Round 1 saw a brilliant start to the season with a lot of close scores and a couple of upsets that is surely going to set the tone for the rest of the year.
Southern Lions managed to get over the top of Wanneroo in a heart stopper while Wests Scarborough knocked off defending champions Cottesloe among other classic matches in the round.
Who stood out to start the season?
1. Paul Nu’u - Coastal Cavaliers
Always formidable the Cavaliers front row came out firing in their victory over ARKs. The team stood out in the scrum led by number one Paul Nu’u
2. Dante Tatafu - Perth Bayswater
Young Fortescue Academy player Dante Tatafu was electric on the weekend for the Numbats. His hard running and agility made him a step ahead of the Curtin Uni Goats giving him the ability to link up with a number of teammates leading to tries.
3. Chris Kidd - Wests Scarborough
Wests continued to fill the gaps this year adding another formidable front-rower in the acquisition of Chris Kidd. Kidd was solid all round over the weekend, scrummed well and had formidable defence.
4. Zantanamaud Pomare-Tutagalevao – Nedlands
Another Fortescue Academy player to make this list Zantanamaud Pomare fronted up well against a physical Kalamunda side. Carrying well Pomare was able to score a brilliant try in the first half of his match carrying three Kalamunda players over the line.
5. Henare Houkamau – Kalamunda
On the other side of the ledger line Kalamunda big man Henare Houkamau also performed at the top of his game. The number five also carried extremely well finding space for his opponents to get over the gain line.
6. Ethan Cayless - Coastal Cavaliers
Returning to his home club down south Ethan Cayless showed out in his first match back at the Coastal Cavaliers. The flanker turned over the ball well and gave the Cav’s momentum throughout the match which was a key decider in the close victory.
7. Connor O’Sullivan – UWA
P.G. 2020 was a mainstay in the team of the week selection last year and has gotten himself onto a strong start this season. Putting on show what made him player of the competition last year the mobile backrower plays with the speed and mobility of a sevens star. He found the chalk early last weekend coming off the back of a good run from brother Rory.
8. Issac Meo - Wests Scarborough
In arguably the most anticipated match of the round it was Wests Scarborough who reigned supreme over the defending champions Cottesloe and it wasn’t without the abrasive play from Isaac Meo. His only try of the match came in the first ten minutes as he crossed the line off the back of a flawless Wests Scarborough scrum.
9. Nathan Roberts – Nedlands
It was a big day for Nedlands halfback Nathan Roberts with everyone expecting a huge showing out from the veteran. Playing in his 176th Premier match Roberts dictated the pace well and was able to find his teammates in space. He topped off his game well as he now equals a Nedlands record with the most Premier caps in the club history.
10. Joel Lamatoa - Southern Lions
Coming out as underdogs in the first round of the season the Southern Lions surprised all with an extremely strong win over Wanneroo. Moving from fullback to first receiver mid-way through the match proved dividends for the Lions as Lamatoa controlled the match well in clutch moments. He directed his backline well lending his team to an expansive, high-rate game.
11. Aidan Shortall – UWA
Even though he wore a number 15 on his back we couldn’t ignore the incredible performance from UWA’s Aidan Shortall. Slotting in at the wing for many parts of the game Shortall was a try-scoring machine for UWA bagging himself a hattrick.
12. Leighton Short – Palmyra
Now with the Skipper title for the Palms, Leighton Short led from the front last weekend in their 30-point thrashing of Associates. Despite only scoring one try in the first half it seemed the captain had spiders on him as he broke the defensive line every chance he got using his signature running style.
13. Kade Pearce – Wests Scarborough
Right from the kick-off new Wests Scarborough recruit Kade Pearce was terrorizing the Cottesloe defence taking every chance he got. Pearce was a game changer on the offensive side of the ball and was able to make breaks at will against a Cottesloe side struck by injuries. A late try from Pearce turned the momentum into Wests favour giving them ability to seal the win moments later.
14. Adam Marshall – Palmyra
Palmyra winger Adam Marshall was put under contestant pressure in his clash getting under nearly every Associates clearance right throughout the game. However this would prove a mistake for Soaks as Marshall’s counter attack was certainty devastating using the boot the give his side great field position on the run making him an obvious selection for this week.
15. Manihera Eden – Palmyra
It’s no surprise three Palmyra backs were a selection in the first team of the week linking up to score more than 50 points down at Allen Park. One key player in this formidable backline is fullback Manihera Eden who is looking to back up an extremely impressive season he had in 2020. Entering the line Eden had his opponents on their heels and created that extra option for Pally to find space and get over the line.