Fremantle Roosters continued where they left off in 2022 with a 40-24 win over the North Beach Sea Eagles at Treeby Oval one Saturday as the NRLWA Fuel to Go and Play Premiership got under way.
With the score in favour of the Sea Eagles by just two points (18-16) at the break, the home side took advantage of an injury-hit Sea Eagles squad in the second half with their big pack dominating.
Captain Duane Butler and new addition Julian Wylie were outstanding through the middle, as player coach Delane Edwards orchestrated his backs.
Butler, who was one of seven players to score, said he was happy to get the points.
“Getting those first round jitters out of the way was important,” he said.
“We like to play through the middle but North Beach wanted to spread the ball so it was a great contest.
North Beach coach Phil Douche conceded it was tough trying to compete against a big Rooster’s pack.
“We had four forwards out with a variety of little injuries, so we knew we couldn’t match them up the middle, so we tried to go around them,” Douche said.
“But they are big side and we just gave them too much ball.”
At Larkhill Sportsplex, the Rockingham Sharks opened their campaign with a loss, going down 24-10 to South Perth Lions in a physical encounter that was all square until the final 12 minutes.
Centre Corbyn Daniels was the star of the show, scoring a two late tries to finish the game with a hat-trick as the Lions grabbed the points.
“It was tough out there and in the second half we knew we had to match it with them,” Lions assistant coach Phil Brown said.
“Corbyn’s a class act, he was a club junior before playing in Queensland, but we’re glad he’s back with us.
“I think we looked a little more match fit them and that proved the winner, but once they (Rockingham) get up to speed, they will be a danger.”