Cottesloe premier grade proved their conditioning and attitude by running down a tiring Kalamunda side and securing victory, 31 points to 24. Kalamunda deployed a typically enormous team and in the first twenty minutes they used their physical power to race out into an early lead. The Cott defence bit down on the mouth guard and endured this torrid first period and emerged relatively unscathed. It was apparent from even this early stage that Kalamunda’s conditioning would be a weakness that Cott could exploit. Once the Cott forward pack started maintaining possession and putting Tobias Hoskins and Simi Verata through holes, Kalamunda began to retreat back into their shells. Indeed it was these two men who went over to score the first two tries for Cottesloe. Half time came at an opportune time for Kalamunda as it allowed their big men to have a breather but the blood was in the water already.
Cottesloe introduced Ryan Louwrens at half time and moved Charl to ten for the start of the second half but it was Kalamunda, batteries recharged who took control for the early part. This brief resurgence from the men in black and red did not stem the blue tide for long though and Cottesloe started putting their big men to the question. Charl and Morne were winging the ball from left to right and Mikey Walker and Simi were probing constantly in the wide channels. Kalamunda in desperation were kicking clear but were sending it down the throat of Scotty Nichol, who doesn’t need to be asked twice to counter attack. Zu Abrahams beat his opposite a number of times and Zane began to up the physicality from the back row. Kieran Stringer smashed his way over for Cott’s third try and Charl converted to send Cott into the lead for the first time, and it proved to be a lead they never relinquished. Quick thinking five minutes later by Ryan yielded Cott’s fourth try when from a penalty out in front he fired a thirty metre pass to the right and a deft flick from Harry Hutchins put try machine, Mikey Walker, over for his fourth of the season.
At this stage a couple of injured guys and a few empty gas tanks forced coaches Fowler, Kirton and Owen to run the bench. Kalamunda briefly got themselves back in the game with an against the run of play score to close the gap, but nerves were settled when Tim Koiatu slotted a lengthy penalty from just inside Kalamunda’s half. All in all it was a pleasing victory for the coaches as the team bounced back from a hard defeat the previous week and some of the errors from that game were rectified. It can’t be accurately described just how gargantuan some of the Kalamunda players were but it was them who blinked first in the physical encounters. For Cottesloe, Mikey Walker, Tobias Hoskins and Charl Newenhuis had huge games but for this writer, Scotty Nichol was the outstanding player on the field. He was ambitious in attack, accurate with his kicking, imperious in the air and heroic in defence, and for such a diminutive guy he showed the rest of the lads how to poleaxe 140kg guys coming through the middle. There were some casualties and Darren the physio has his hands full this week but the Prems are looking forwarded to their battle with Arks in Armadale on Saturday with confidence.