Preseason Guide

Discussion in 'WARL' started by PerthRugbyLeague, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. PerthRugbyLeague

    PerthRugbyLeague Juniors

    Feb 14, 2012
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    Season Preview

    Hi All. Welcome to the 2014 Season of the WARL. This year is looking like one of the most competitive years in recent memory with all teams putting forward competitive first grade squads to challenge for the title. Lets take a look at the teams.

    Fremantle Roosters

    Some believe that last year was the year of the Rooster, but again they fell at the last hurdle. Will this be the year of the Rooster?
    Fremantle have done some great recruitment, beefing up their forward pack with notable front rower Wellington Tulia. Also returningis Fremantle’s prodigal son Delane Edwards, who spent a year playing over east.

    Strength– Forwards - Fremantle take pride in having a strong forward pack with quick hookers in and around the ruck. James Aspen, who played in the WA State team last year, is dangerous in and around the ruck for Fremantle. Teams will need to slow the Roosters play the ball down and control the ruck to get close to them this year.

    Trial Form – Win against Rockingham, 44 to 22. This game was well over at halftime, with Fremantle winning 32-0. Rockingham came back in the 2nd half, but Fremantle were trying new things after the break with the game in the bag.

    Prediction - After falling short the last couple of years, they will be hot favourites to take the Title. Expected Finish – 1st

    Joondalup Giants

    Perennial battlers Joondalup have big expectations for 2014. After a 2013 season, which saw their first grade side decimated by injury, they look with new hope to the season.
    With new signings, including a new halves pairing, and the added experience of the youngsters from last year, they will rate themselves a chance of cracking the semi finals.

    Strength–Quick Start - Joondalup are notoriously fast starters in games. Their ability to get in front on the scoreboard, and compete in the first half has been the bane of many teams in previous years. On the flip side of that, they tend to drift in the second half and not compete for the full 80. They will look to change that trend this year.

    Trial Form – Win against North Beach, 22 – 6. This game was a good contest, with Joondalup up 10-0 at half time. North Beach came to life when they had players in the sin-bin and scored their only points with 11 men on the field.

    Prediction – Will push for a finals spot with their best 17 available every week but see them just falling short. Expected Finish – 5th

    Kalamunda Bulldogs

    Surprising world-beaters 2 years ago, they had a wake up call last season as they became the competitions whipping boys. The Bulldogs will be looking for a fresh start.
    The most notable recruit for the Bulldogs is coach Frank Ah Kuoi, who will look to add a hard edge to their defence, which has been lacking over the last 5 years.

    Strength – Point Scoring - While their defence has been a bit to be desired, the Kalamunda Bulldogs have never had problems scoring points. Looking back on the last few years they tend to score over 20 points in most games, but can’t defend their leads. With strike power everywhere, watching the bulldogs is never dull.

    Trial Form – Loss against Willagee – 44 to 32. Loss against South Perth – 28 to 18. In both games Kalamunda were chances to win until late in the piece. Some good youngsters coming through, there will be some big decisions to be made

    Prediction– While they will be better than previous years, they still lack a bit of class and will struggle to win the grinding games. Expected Finish – 7th

    North Beach Sea Eagles

    The Defending Premiers come into this year under the radar. Their experienced spine of Doeg, Phillis and Ketsel have all retired, and they will struggle to fill the void.
    They will look to the leadership of Sheehan, Dickson and Taylor to steer the ship in their new era. As well as the recruitment of some new grunts up front, it will be a new look North Beach team challenging for the title this year.

    Strength – Edge/Width Attack - North beach are very dangerous out wide, especially on their right edge. With Godeke chiming in from the back, watch the width they get during their sets as they look to stretch teams out from almost everywhere on the paddock. Blindside plays and width of the field movements are a dangerous part of their arsenal.

