Fortescue Premier Grade - Round 3 Preview

Fri, May 3, 2024, 2:00 AM
by RugbyWA Media

As the Fortescue Premier Grade enters the third round, the Junior season will kick off for 2024, with carnivals across the metro region. 

Palmyra has started their 2024 season off strong, with two wins, currently placing them third on the ladder. After a 39-25 victory of the Southern Lions, they had a tight win over Wanneroo, coming off on top, 15-17, at Wanneroo’s home. Tries for Palmyra were scored by Sabastian Siataga (24’) and Jack Grooby (31’), who also completed 2 conversions (24’, 31’) and 1 penalty goal (72’).  Wanneroo’s try-scorers were AJ Preketes and Cormac Marrey, with 1 conversion and 1 penalty goal taken by Hayden Whitemee-Lloyd. 

In Round 1 of the Fortescue Premier Grade, Nedlands defeated Perth Bayswater in a convincing 43-19 finish at Sir Charles Court Reserve, which was followed up by a Round 2 Bye. They’ll be meeting Palmyra for the first time this season at Tompkins Park. 

“Facing last season's Premiers early in the 2024 season definitely adds an extra layer of excitement and anticipation to the matches ahead,” Nedlands Head Coach, Mike Panoho said. 

“It's an opportunity to gauge our team's progress and readiness against the best in the league right from the start. While it presents a challenge, it also serves as motivation to strive for excellence and set the tone for the rest of the season.” 

“We're embracing the challenge and looking forward to showcasing our strengths on the field.” 

Coming off their first win of the season, Nedlands are hoping to keep the momentum going as the season progresses. 

“It was a positive start against Perth Bayswater. It's always encouraging to begin the season with such a strong performance, and it speaks volumes about the dedication and hard work that the guys have put in. I believe we're shaping up quite well for the rest of the season.  

“The victory has boosted our confidence and morale, but we also understand that it's just the beginning. We're focused on maintaining our momentum, improving with each match, and ultimately striving for success throughout the entire season.” 

The challenge of Palmyra remains, though, as they prepare to face off against the reigning Premiers this weekend. The last time the two teams met was in July 2023, where Nedlands suffered a 65-5 loss to the reigning Premiers. 

“I'm eagerly anticipating the opportunity for our team to showcase the hard work and dedication we've put into our training leading up to this round.” Panoho said. 

“There's a real sense of excitement among the players as we prepare to take the field once again. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing the camaraderie and teamwork flourish on the pitch, as well as witnessing the individual talents of each player shine.” 

“It's moments like these that remind us why we love the game and inspire us to give our all every time we step onto the field. Overall, I'm filled with optimism and anticipation for what this round will bring, and I can't wait to see our team's efforts translate into another memorable performance.” 

“This round will help the team build upon the positive aspects of our game from the previous round while also addressing any of the areas that need improvement. Specifically, I'm looking for cohesive teamwork, disciplined defense, and effective execution of our game plan.” 

“It's crucial that we maintain our focus and intensity throughout the entire match, regardless of the opposition. Ultimately, I'm hoping to see the team demonstrate resilience, determination, and a relentless drive to succeed.” 

Nedlands will face Palmyra at Tompkins Park at 3:30PM on Saturday, May 4. The match will be streamed live on Stan. 


The Junior season is set to kick off this weekend, with three carnivals occurring at Joondalup, UWA and Mandurah.  

Clubs will play in their zones in a round robin for the U6 to U9 age grades, while the U10 to U18s will be starting their home and away fixtures. 

Down in Mandurah, junior clubs will be battling it out for their annual Sullivan Cooper Shield. The Shield was formed with the idea of fostering a rivalry between ARKs and Mandurah, after both Neil Cooper and Terry Sullivan movd from ARKs to Mandurah, with both men joining Mandurah Pirates after playing and working at ARKs in the 1980s and 1990s.  

Now, the Shield is affectionately known as the Traitor’s Shield. 

“I believe that name came to the forefront when ARKs won a game at the old Madora Bay ground, but the shield wasn’t handed over by Mandurah as they didn’t believe the shield was “up for grabs” in that particular game,” Mandurah Pirates’ Vice President, Quintin Coetzee shared. 

Kicking off the season this Saturday with a carnival at home, the Mandurah Pirates are looking forward to another season of junior rugby. 

“It is Saturday, it is the crack of dawn, there is the smell of freshly cut grass, and a sea of eager faces ready to have fun. That's the scene we're eagerly awaiting as we gear up for a day filled with fun and rugby action,” Coetzee said. 

“We're excited to see the kids light up with joy as they participate. But more than just the game, we're thrilled about the opportunity to teach life lessons through sport. Rugby is about teamwork, resilience, and the sheer thrill of giving it your all alongside your mates.” 

Heading into the season, Coetzee acknowledged the hard work and dedication not just of up-and-coming rugby superstars, but also that of the rugby community workforce, made up of volunteers and those dedicated to the sport. 

 “Let’s all remember – It is our kids out there, it is still just a game, our coaches are volunteers, and referees are just human. Let’s lead by example.” 

Junior fixtures are now available through RugbyWA’s website. Junior girls are set to kick off their Friday night competition at 6:00PM at Kalamuda, with both Under 15 and Under 17 girls. Saturday junior games will play this weekend from 8:00AM. 


The Fortescue Premier Grade is set to kick off at 3:30PM.  


Fortescue Premier Grade Round 3 Fixtures 

Southern Lions v. Wests Scarborough @ Success Regional Sporting Facility *Streaming live on Rugby Xplorer 

UWA v. Perth Bayswater @ McGillivray Oval 

Palmyra v. Nedlands @ Tompkins Park *Streaming live on Stan 

Wanneroo v. Cottesloe @ Kingsway Sports Complex 

Joondalup Brothers v. Associates @ HBF Arena 

Kalamunda - BYE