pohutuhutu was judged player of the match for a great all round display.
Congratulations to Poata and all the Girls for a magnificent year.
Joondalup Gold 24 (T: Faith Johnstone 2, Selina Mahu 2; G: Michellie Pohutuhutu 4) Rockingham Blue 16
The Under 12s were the next Giants team on display, and they confirmed their undefeated season with a dominant 42-16 win over Rockingham.
The first half was very tight due mostly to a series of penalties awarded to Rockingham, and their field position converted into points with the Giants going in at half time leading only 18-16. However a dominant 24-0 second half where the boys were unstoppable had this great team on track for back to back premierships.
Payden Porter was outstanding and he was rightly awarded the player of the match based on his 3 magnificent tries and ferocious defence. Ian Mario also had a barnstorming match up front and he was well supported by Jayden Stephens, Jack Jones and Christian Smith.
An outstanding effort from one of the finest Junior sides we have seen. Congratulations to coach Darren Smith and his assistants Daryl Stephens and Kara Porter.
Joondalup Gold 42 (T: Payden Porter 3, Ian Mario 2, Jayden Stephens, Zantanamaud Pomare-Tutagalevao, Corry Tearoa G: Tawhai Pihama, Tamehana Rees, Taj Butler, Jayden, Corry) Rockingham Blue 16
The Under 14s then rolled onto the main stage and were up against the undefeated and impressive South Perth side.
The team got the early jump on South Perth with 2 quick tries and kept that distance over the course of the match to run out convincing winners by 34-20, and also go back to back with Premiership victories.
Up front props Tristan Schneider and Jacob Tana were outstanding, and they created space for the free running of Jean-Charl Smith, Trazan Rihia and Brad Sparrow to make sizeable metres. At the back Sam Defiddes continued his great year with a sensational performance and the linking work of the halves Noa Warner and Teo Thompson was superb.
Jean-Charl Smith was the deserving winner of the player of the match. Congratulations to the very talented players and the coaching staff of John Horrigan and Shannon Sadlier.
Joondalup 34 (T: Sam Defiddes, Amos Tarapu, Tristan Schneider, Jean-Charl Smith, Trazan Rihia, Lorenzo Mario G: Teo Thompson 3) South Perth 20.
And to round out the day our Under 16s were the hard luck story, having their chances to win but going down by 4 pts to a very well coached Willagee side by 22-18.
The boys were a little overawed by the occasion and started off very slowly, allowing the Willagee side to take command of the first half and forge a reasonable lead. However lead by super committed lightweight props Luke Cummins and Alexander Higginson, and slick work of backs Gus Marshall and Meshack Hira and lock Austen Higginson, the team came storming back in the second half to draw within 4 points of the lead.
A long period of attack on the Willagee tryline followed, and there were any number of opportunities to possible score the levelling try. However some terrific last ditch tackling by Willagee snuffed these raids out and the Bears held on to win.
This team have done our Club proud all season, climbing off the bottom of the ladder last year to be first into the Grand Final for this season. They have shown an amazing amount of dedication and commitment to the task and their rewards have been in the performances they have produced on the field. Whilst not taking home the spoils on this occasion, there is no doubt they will be back bigger and better in 2011.
Joondalup 18 (T: Austen Higginson 2, Meshack Hira G: Gus Marshall 3) Willagee 22.