Cottesloe Overwhelm Wests Scarborough To Earn Final Spot

In a match for the ages, Cottesloe ran down and forced Wests Scarborough to submit in a sustained second half assault, by a score of 32 points to 25. Wests Scarborough kept Cottesloe at bay for the first half but the boys in blue relentlessly reeled them in and in the end comfortably disposed of the Boars to earn a final spot against Nedlands.

The first half began with Cottesloe taking it to the Boars at a hundred miles an hour. Ivan Fepuleai and Cohen Masson tucked the ball under the armpit on half a dozen occasions apiece and tried to batter the Scarborough men into submission. Sean “Morne” Martin seemed unafraid to swing the ball into the wide channels where Wests were known to be strong and this allowed Nili Filea and Ben Meredith to attempt the line break. The first score of the game occurred with powerful flanker Cohen Masson busting his way through the vaunted Wests midfield and surprised their back three with his pace. He scorched home to touch down from thirty metres beating multiple tacklers. Ben Meredith converted to put Cottesloe deservedly seven points clear. Cott suffered a setback a couple of minutes later though when some expansive play in the midfield was read and picked off by the West’s ten and he raced clear with an intercept try. It wasn’t converted and the score was 7-5. Against the run of play, Wests scored a penalty and then tacked on another clever try in the left corner through their elusive full back on 25 minutes. At 15-7 down you could be forgiven in thinking that the match was slipping away from us, but despite the score, Cottesloe were beginning to put the hurt on Wests. They were forced to make dozens of tackles and they struggled terribly to contain the Cottesloe forward pack from getting over the advantage line. By thirty five minutes the Wests forward pack were walking and Cottesloe tacked on a penalty to leave it 15-10 at the break.

Kaisa Reidy made his presence felt immediately on his introduction at the start of the second half. The battered and bruised Wests Scarborough forward pack found this titan far too much to endure when he both scrummaged and carried the ball, and their discipline began to visibly slip. Pin point tactical kicking over the next twenty minutes by Ben Meredith allowed the Cottesloe forward pack to form a number of attacking mauls close in to the Wests line and on two occasions, Cottesloe smashed their way over through Gafa S’ua and Ivan Fepuleai. West’s managed a drop goal during this period but with twenty minutes to go Cottesloe were 22-18 on front and were looking like they would cruise to victory. Kieran Stringer picked up a team yellow also during this period but the introduction of Scotty Nichol, Ethan Cayless and Simi Verata ensured that the blue foot never left the maroon throat. The try of the match came next when Scotty Nichol employed a no-look reverse pass (as made famous by George Gregan) at the side of a ruck to allow Alec Fontalvo to scamper free and score, which was fabulously converted by Ben Meredith from the sideline. Ben followed this up with a penalty kick on 73 minutes and the score stood at 32-18. The coaches had to endure a little bit of stress during the last four minutes of the match when Alistair Haining poleaxed the Wests fullback and received a yellow card in the process. The men from Scarborough managed a try from close in, but they simply did not possess the strength or ability to strike another blow as their petrol tanks were collectively empty. The referee blew the whistle to great jubilation from the crowd, with the score standing at 32 points to 25 to the good guys.

Make no mistake about it, Cottesloe meant business from the first minute in this match. Cottelsoe had taken lessons on board from prior weeks where slow starts allowed sides to get too far on front and Cottesloe never allowed Wests to get out of sight. It was a phenomenal performance across the board from all players who wore the two blue of Cottesloe on the day. In the forward pack, Cohen Masson, Ivan Fepuleai and Tobias Hoskins carried relentlessly throughout. Kaisa Reidy when introduced broke the will of Wests Scarborough with his scrummaging and carrying. Zane Herrick and Lafa Ikenasio were industrious while Gafa S’ua and Kieran Stringer were precise at the lineout and physical in the tackle. In the backline, veterans Morne Martin and Sam Parker looked extremely comfortable against the much vaunted midfield and Alistair Haining tackled like a demon. Tim Parks and Scotty Nichol were accurate from the base of the ruck while Nili Filea and Zu Abrahams were threatening with ball in hand. Ben Meredith was absolutely phenomenal at the back when he carried, kicked from the hand or went for goal off the tee. For this writer though, you just can’t look past Alec Fontalvo. He delivered a flawless performance from the side of the scrum in all aspects of what you would expect from a number seven. Running, tackling, stealing and passing, it didn’t matter, he was brilliant. Wests had no answer for him at all and the scary thing is that nobody seems to know what his performance ceiling is. If he has more than this to offer then one wonders what Nedlands can possibly do to curtail his influence short of employing a sniper from the crowd!

Nedlands are a great side, but our lads are extremely excited to attempt to deliver Cottesloe’s first championship in ten years.