Cottesloe notched their sixth victory in a row with a tight win over the Wanneroo, by a score of 24-19. This victory ensured that Cottesloe premier grade remained in third place and it puts them in a powerful position to make the semi finals in five weeks time. Wanneroo were fresh off a comprehensive victory over Associates the previous week and they backed up that form with a formidable display. The inclusion of their three Western Force players gave their team sheet a dangerous look and it proved true as they struck for the first try of the match through their centre. Cottesloe steadied the ship and went through the phases as Tim Parks took a firm grip on the game from the nine shirt. Cottesloe earned a penalty after 20 minutes and Kieran Stringer pointed to the posts to get Cottesloe on the board. Cottesloe kept their foot on the throats of the men in green and white and carries from Tobias Hoskins and Peter Grant made a chance for Charl to smash his way over out wide. The conversion was missed but Cottesloe now had the lead. Wanneroo almost instantaneously struck back through former wallaby, Rocket Rod Davies, when he slalomed through a few despairing tackles to dot down in the corner. Just before half time Cottesloe retaliated. Lewis Pickering took on three defenders out on the wide right channel and a brilliant offload put Simi Verata through. Our mercurial Fijian then gave Rod Davies a taste of his own medicine as he waltzed past him like the former Wallaby wasn’t even there. Charl converted to leave the score 15-12 at half time.
The second half began with Charl knocking over another penalty to push the score difference out to 18-12 but there was plenty of fight left in the Roo-dogs, who were truly defying their lowly position on the ladder. A loose pass was picked off by the Wanneroo centre and he skated home under the posts with the conversion to put them back in the lead. At this point, coaches Fowler, Kirton and Owen elected to unleash the nuclear weapons off the bench, one of whom was Kaisa Reidy. The big man instantly made a difference. The scrum immediately improved and Cottesloe found it far easier to get over the advantage line. With around twenty five minutes to go, Kaisa absolutely disintegrated Rod Davies with a tackle and suddenly Wanneroo were in full blown retreat. Cottesloe dominated possession for the next twenty minutes but shelled a few chances. A penalty opportunity from close in was gratefully accepted by captain Kieran and Charl put Cottesloe in the lead 21-19. Then, with two minutes to go Charl cannoned over an enormous penalty from fifty metres, against the breeze to push the core out to 24-19 and finally the supporters on the hill (this writer included) could breathe a sigh of relief.
Several Cottesloe players put in huge shifts in what was a surprisingly difficult match. Mikey Walker and Zane Hunga carried thanklessly into the teeth of the Wanneroo defence. Charl’s kicking was astounding once more, while Marcel Brache was tigerish in both attack and defence. Kaisa Reidy came on and made an enormous difference to Cottesloe’s cause. For this writer though, it was veteran halfback Tim Parks who stood out. His passing was crisp and his tactical commands to the forward pack could be heard from the hill. When Cottesloe were behind for twenty minutes in the second half, it was Tim who held his head in the hurricane and made sure that nobody panicked and that the lads stuck to the script. It was a great performance from the back of the scrum. Cottesloe play the first match of the second round super 6 at home this weekend when they take on West Scarborough for the second time this year.