Match of the Round
Associates v Palmyra - 3:30pm, Allen Park, Swanbourne.
Two semi-finalists will go head-to-head in the first Match of the Round for the 2021 season as Associates will host Palmyra down at the Boneyard.
Associates have fielded a fairly different looking side that the one that left UWA Sports Park as runners up in the competition last year.
The club have graduated a number of Under 21s from last year’s highly successful Colts side including former club juniors Callum Jacobson and Jack Knobel who will both get their premier grade debut.
Palmyra however have stuck to their guns and have added minimal players to their 2021 line up.
Long-time club man Leighton Short has been awarded the skippers badge this year as he solidifies his position at outside centre in Jack Lloyd’s backline.
Another interesting addition to the team is flanker Sebastian Thogorson who has jumped across the Canning River from Curtin Uni to join the Palms.
Thogorson has a breakout year with the Goats after moving to Western Australia from Denmark, it’ll be interesting to see what he can produce in this ever-improving Palmyra side.
Southern Lions v Wanneroo – 3:30pm, Success Sportsplex, Success.
Southern Lions will look to get their season off to a good start under new coach Ben MacDougall.
The former Scotland international signed on as head coach late last year and has been working hard to prepare the Lions towards a competitive 2021 season in the premier grade.
After returning to his home club last season flanker Brody Eastwood has risen through the ranks down at Success being named captain for this season.
On the other side of the ledger Wanneroo is looking to run it back again this year fielding a very similar side to last season.
One major addition to Ian Maritage’s side is fullback Jeremey Wallace. Converting over from Rugby League, Wallace was named player of the season by NRLWA in 2019.
Adding him to the mix alongside the Callan brothers who have come in from the Western Force and the Fortescue Academy respectively don’t be surprised if Wanneroo are an early bolter this season.
Cottesloe vs Wests Scarborough – 3:30pm, Harvey Field, Cottesloe
The defending champions Cottesloe definitely don’t have it easy to start the season taking on Wests Scarborough back at the picturesque Harvey Field.
After losing top point scorer Caleb Young to UWA it seems Cottesloe have worked swiftly to fill the Fly-Half position.
Last year’s Southern Lions starting five eighth Kyle Fell will line up for the Gulls this year starting on the inside shoulder of Captain Tobias Hoskins who has moved back into the centres to start the season.
After a huge amount of hard work through both pre-season and off-season the Boars look like they have come back red hot to get this season underway.
Building on their young core from last year, Wests have added some key pieces making them an early powerhouse even before the start of the season.
Their work on their youth last year seems to have paid dividends as the side seems to have an extreme amount of depth all capable of stepping up to the premier grade level in 2021.
However it’s hard to know the extent of the strength Wests possess until we see them step onto the field this Saturday.
Curtin Uni vs Perth Bayswater – 3:30pm, Edinburgh Oval, Bentley
After winning their first ever match in the Premier Grade last season the Goats will be looking to build on the momentum they achieved from the backend of last season and move up the Fortescue Premier Grade ladder in 2021.
There are some new names at Curtin that will lace up their boots alongside their core players which include Robbie Fulton, Adam Ansbro and the Chadwick brothers.
They’ll be facing a very fresh Perth Bayswater side to start this season that are now led by new head coach and former Western Force star Johan Bardoul.
Fortescue Academy player Dante Tatafu will be starting in the Fortescue Premier Grade for his second straight year and is touted by many to be a dark horse in the P.G. Hampshire race.
Another interesting name to pop up in the Numbat’s team list is Othaniel (Danny) Vaevae who has returned from a year of study in New Zealand.
Vaevae has proved in the past he is an extremely dynamic player and fills a much-needed hole for Bardoul’s side making him a player to keep an eye on.
Nedlands vs Kalamunda – 3:30pm, Sir Charles Court Reserve, Nedlands
In another very extremely anticipated match, a new look Nedlands side will be facing Kalamunda in a game that will be nothing short of physical.
Nedlands have done a lot of work over the off-season and added an impressive list of names to bolster their already strong core.
Front rower Tukiterangi Raimona returns after a year away from WA while some of the Fortescue Premier Grades biggest names such as Sheldon Tarawa and Nick Hyde have also opted to play down at the Foreshore in 2021.
Alongside these new additions Nedlands have still opted to play their long-time stalwarts including club legend Nate Roberts who will start in his 176th premier grade game equalling the clubs record with Trefor Thomas for most capped first grade matches.
However Kalamunda shouldn’t be taken lightly in 2021 offering up some of the best talent the club has to offer.
2020’s Colt of the Year Malakai Tuipolotu will pack down in the front row for the Bulls in round one while hard runners Auega Seumanutafa and Kitione Nairube will also pack a punch for this side.
With so much experience on both sides this match is certainly not one to miss.
UWA vs Joondalup Brothers – 3:30pm, McGillivray Oval, Mount Claremont
It’ll be interesting to see how both these teams have progressed over the off-season facing each other in a Championship Division grand-final rematch.
It’ll be a grudge match for halfback Brendan Vorster who will face his old side in the first round this year, moving from Joondalup to UWA over the off-season.
Uni Head Coach Alex Stajka has held is cards very close to his chest this year meaning any side could run out onto the library this weekend.
Joondalup who had lost some key positions this year have worked hard in the background and was able to plug the gap late in the pre-season.
Western Force’s Victor Harris will return to his home club and start at Loose Head Prop this weekend while newcomer Thomas Latu will wear the number eight jersey coming over from Sydney Uni in the Shute Shield competition.
