Cottesloe Put Neddies to the Sword at The Foreshore

Cottesloe premier grade produced one of their finest performances of the season to date at the Foreshore on Saturday when the cruised to a 28 points to 19 victory. Everything worked on in training during the previous week came to fruition and tactically Nedlands were fully exploited for the win. Neddies, sporting their spectacular blue and pink kit, adorned specifically for ladies day, had no answers to the Cottesloe attack and ultimately succumbed to our boys for the first time in many years at the Foreshore.
From minute one of the first half, Cottesloe showed a willingness to take on Nedlands up front. Very quickly Nedlands came under pressure at both lineout and scrum and their back row were forced to make dozens of tackles to keep the Cottesloe forwards from marauding over the advantage line at will. Ivan Fepuleai and Kagifa Samoa call up, Gafa S’ua, slammed into the Nedlands defensive line at every opportunity and Tobias Hoskins and Simi Verata weren’t shy of having a crack when the opportunity presented either. It was Lafa Ikenasio who hit first for the initial try of the match though, when he bulldozed his way through a handful of Nedlands defenders to touch down. Ben Meredith knocked over the conversion and it was 7-0. It was clear that Cottesloe wished to play as much football as possible inside the Nedlands half and Antini Brown, Ben Meredith and Scott Nichol dominated the tactical kicking battle with their Neddies equivalents. Time and time again as the half wore on, Nedlands barely managed to stop Cottesloe scoring by coming up with a miraculous turnover, or some other curious turn of events would occur, but the pressure was never alleviated properly. The second Cottesloe try was scored by Gafa S’ua as he capitalised on the Cottesloe forward pack patiently taking on the Nedlands ruck defence close to the line. Again Ben Meredith slotted the conversion and the score was 14-0. Against the run of play, Nedlands responded with a try right at half time, when their inside centre managed to slip through the Cott midfield defence and score from distance.
The coaches brought in Kaisa Reidy at half time and the second half began much like the first with the Cottesloe pack utterly dominating their opposite numbers. Ethan Cayless begun to influence the game heavily at this point as he plundered the breakdown at will and stripped many balls from the Nedlands ball carriers. In combination with Scott Nichol, Ethan created havoc for the Nedlands half back and as a result the distribution for Nedlands suffered and their much vaunted backline never really fired. They simply could not get anything going in attack. At the lineout, Kieran Stringer displayed an almost telepathic ability to anticipate the Nedlands throw and he stole ball at will. Cottesloe hit for their third try with twenty five minutes remaining when Ethan Cayless hovered like a hungry vulture on the left wing and ran through a couple of Nedlands backs to score. The sideline conversion was hit over the black spot by Ben Meredith to make it 21-7.

With fifteen minutes remaining, Nedlands for the first time in the match, showed some cohesiveness in attack and again against the run of play, managed to score through a back move on the left wing. The conversion from the sideline was missed and the score was 21-12. Cottesloe responded immediately when Ethan Cayless stripped the ball from a Nedlands centre, like taking lollies from a baby, and put Jimmy Blackburn into space on the left wing. Jimmy humiliated his opposite number with dazzling footwork and skated under the posts for the try. The score was easily converted by Ben Meredith and the game was effectively out of reach for Neddies. They did manage to score another try from their elusive fullback but in the ensuing scuffle post-try he managed to get himself sin-binned and the referee blew the final whistle shortly afterward.
This writer was told by some veteran life members on the sideline that it has been six years since Nedlands were defeated by us at the foreshore. What’s rare is wonderful. This was a composed, driven, accurate and relentless performance by Cottesloe and there was very little Nedlands could do to stem the tide. Antini Brown, in his first start for prems in a number of years, was assured when he kicked or passed and was very difficult to contain when he took it to the line. Mayson Hill was targeted and came in for some serious attention, but stood firm and was brave in defence. Ben Meredith was superb with ball in hand and metronomic off the tee. In the forwards, the whole front row of Gafa, Lafa, Ivan and later Kaisa, were ridiculously dominant and made some very experienced Nedlands front rows feel their age. But the player that caught the eye most for this writer was Ethan Cayless. Ethan is an absolute menace at the breakdown and when he carries the ball, he inevitably gets over the advantage line even in heavy traffic. This writer actually lost count of the amount of turnovers he successfully executed and he had a hand in every try including scoring himself. He is our clubs version of George Smith.
This week the lads welcome Associates down to the nest in what promises to be an absolute belter of a match and as you can imagine, they collectively look very much forward to it.