The Rockingham Sharks caused an upset at South Perth in round three of the NRL WA Fuel to Go and Play Premiership on Saturday, coming away from George Burnett Park with a 26-14 win.
The Sharks welcomed back hooker Andrew Jeffery and back-rower Josh Bransby to record their second win of the season thanks to tries from fullback Quintin Fui, wingers Jezreel Kasuas and Hayden Wood, as well as a fourth from Jono Mato as skipper Keelyn Tuuta-Edwards kicked four goals and a late penalty to seal victory.
Fui was outstanding at the back for the Sharks, with coach Darren Shaw voting him his player of the day.
“He’s a tough kid, but this was an all-round solid performance, “Shaw said.
“Josh (Bransby) and AJ (Jeffery) returned, and they both played the full 80 minutes and although they jumped to an early lead, once we got into our rhythm, we pressured and forced them into errors that we capitalised on.
“We had a few out because of FIFO, so this was very pleasing.”
At North Beach, the Sea Eagles juggernaut rolled on with another superb defensive performance against Fremantle.
Keiran Tarrant and Kane Joyce-Vaughan scored for North Beach, who then withstood a Fremantle onslaught to keep them scoreless until the final minute when winger Te Toa Parkinson went over in the corner to record an 8-6 win.
“It was brutal out there,” coach Phil Douche said.
“We were very good in the first 20 minutes; then they came at us. But we stood firm, and I was very happy with our defence.
“To hold a team like Fremantle scoreless for 79 minutes is an outstanding achievement.
“But the Rockingham result at South Perth shows how tough this competition is going to be this year.”
At Ellenbrook, the Rabbitohs’ winless run continued as they went down 54-14 to Joondalup.
“We made too many errors in the first half,” coach John Hough admitted.
“At halftime, I asked for a response, and I got one as we scored early, but we have to improve – we can’t get away with so many errors at this level.”