Cottesloe Shocked By Desperate UWA At The Nest

Cottesloe suffered a reversal versus UWA in a strange game of Rugby Union Football on Saturday at the Nest by a score of 37 points to 27. A fired up and desperate Uni side used a combination of defensive line speed and ambitious wide attack to win the match and pip champions Associates into fourth spot.

The first half began with Cottesloe looking to move through simple patterns to take on a diminutive University side through the middle, but the men in green were up to the task and chopped Cottesloe attackers down early and used their pacey back row to get over the ball. It was a common theme throughout the match as UWA just seemed to be able to slow Cottesloe down at every single breakdown and limit our attacking options. Nili Filea bent the line several times in these early exchanges and Sam Parker looked to run at his opposite number when he could. When UWA looked to attack, they did so with menace, whereas the Cottesloe attack looked a little disjointed and pedantic. Needless to say it was UWA who initiated the scoring with a kickable penalty. Somewhat against the run of play, Tim Parks snuck in for a cheeky score out wide but this was followed by a barrage of scores from the students. On the 25th, 35th and 38thminute the tries rained in from Uni as the Cottesloe wide channels were overrun. Cottesloe had no answer for the speed of the UWA midfield, flankers and outside backs as they flitted over and back across the field. The score at half time was 23-5 and a rout was in the offing.

At half time, after a few fireworks from General Westaway, Cottesloe came out with blistering intensity. Scotty Nichol and Sean Martin on their introduction, instantly started bellowing commands from the back and ever so slowly and surely, the Cottesloe behemoth that has put so many sides to the sword this year, came wide awake. Simi Verata evaded a few tacklers to dot down and Ben Meredith converted on the 55th minute. Ben added a penalty goal five minutes later and suddenly the boys in blue were back in it. Incredibly though, with their championship on the line, UWA hit back for two tries completely against the run of play and reinforced their earlier lead. Cottesloe again though began to grind the little students down and tries from Tobias Hoskins and Alec Fontalvo brought the score back to 37 to 27. Just like the West Scarborough game a couple of weeks ago, the two blue had left themselves with too much of a mountain to climb and the final whistle was blown.

Ultimately this was a game that had little importance to Cottesloe as a semi final berth at home versus West Scarborough was secured beforehand. The coaches admittedly gave four or five guaranteed starters a bit of a breather this weekend for a plethora of reasons and this afforded an opportunity for fringe players to impress. Some took their chance, others struggled a little bit. Despite the defeat there were numerous performances of note on display. Ethan Cayless battled manfully throughout, having to move from number eight into hooker. Kaisa Reidy made his presence felt at scrum time and caused problems for UWA when he carried the ball. In the backs, Scotty Nichol and Sean “Morne” Martin brought spark and direction into the attack when brought in and invigorated the entire team. Both with this display will now be challenging for selection in the semi final this writer is sure. Tamba Lebbie was solid and brave on the wing and Mayson Hill had his moments. But in a game where nothing much really happened for us, for this writer Darius Tokorua was the player of the day. Due to the absence of the entire usual starting front row Darius had to man up for the full eighty minutes and even when he found himself with a hooker playing as the other prop and a back row forward playing at hooker, he did not allow the set piece to crumble. He did not shirk or neglect his defensive responsibilities around the fringes either and he carried bravely throughout into the teeth of Uni’s back row.