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The Giants Womens' LeagueTag team have taken out their maiden Premiership, defeating Fremantle Roosters 8-6 in a hard and closely fought battle at NIB Stadium.
This was the third consecutive Grand Final for the girls, and it was indeed a case of 'third time lucky'. Last year's devastating 2 point loss to Kalamunda Bulldogs is now a distant memory as the same boot of Amber Spence who's penalty goal to level the score on the final siren in 2010 was also the same boot that kicked a second half penalty goal in 2011 that proved the difference.
Player Of The Match, Amber Spence, opened the scoring in the first half with Joondalup's one and only try for the game, 15m to the left of the posts. The conversion -also from Spence- took the Giants to a 6-nil lead, which they held onto at the half-time break. The second half was a nerve-wracking one. Dropped ball and the occasional penalty kept Fremantle in the game. When the Roosters scored in the corner and converted from the sideline, the Joondalup girls looked a lot less comfortable.
Coming into the final minutes of the game, when Joondalup held onto an 8-6 lead courtesy of Amber's penalty goal, Fremantle had the opportunity to level the game at 8-all with a relatively easy attempt for penalty goal. Whether it was the pressure situation or fate, the attempt was pushed across the face of goal and missed. Fremantle regained possession and had a final set of six within 10m of the Giants' line. Some incredible defence from the brave Arndrea Abraham -who played the game despite feeling pretty sick that day- kept Fremantle from scoring. The Giants held on, the final siren went, and the Joondalup Giants had won the 2011 Womens' LeagueTag Premiership. And didn't they celebrate?!
The Joondalup Giants took on Willagee Bears in the Under 18's Grand Final, and were never headed. Taking nothing away from the Bears, but the Joondalup fellas started the game on fire, finished it on fire, and took the game 42-6.
The Giants' defence was strong all day, only letting in one try, and their attack was slick. There were a handful of players from last season's Under 16's team who lost to Willagee in the 2010 Grand Final, so Saturday was the get-square against the same club. Man Of The Match was Giants captain Ben Whitley, who proudly accepted his award and the Premiership cup off Australian, NSW, Illawarra, St.George-Illawarra, and Cronulla NRL legend, Trent Barrett.
The long-term future of the Giants looks very secure with these fellas coming through to the Seniors teams in the coming years. Enjoy your win, boys!
The Giants Juniors on Sunday had less success than the Seniors the day before. The Giants had three teams - Under 11's, Under 13's, and Under 16's- playing Grand Finals at South Perth's George Burnett Park. Unfortunately, all three teams went down to their opposition, but all should be proud of their efforts to make the Grand Final regardless of the results.
The Under 11's narrowly lost to North Beach Sea Eagles, the Under 13's were comprehensively defeated by Rockingham Sharks, and the Under 16's had the opportunity to snatch victory, however a late surge by South Perth saw them victors.
Commiserations to the Giants junior teams, celebrations to the Giants seniors teams.