GULLS SUFFER FIRST HOME LOSS TO PALMYRA
Palmyra has downed premiership front-runners Cottesloe, 38-27, in their Pindan Premier Grade Match of the Round at Harvey Field today.
The loss was Cottesloe’s first at home this season, with Palmyra continuing an impressive spell of rugby as they blasted five tries past a defence that has only conceded an average of 13-points per game.
The win puts Palmyra two points clear in third spot on the Pindan Premier Grade ladder. Meanwhile, Cottesloe slides from the top rung for the first time since Round One with Nedlands’ 24-20 win over Rockingham today now putting them in line for the minor premiership.
Palmyra coach Dave Ball was thrilled with the result, declaring his first win over Cottesloe in any grade as one of the best he’s been involved in.
“I asked the players to get up today,” he said. “We knew Cottesloe had qualified so we felt there was an opportunity for us to get a result.”
With third and fourth place the only realistic play-off positions up for grabs, Ball knows his team must keep momentum going between now and the end of the season.
“In the last month we’ve proved to ourselves that we can put a sustained campaign together,” he said. “If we go to the finals we’ll have to play three weeks straight to win the flag, so we know what we’re up against.”
Cottesloe coach Ian Fowler was disappointed his side allowed the visitors back in to the game so easily after establishing an early lead.
“We jumped away to 12-0 and then threw the ball on the ground and they scored,” he said. “They had a lot to play for in fourth spot on the ladder so we knew they’d be fired up.”
Cottesloe burst out of the gates with an early try to winger Ali Haining matched by an impressive passage from Ryan Louwrens to make it 12-0 after ten minutes.
A Sam Jurisich penalty goal posted Palmyra’s first points before an errant defensive pass from Cottesloe inside their own quarter was swooped on by halfback Brad Jurisich; the try and subsequent conversion bridging the gap to two points.
When Cottesloe captain Jarrett Budworth was shown a yellow card for slowing the ball down at the breakdown, Jurisich gave the visitors a one-point lead.
When prop Joe Savage went over in the corner, the game looked to be slipping from the home side. However, an Ed Melville penalty lessened the damage with his side trailing 23-15 at the break.
The visitors picked up where they left off in the second half when winger Gannon Karena touched down to extend the margin to 13 points.
However, a determined Cottesloe found a way back in to the match when Haining registered his second before brother Nick Haining broke from the base of the scrum for another with the conversion bringing the Gulls to within a point at 28-27.
However, as momentum started to swell behind Cottesloe, a dash of brilliance from Palmyra outside centre Va’a Mailei put the visitors back on the front foot when he burst through midfield to score his side’s fourth try before they added another in the final 20 minutes to record the 11-point victory.
In today’s other results, Wests Scarborough overpowered Perth Bayswater, 44-8; Nedlands outlasted Rockingham 24-20; UWA held on in a close match to beat Associates 27-25; while Kalamunda defeated Wanneroo, 20-11.
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