Cottesloe Annihilate Contenders West Scarborough

The Cott premier grade got their season off to a tremendous start by ruthlessly putting perennial contenders West Scarborough to the sword on Saturday. The men in maroon were simply no match for the two blue. They came up against a Cottesloe side who were too quick, too skilful, too organised and far too accurate for them. The score finished at 53-10 but even one of West’s life members disclosed to this writer, that in his opinion it could of been worse. The gulf in class was apparent for all to see and the physical conditioning that the Cottesloe team exhibited ensured that Wests were never in the match and were never capable of firing a defiant shot in the face of the hurricane that was Cottesloe on the day.
The game started at a frenetic pace with Nili Filea breaking down the left wing and scorching into West’s 22 before Tamba Lebbie skated over for the first try. One of the mantras of this Cott team this year is ruthlessness and they demonstrated it very early on by not resting on their laurels after the first score. It only took a couple of minutes for them to smash their way over from close in through Zane Herrick. In fairness to Wests, they managed to muster a response with an excellent try soon after but Cottesloe answered emphatically through Sasha Holloway as he bulled his way over. Wests were already reeling physically at this point and they were also struggling with the width and alacrity of the Cott attack. They did succeed in holding Cottesloe out until injury time in the first half but Lafa Ikenasio ended this mini-drought by using his enormous strength to smash his way over in the corner. Nick Jooste underlined the first of excellent play by landing an extraordinary conversion from the sideline, leaving it 24-5 at the break.
Coaches Westaway, Owen and West elected to run some changes at the break to give the front row a well earned breather and this served to energise the Cott attack even further. It wasn’t long before Cottesloe troubled the scoreboard operator once more, when Nick Jooste got his first score after some intricate and expansive attack, orchestrated by Ben Meredith. A couple of minutes later, Cottesloe for once found themselves on their own line and picked up a yellow card with Sean Martin getting on the wrong side of the referee. It wasn’t clear for what though from this writers vantage point, but this served to bolster Wests for a time and they managed to grab a try from their giant prop in the left corner. This proved to be West’s last positive action for the match as even with fourteen men, Cottesloe went up another gear. The Cottesloe backline alongside Simi Verata, went ballistic in attack and the damn began to burst across the park for the men in maroon. Tamba, Nick and newly introduced subs Rory Edwards and Mason Hill were finding gaps with Tobias Hoskins and Ethan Cayless marching over the advantage line at their leisure. An avalanche of tries rained in toward the end of the match with Nili, Mason and Nick Jooste getting over. If this was a boxing match it would have been stopped with fifteen minutes to go as it descended into a rout.
Make no mistake folks, this was an incredible performance by Cottesloe. Everything they had worked on in training came to fruition and they decimated a side who traditionally are always in the shake up for the championship. The fitness levels on show were remarkable for an amateur side and the skills shown by every player were astounding from minute one until the end. So many players put their hands up and delivered on the day. Ben Meredith was central to everything Cottesloe did, as was Tim Parks. Tamba Lebbie and Nili Fielea destroyed their opposite numbers throughout. Tobias Hoskins, Lafa Ikenasio and Zane Herrick carried relentlessly and Simi Verata tortured the West’s defensive line as they seemed powerless to do anything against him. But for this writer there was one player who stood head and shoulders above the rest and that was Ethan Cayless. Simply put, he gave an exhibition of rugby union football. He claimed a phenomenal six turnovers and won countless penalties. He carried energetically all day and he melted several of West’s talisman big ball carriers which visibly demoralised their whole team.
Cottesloe now travel down to Lark Hill to take on the Coastal Cavaliers combination side this weekend. The big challenge is really for the management, as they somehow have to keep the lads focused and  able, to repeat what was one of the finest displays of rugby witnessed at the nest for many years.