Match Report Vs Palmyra

In a bruising encounter, Cottesloe prems suffered their first reversal of the year against Palmyra by 43 points to 28. The pristine weather conditions were conducive to an open game of rugby with both sides looking to take each other in the wide spaces. Pally struck first with an opportunistic score but after enduring almost ten full minutes of constant pressure in defence, Cottesloe hit back with a great score of their own only to have their defences circumvented for a second time. After some more heroic defence, Zubayr Abrahams showed his pace and got over for a second try which was duly converted, giving Cottesloe a somewhat surprising lead going into half time, considering the amount of tackles that they had to make. The coaches had to make some changes earlier than anticipated due to injuries to Lex Kuster and Ethan Cayless but the team certainly didn’t get any weaker with the introduction of Dr Johnny Iliff and Jimmy Blackburn. Cottesloe began to ramp up the pressure on Pally with Kieran Stringer yet again imperious at the lineout and Lewis Pickering battling at the coalface, but they couldn’t seem to break through. Pally then struck for a score against the run of play through their U-18 Wallaby Jackson Pugh. Cottesloegot right back into it with a score from Dr Johnny from close in to go back in the lead 21-19. Disaster then struck though as Simi Verata’s shot on one of the Pally centres was deemed too high by the referee and he was sent to the bin for ten minutes to cool his jets.
In this period Pally punished Cottesloe scoring a couple of tries and blowing out the score to 33-21 but Cott were far from finished. Tobias Hoskins and Zane Hunga began to bend the advantage line and Dr Johnny almost bust through on multiple occasions. Reward came when Zubayr Abrahams went over for his second try with ten minutes left to make it 33-28. Even better, he himself was subject to a shot that was both high and late in the process of scoring and Pally were reduced to 14 men. Unfortunately the subsequent kick off was shelled and Pally despite being numerically inferior, managed to score a try against the run of play to go 38-28. Unbelievably they managed to score again to make the score 43-28 soon after. Cottesloe roared back though and pinned Pally in their 22 for the last few minutes but an attempt close in was deemed to be a double movement and a penalty was awarded to Pally and they cleared their lines.
A number of Cottesloe players put their hand up in what was a physical match. Andrew Carson and Lewis Pickering tried manfully without the leadership and presence of Kaisa Reidy. Kieran Stringer was excellent in the lineout once more and Zubayr Abrahams looked menacing in attack. All of the players sprung from the bench made a positive impact on entering the fray also. Coaches Fowler and Kirton although disappointed with the defeat were gladdened by the fighting spirit shown and also by the fact that their younger players have been blooded and exposed to the level that they must perform at if they are to win this year’s championship. Cottesloe welcome Kalamunda to the nest this weekend in an immediate opportunity to return to winning ways.

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