Cottesloe Continue Their Undefeated Start To The Season With Comprehensive Victory Over Curtin University

Cottesloe premier grade cruised to an easy 59 points to 0 victory over newcomers Curtin University at the Nest on Saturday. Due to Curtin Uni’s start to the season, where they were trounced by both Joondalup Brothers and Associates, coaches Westaway, Owen and West used this fixture as an opportunity to blood some of the extended senior squad in first grade rugby and simultaneously rest some players who are were carrying knocks in a calculated gamble. The view was that Rugby at this level is an attritional sport and if Cottesloe are to win the championship this year, the coaches must be able to select a number of players capable of competing at premier grade level. The gamble paid off as Cottesloe ran out comfortable winners and up to ten players from the extended squad got the chance to run on for the two blue at premier grade level.
The first half was simply mesmerising as Cottesloe blitzed Curtin University from all angles and everywhere on the park. The Scrum was dominant, the lineout was superb, and the handling was deft from numbers one to fifteen. Needless to say, with all of these aspects of Cottesloe’s game on point, naturally the tries rained in. In the backline Tamba Lebbie and Rory Edwards both finished off expansive play to score, whilst up front, Mikey Walker, Ben Grant with a double, Simi Verata and Lafa Ikenasio got on the end of some tight work to touch down for their own scores. The only real blemishes for Cott in the first half came on the injury front with number ten, Lex Kuster, and winger French Enzo going off with injuries on their first premier grade starts for the season. At half time the score read 45-0 and to all in attendance, and it looked like it would be built on massively in the second half.
Strangely, Cottesloe weren’t  able to replicate their first half performance in the second period. Their phase play became disjointed, balls were dropped and errors seemed to compound as the half wore on. There were multiple reasons in this writer’s opinion for the drop off in performance. Firstly, blooding so many new players in the premier grade side inevitably lead to miscommunication in attack. The pattern broke down at points and some players, unused to playing beside others, found themselves in the wrong position on occasion. Secondly, with the ease that Cottesloe eviscerated Curtin University in the first half, many players began to explore options in attack that weren’t percentage plays and as a result the attack looked disjointed and uncoordinated. Finally, and some respect has to go to Curtin here, they fired up in defence. On multiple occasions they lined up Cottesloe attackers and absolutely smashed them to howls of glee from their sideline and supporters. Yes they were outclassed and out muscled but they fought like lions until the end. It took Cottesloe until the 60th minute to score again through substitute Zu Abrahams and then Josh Tuialli rounded out the scoring in the 75th minute when Curtin were reduced to 14 men. The score finished at 59-0.
There were a number of men who stood up and were counted in a “difficult to get up for” game that Cottesloe were pretty much guaranteed to win. All of the new players injected from the extended squad gave their all throughout, particularly Mikey Walker, Rory Edwards and Adam Fuller. Zane Herrick did absolutely nothing wrong when being called in as an emergency center. Throughout the game Darius Takurua and Lafa Ikenasio were thoroughly dominant at the set piece. Ethan Cayless, who worryingly picked up an injury toward the end of the game, continued his superb form with an industrious display. But for this writer, the player who caught the eye was the youngest man on the field, Josh Tuialli. Because of the ease of the match, our attack became scattergun-like in its execution but Josh stuck to the structures to the best of his ability. He  put his body on the line time and time again and won hard dirty ball in a game that we were always going to win. He is only 18 years of age. Imagine what he will be like in five years time? Or ten? He could be anything.
With the Easter weekend approaching, there is a slight break in the fixtures with Cottesloe’s next game down to be played on the 26th of April away from home against Palmyra. Right now Cottesloe sit on top of the ladder and in two weeks time the lads will look to maintain that position.