    Trial Form – Loss against South Perth – 36 to 6. Loss against Joondalup – 22 – 6. In both games North Beach trialed alot of different combinations, but were largely outplayed by both teams. Although they should have some players to come back into their side, it is the general feeling they won’t be the force they have been.

    Prediction – While their trial form has been unimpressive, it would take a brave person to write the Sea Eagles off completely.Expected Finish – 4th

    Rockingham Sharks

    Rockingham have been a danger side over the last few years, but appear to have lost a bit of personnel this season. With a few of their players sprinkled over other clubs, look for the leadership of bookend Blake Nicholls to steer them around.
    They missed the finals by a whisker last year, and look like they will be around about the same place this year.
    With their third first grade coach in 3 years, expect this year to be a rebuilding phase for the Sharks.

    Strength – 80mins – Rockingham is one of those teams that do not go away in games. Their ability to constantly stay in the game, and come back from deficits has been a major part of their game over the last few years. With no nonsense forwards Nicholls and Duntaine Puna in their ranks, they get on with the job no matter what the score. Watch for youngsters such as Keelyn Tuuta-Edwards, WA Pirates Captain, to make an impact in first grade at some stage.

    Trial Form – Loss to Fremantle - 44 to 22. Loss to Willagee – 46 to 8. Unimpressive in both trials, the Sharks were probably unlucky to face two of the most destructive teams in their preseason. With better second halves in both games, they will hope not to give teams big head starts all year.

    Prediction – While expected to push teams, the Sharks don’t look too likely to cause ripples this year. Expected Finish – 6th

    South Perth Lions

    South Perth have been the dominant side over the last 10 years, but have not made the grand final the last 2 years. For a side as accustomed to winning as South Perth is, this is considered a failure. Incoming WA Coach, Justin “Barney” Nixon will be looking to change this.
    With returning young gun Eddie Proudler and captain Isaac Thomas looking for another championship, they will be tough to beat.

    Strength – Halves – If premierships are won with a good spine, then South Perth are in the box seat. The Lions are loaded with halves options this year, with Proudler, Thomas, Kelly and Porges all first grade halves options. With Timlin in as a hooker option, they will be tough to beat, and their coach will have some tough decisions to make. The Lions also have a handy forward pack, with Ken Allen runner up Joss Boyton leading the charge.

    Trial Form – Win against North Beach – 36 to 6. Win against Kalamunda 28 – 18. South Perth have been impressive in pre-season, putting North Beach to the sword, and although not playing their best, not letting the Bulldogs back in the game.

    Prediction – A few years without success behind them, South Perth are close behind Fremantle in favoritism for the title. Expected Finish – 2nd

    Willagee Bears

    The most dangerous side in the competition, the Willagee Bears have come a long way in a few short years. Not long ago, they were an after thought, an easy win for the rest of the competition. Now, with a reserve grade title and Ken Allen winner Rhys Peakman in their pocket, they have their eyes on the bigger prize.
    Consistency wins premierships though, and this appears to be an issue for the talented but erratic side, who will have to work on showing up week in, week out to take out this competition.

    Strength – Flair/Unpredictability – Last year Willagee were the masters of scoring from anywhere and everywhere. Their New Zealand Warriors style of play is impressive to watch by all league lovers, with offloads and attacking kicks coming all over the field. Along with their aggressive defence and monster forward pack, when the ball bounces their way they will be near impossible to defeat.

    Trial Form – Win against Kalamunda, 44 to 32. Win against Rockingham, 46 to 8. Racking up two big scores in their trial matches will have their supporters hoping for big things this year. They have looked dangerous with the ball and will look to take that into their season form.

    Prediction - With the ability to beat the best teams, but also lose the games they should win, consistency will be key for the Bears. Expected Finish – 3rd

  2. Goldthorpe

    Goldthorpe Bench

    Aug 14, 2003
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    Had a bit of a chuckle!
  3. PerthRugbyLeague

    PerthRugbyLeague Juniors

    Feb 14, 2012
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    Ended up being pretty bang on I think

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