ARKs vs Coastal Cavaliers – 3:30pm, Harrisdale Pavilion, Harrisdale.
For the final match of the competition, we will head south as ARKs host the Coastal Cavaliers.
One player to watch on the Cavs will be local boy Ethan Cayless.
After making the trip up to play for Cottesloe over the last couple of years, Cayless has returned to his home club looking to make an impact.
Showing out for Cottesloe in both the reserve and premier sides Cayless especially left his mark in last year’s reserve grade grand-final playing a key role in the late victory for the Gulls.
It’ll be interesting to see what he can achieve playing in the blue and purple.
The hosts ARKs have also kept very quiet over the off-season keeping all of their new additions under wraps.
After losing captain Russel Burges back to Kalamunda this year it’ll be exciting to see who is next to step up and take the leadership role for the side.
ARKs - TBC
1.Jayden Lynch, 2. John Sauni 3. Siosifa Amone, 4. Hemi Davies, 5. Ryan O'Keeffe, 6. Jack Knobel, 7. Jesse Elliott, 8. Luke Bowles, 9. Lachlan Phillips (C), 10. Thomas Ingram, 11. Matthew Moore, 12. Taulogo Lalaga, 13. Callum Jacobsen, 14. Joshua Pretorius, 15. Ben Moran
Coastal Cavaliers - TBC
1. Gerard Faitotoa, 2. Dean Kingi, 3. Kaisa Reidy, 4. Sasha Holloway, 5. Hugh Huppatz (VC), 6. Zane Herrick, 7. Levi Fargnoli, 8. Robin O.Sullivan (VC), 9. Scott Nichol, 10. Kyle Fell, 11. TBC 12. Tobias Hoskins (C), 13. Panashe Kamhara, 14. Romulusi Masi, 15. Benjamin Meredith
1. Matt Stevens, 2. Sam Faoagali, 3. Falaniko Faoagali, 4. Austin Connelly, 5. Adam Amsbro, 6. Tom Chadwick, 7. Jordan Grace, 8. Vau Lagaaia, 9. Liam Becker, 10. Lapu Palelei 11. Josh Wheeler, 12. Robbie Fulton (C), 13. Hamish Mckay, 14. Brandon Davis, 15. Nick Chadwick
1. Victor Harris, 2. Tiago Valentim, 3. Jean-Pierre Mostert, 4. Glen Jessup, 5. Matthew Holland, 6. Max Wood, 7. Ryan King (VC), 8. Thomas Latu, 9. Joshua Wells (C), 10. William Harrington, 11. Daniel James, 12. Taane-nui Phillipps, 13. George Peters, 15. Bradyn Campbell
1. Kieran Hogg, 2. Norman Tapara, 3. Malakai Tuipolotu 4. Caleb Marr, 5. Henare Houkamau 6. Sila Tupou, 7. Linton Horsburgh, 8. Auega Seumanutafa 9. Jack Weir (C), 10. Iziah Malcolm-Heke 11. Ruawharo, 12. Natu Apineru 13. Kitione Nairube 14. Evan Jordan 15. Joseph Simpkins
1. Tukiterangi Raimona, 2. Nick Hyde (vc), 3. Sam Kupa-Tinielu, 4. Zantanamaud Pomare-Tutagalevao, 5. Ryan Townsend , 6. Aidan Laxton , 7. Aidan Lee, 8. Blake Phillips, 9. Nathan Roberts, 10. Sheldon Tarawa, 11. Finn O’Callaghan, 12. Jackson Neilson, 13. Justin Zeitsman., 14. Callum Thomas, 15. Kauri Cudd
Tuhoe Mahaki, 2. Michael Tui, 3. Vidar Tupou, 4. Hendrik De Wet, 5. Andrew Sanders, 6. Liam Gourlie (VC), 7. Sebastian Thogersen, 8. Dylan Cunningham, 9. Reece Anapu, 10. Fionn Mccabe, 11. Adam Marshall (VC), 12. Leighton Short (C), 13. Marcus Arrindell, 14. Christopher Miller, 15. Manihera Eden
Benjamin Buist, 2. Dante Tatafu, 3. Max Veech, 4. Kaleb Barr, 5. Samuel Thornley, 6. Tyson Sadd, 7. Keisuke Yagishita, 8. Jacob Buist (C), 9. Joshua Stops, 10. Othaniel Vaevae, 11. Santana Payne, 12. Samuel Beard, 13. Otumaka Mausia (VC), 14. Simon Hrbek, 15. Nathan Hardwick
1.Victor Yong, 2. Aaron Baker, 3. Rayden Leef, 4. Shaquille Smith, 5. Sese Malai Tuifagalele, 6. Brody Eastwood (C), 7. William Burroughs, 8. Tashir Newsome-Smith, 9. Mitchell Kingsmill, 10. Liam Mckinnon, 11. Kameli Naisiroki, 12. Kristian Williams, 13. Jonah Placid, 14. Meli Naborisi, 15. Joel Lamatoa
UWA – TBC
1. Marcus Cutler, 2. Scott Cornell, 3. Andre Roux, 4. Brad Campbell, 5. Luke Callan, 6. Andrew King (C), 7. Ollie Callan, 8. Mark Cornell, 9. Jared Deacon, 10. Robert Stortz, 11. Skinny Grey, 12. Porikapa Tukaki, 13. Rick Le Roux 14. Justin Talemaira, 15. Jeremy Wallace.
Wests Scarborough – TBC