Cottesloe Back On Track

 Cottesloe Premier grade returned to the winning enclosure with an emphatic victory over Nedlands, on a score line of 17-0. The conditions were horrific and the skills were a little bit short with poor execution for both sides, but the intensity and physicality could not be disparaged. Cottesloe elected to play with the wind at their backs in the first half and some great tactical kicking from Charl had Nedlands pinned back in their 22 for the majority of the first forty minutes. Frustratingly though, Cottesloe could not seem to breach the line as heroic defending from the men in blue and yellow kept Cott at bay. At half time, the score was a measly 3-0 and the crowd who braved the elements to watch the match were rightly nervous.
The second half saw the introduction of Kaisa Reidy and he had an instant effect on the team. Cottesloe began to bully Nedlands at scrum time and they also began to smash their way over the advantage line with more regularity. This writer asked several of the team after the game to say at what point they felt that they had Nedlands in trouble, and all referred to a moment with twenty minutes to go. Nedlands turned down an easy shot at goal and called for a scrum on front of the Cottesloe posts, but it backfired spectacularly as Kaisa Reidy destroyed young Force prop Tom Sheminant with Ricki Bentham dishing out more of the same on the other side and Cottesloe won the ball against the head. Nedlands visibly sagged at this reverse of fortune and Cottesloe seemed to grow in confidence. From that point onward, Cottesloe laid siege to Nedlands. Although, the line outs proved difficult to secure, and the wind ruled out any attempts at the posts, Cottesloe continued to pile on the pressure.
With ten minutes remaining, Johnny Iliff took a quick tap and burrowed under the Nedlands defence to score the first try of the game. With five minutes remaining, he found himself on the end of some excellent play out on the right wing to dot down try number two. Charl managed to slot the resulting conversion over with an almost impossible kick in the conditions and that had Cottesloe 17-0 on front. In the last couple of minutes Cottesloe elected to shut up shop and Nedlands truthfully weren’t capable of mustering an attack as too many of their big guns had seen enough and retired to the sideline.
This was a massive victory for Cottesloe and even some of the most veteran life members failed to recall when was the last time we “nilled” Nedlands and Cottesloe now sit well in the top four. For Cottesloe, so many players stood up and were counted. Tobias Hoskins carried relentlessly all day and although half the size of Tobias, Scott Nichol proved equally ambitious with his ball carrying. Simi, Zane, Morne and Marcel Brache all made well over a dozen tackles each. Charl’s tactical kicking from 10 was vastly superior to his Nedlands equivalent. But for this writer, the difference lay in the bench. Kaisa Reidy annihilated the Nedlands scrum for the whole second half, Sash Holloway added weight from the back row and Doctor Johnny put the winning scores in to send Nedlands packing. It could definitely be argued that Cottesloe’s superior strength and depth put paid to Nedlands chances in this game. The lads march onward with confidence now where they will next face champions Wests Scarbs on the 9th of June after the bye weekend.