Rockingham Sharks defeat South Perth Lions

Peter Rowe, SharksSound Telegraph
Andrew Jeffery celebrated his 100th senior game with an MVP performance.
Camera IconAndrew Jeffery celebrated his 100th senior game with an MVP performance. Credit: Phil Smith

Andrew Jeffery marked his 100th first-grade game for the Rockingham Sharks on Saturday with a man-of-the-match performance as the Sharks won a thriller of an arm wrestle 12-6 over rivals South Perth Lions.

In the opening round of the revamped NRLWA season Jeffery amassed 32 tackles in the first half before ending the game with a 50-tackle haul as the Sharks fought tooth and nail to preserve their narrow lead against a hungry Lions attack.

“AJ was just outstanding and our defence was second to none,” coach Peter Williams said.

“Going forward we were a bit clunky, but I’ve only been here three weeks so we knew that would be the case. We can improve on that.”

Half-back Tyler Hunt opened the scoring midway through the first half as both teams worked hard to find a breakthrough.

The lead was short lived as winger Billy Judge levelled it up minutes later and both teams went in to the sheds at the break all square.

But it was the Sharks who came out fired-up for the second period and within five minutes of the restart had take the lead, a swift movement of play led to centre Karlo Trego going over in the right-hand corner and Hunt kicked the goal to extend the lead to six points.

What followed was a traditional old-fashioned arm wrestle as the Lions roared forward looking for another try. But time and time again they were thwarted by a rock- solid defensive wall that tackled and tackled to keep the red and white of South Perth at bay.

When winger Daniel Goodwin was sin-binned for deliberately laying on his opponent with 15 minutes to go, the Sharks dug deeper as the Lions looked to find a score down the right. But several try-saving tackles later Goodwin returned and the Sharks prevailed.

“We’ve still got a lot of work to do,” Williams admitted. “But it’s nice to get a win under your belt in round one.”

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