Fortescue Premier Grade Team of the Week: Round 1

· WA Premier
by Rugby WA Media

Big wins this week from Cottesloe, Associates and Palmyra Rugby Club, who topped the list in round one of the Fortescue Premier Grade

1. Russel Egan - Coastal Cavaliers

Despite a nail-biting loss to Nedlands, Coastal Cavaliers Russell Egan put on a show down at Oakmont Reserve showing a strong physical presence and high work rate all around the park. 

2. Nicholas Hyde - Associates

Debuting for Associates Rugby Club, Nick Hyde impressed off the rolling maul bagging himself one try early in the hit-out, his strong ball carry into contact proved in valuable for 'Soaks' gaining huge go forward.

3. Reginald Churchward - Cottesloe 

Formally at Kalamunda Rugby Club, Churchward started his first game in a baby blue jersey this season impressing many with his dominant presence all around the park in round one. However it was Churchward's defense that was a standout in the match denying any attempt of a Wanneroo attack all afternoon, his first up tackles were devastating to say the least. 

4. Liam Van Der Heyden - Coastal Cavaliers

A Rockingham native, Van Der Heyden has really come into his own over the last couple of seasons for the Cavs, returning from injury he dominated from the second row spot in round of picking up a lot of the leg work around the field to give his team momentum. 

5. Maikali Rabaro - Joondalup Brothers 

A long time member at Joondalup, Rabaro will be looking to have a break-out year with his club, a regular to Premier Grade rugby the young lock sharpened his team's offence with some heavy ball running managing a few strong  line-breaks throughout the afternoon.  

6. Corey Thomas - UWA

Having previously played for Japanese Super Rugby side the Sunwolves, UWA's Corey is no stranger to high level rugby. Taking a leadership role at UWA, Thomas was one of the main instigator of Uni's come back win over Wests Scarborough in round one. 

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7. Cohen Masson - Cottesloe

After winning the Premier Grade in 2019, Masson managed to gain some time with both the Western Force and Perth Gold in both NRC competition prior to the completion of the year. Looking to return to representative rugby, Masson will have a point to prove this year and his work around the ruck last Saturday definitely proved it. 

 8. Auega Seumanutafa - Kalamunda

The pure size and strength of Kalamunda number eight Seumanutafa is enough to strike fear into any premier grade player and his performance against Perth Bayswater proved 2020 is going to be no different to that fact. The 2018 Premier Grade finalist was devastating with ball in hand over the weekend crashing through Perth Bayswater's defence, his loyalty to the Bulls has proved invaluable over the past years and will be a key player to watch in 2020. 

9. Jack Weir - Kalamunda

Jack Weir has been one of the most consistent players in the Premier Grade over the last couple of years for Kalamunda, the young captain thrived early last season as well, gaining himself the first player of the month for 2019 and the way he's going he could be set to repeat that honour. Weir is one to watch as he strives to return to the Perth Gold side being one a standout in last year's NRC II championship win.  

10. Caleb Young - Cottesloe 

Another newbie for the 'Gulls' Young proved instrumental over the weekend in Cottesloe's win over Wanneroo. His ability to set and lead the defensive line was first class and his ability to organise his new backline was second to none. 

11. Usaia Ralulu - Kalamunda 

Last year's Premier Grade top try scorer Usaia Ralulu didn't go without his fair share of points again to start the season scoring two tries that proved pivotal in the round one draw against Perth Bayswater. Yet again his speed is unmatched in the competition and it won't be a surprise if he goes back to back this year with the individual award. 

12. Louie David - Wests Scarborough

It's seems Wests centre Louie David can't keep himself out of RugbyWA's highlight reel year on year and 2020 seems no different. Again David's ability to devastate with ball in hand proved valuable on the offensive end for Wests while his ability to turn the ball over with the pilfer made him just as dangerous on the defensive end. David's consistency on both ends of the ball has been a key factor to Wests Scarborough's success over a number of years, if things fall his way don't be surprised if he's one of the lead runners for the 2020 P.G. Hampshire award.    
13. Marcus Arrindell - Palmyra

One of the most promising players in WA rugby, Palmyra's Marcus Arrindell is looking to back up his breakout season he had in 2019. The former RugbyWA U19s player got off to a flying start for Pally in round one, his ability to create space for his teammates continues to improve placing him as a crucial player in the Palmyra lineup.  
14. Sam Healy - Associates 

New to Associates Rugby Club, Sam Healy got his Premier Grade career off to a flying start scoring two tries up against ARKs. What stood out for Healy was his ability to break nearly all of his first up tackles and his distance gained after contact always kept 'Soaks' on the front foot. 
15. Manihera Eden - Palmyra

Returning from a stint playing Rugby League former Perth Spirit player Manihera Eden has already proved his worth back in a Palmyra jersey for 2020. His footwork and speed on attack was electric against the Curtin defense allowing him to run riot all day down at Edinburgh Oval. 

Catch the replay of the Fortescue Premier Grade every Sunday on NITV starting a 11:30am AWST