Rugby WA – PINDAN PREMIER GRADE PREVIEW: ROUND 14
Match of the Round: Cottesloe v Palmyra at Harvey Field, Cottesloe
Last time they met: Cottesloe 17 defeated Palmyra 3 at Tompkins Park, Alfred Cove
Palmyra enjoyed the best win of its season last week, a timely 20-point win over Associates last week moving them into third place on the Pindan Premier Grade ladder.
The riverside club continued its run of form with prop Joe Savage grabbing a brace while Sam Jurisich produced another 14 points from the kicking tee.
Meanwhile, Cottesloe accounted comfortably for top four contender, Kalamunda, with prop Ollie Hoskins returning to the fold with two tries while brother Tobias crossed for one of his own in the 21-point win.
Palmyra coach Dave Ball says his players enjoyed last week’s win but understand this week brings a much greater challenge.
“It was a good game last week; it was probably the best we’ve played all season so now it’s about keeping that going for the next five weeks,” he said.
“Playing the top side this week is a big ask. It’s a fantastic challenge and a great opportunity to be the second team to beat Cottesloe.
“It’s tough to go to Cottesloe and beat them [at home], they tend to play slightly different and they are used to playing there so it does have a genuine effect on the outcome of the game.”
Cottesloe boss Ian Fowler insisted that his side was focused on weekly improvement despite only dropping one game for the season so far.
“We still want to improve,” he said. “We want to win every week so there are things we are working on at training that we aim to put in place on the weekend to get the result.
“Ball security is going to be the key this weekend and whichever team can hang on to the footy the best will probably get the reward.”
Cottesloe welcomes back captain Jarrett Budworth and fullback Tane Manga while Palmyra has opted for the same team that beat Associates.
Cottesloe: Kaisa Reidy 2. Ricard Cooper 3. Oliver Hoskins 4. Kieran Stringer 5. Michael Scott 6. Adrian Hall 7. Jarrett Budworth 8. Nicholas Haining 9. Ryan Louwrens 10. Sean Martin 11. Matt Richards 12. Tobias Hoskins 13. Edward Melville 14. Nathaniel Howard 15 Tane Manga
Palmyra: 1 Joe Savage, 2 Shane Manu, 3 Connor Higgins, 4 Jarrod Menary, 5 Padraig De Burca, 6 Shannan McRae, 7 Sean Stapleton, 8 Hummer Tioki, 9 Brad Fell, 10 Sam Jurisich, 11 Gannon Karena, 12 Hayden Baird, 13 Va’a Mailei, 14 Paul Harte, 15 Jarrod Trevanthan
Referee: Matt O’Brien
UWA v Associates at McGillivray Oval, Mt Claremont
Last time they met: Associates 20 defeated UWA 18 at Allen Park, Swanbourne
Two weeks ago Associates looked in control of third spot on the Pindan Premier Grade ladder, but a shock loss to Rockingham and a smashing at the hands of Palmyra has thrown some uncertainty over the reigning premiers’ season.
With finals no longer guaranteed and a hefty injury list, the Swanbourne side will need to provide their best rugby if they are to win back to back flags.
UWA was able to pick up a bonus-point in victory over Perth Bayswater last week and amazingly are still a very real chance to play finals despite only managing five wins for the year to date.
Hooker Harry Scoble, lock Mark Westcott and centre James Wilson are inclusions for the Students.
UWA: 1 Nevin Mills, 2 Harry Scoble, 3 Jacob Gionoli, 4 Bruce Smith- Wright, 5 Mark Westcott, 6 Richard Hardwick, 7 Cian O’Connor, 8 Jeremy Smith, 9 Ethan Carlisle, 10 Luke Burton, 11 Mike Innes, 12 James Wilson, 13 Joel Rapana, 14 Mike Lees, 15 Christian Joubert
Associates: Not submitted.
Referee: Robert Kellam
Wests Scarborough v Perth Bayswater at Bennett Park, Scarborough
Last time they met: Associates 17 defeated Palmyra 15 at Tompkins Park, Alfred Cove
An honourable three-point loss to Nedlands has cost Wests Scarborough a place in the top four; percentage separating them from fourth-placed Associates.
With the logjam from third to seventh growing seemingly tighter on the table, this becomes a game that Wests Scarborough cannot afford to drop.
Perth Bayswater struggled against a strong UWA outfit; replacement Mark Hill’s try the only visible positive to come from the match.
The Morley side has made two changes amongst a shuffled backline with flanker Jason Neal and centre Ricki Wielinga coming in.
Wests Scarborough: Not submitted.
Perth Bayswater: Laione Mulikihaamea, 2 Chris Kidd, 3 Adam Grant, 4 Joel Winterburn, 5 Campbell Saunders, 6 Jacob Buist, 7 Jason Neal, 8 Sean Flatman, 9 Jordan Luke, 10 Wynston Cameron-Daw, 11 Eroni Lagavakatini, 12 Wade Bryant, 13 Ricki Wielinga, 14 Zubayr Abrahams, 15 Dylan Timu
Referee: John Hill
Nedlands v Rockingham at The Foreshore, Nedlands (Kick-off: 2.30pm)
Last time they met: Nedlands 37 defeated Rockingham 20 at Lark Hill Sporting Complex, Port Kennedy
A raft of injuries in the wake of last week’s win over Wests Scarborough will test Nedlands’ depth against an ever-improving Rockingham this week.
The southern club smashed Wanneroo to record its biggest victory of the season; Daniel McGrath, Nua Fono-Hunt and Jayden Briggs all crossing for two tries apiece.
With Nedlands already guaranteed a major semi-final berth against Cottesloe and a few key players missing, Rockingham will fancy their chances of causing another upset for season 2013.
Rockingham has three changes with hooker Mark Royal, lock Daniel McGrath and winger Norm Lima coming in to the starting team.