Cottesloe Wipe Out Associates In The Battle Of Broome Street

Champions Associates were comprehensively defeated by a rampaging Cottesloe team at the bone-yard on Saturday, by a score of 31 points to 15. A combination of formidable physicality, accurate territorial kicking and set piece supremacy ensured that a Cottesloe victory was never in doubt.

Despite the damp underfoot conditions, Cottesloe began the first half ambitiously. Simi Verata probed out in the wide channels and Ben Meredith looked to run the ball back into the teeth of the Associates defence. Associates were taken aback by the speed and intensity that Cottesloe were looking to play with and it was the men in yellow who leaked the first score when Tim Parks scored from a clever offload. Associates were reeling from the ball carrying assault from the boys in blue but they did manage to steady the ship temporarily. They succeeded in getting a close range penalty and converted it to leave it 5 points to 3. Cottesloe immediately went on the attack and in response Tobias Hoskins skittled a handful of Soaks defenders out of the way and went over for a brave score. Ben Meredith converted. With 25 minutes gone the score stood at 12-3. Associates showed some heart then and began to put phases together. After some four minutes of successive carries the champions managed to go over and the try was converted to leave it at 12-10. This seemed to annoy Cottesloe and they charged down the field. Simi Verata was the next cab off the rank and he used his athletic prowess to defeat his opponent one on one and dot down. Ben Meredith converted from the sideline and that put the score out to 19-10. At that, the referee blew the whistle for the break.

Coaches Westaway, Owen and West elected to unleash heavy artillery from the bench early in the second half as Cohen Masson entered the fray with Sasha Holloway and a returning Lafa Ikenasio. The physicality instantly went nuclear. Men in yellow began to go backward in the tackle. Big ball carriers for Associates were absolutely annihilated in contact, to oohs and aaahs from the crowd. Cohen Masson pulverized three Associates players in one mesmerizing sequence, one after the other, and that galvanized the rest of the side. Nili Fielea, Ivan Fepuleai, Gafa S’ua, Tobias Hoskins and Kieran Stringer looked from this writer’s perspective, that they had witnessed Cohen’s physicality and thought, “hey, we can do this too”, and began evaporating Associates ball carriers. Associates began to look, not scared, but certainly intimidated and confused by the sheer ferocity of the boys in blue. The referee issued two yellow cards to Cohen and Jimmy Blackburn for over exuberance in the tackle, but the damage was done. Although Associates managed to score a try in this 13 versus 15 man period, Associates looked gun shy and tactically naive. Cottesloe even managed a couple of scores during this period through Jimmy Blackburn (when he returned from the bin) and Ivan Fepuleai, to put the score out to 31 points to 15. Antini Brown and Ben Meredith then took control of the game and kicked for the corners and Associates were strangled for the remainder of the contest, unable or unwilling to run it back into the two blue iron wall of defence. When the ref blew the whistle it was Cottesloe who had put the champions to the sword, on their own turf, by 31 points to 15.

Cottesloe have achieved some amazing victories this year, with some of the highlights being bullying Nedlands at the foreshore, rising to the battle versus Kalamunda away and wiping out Wests at home, but for this writer this was the best victory so far this season. The score was only 31 points to 15 and was actually an improvement for Associates in terms of score from when we played them at the nest, but it was the manner of the victory that was must pleasing. Cottesloe intimidated Associates. The champions had their ambition to play beaten out of them by our physicality. Although this writer likes to mention who he thinks was the best player usually by their attacking flair, it’s hard to look past the men who excelled in defence, in this match. There seemed to be an intangible unspoken contest on the field as to who could wipe out the Associates ball carrier with the biggest shot. Cohen Masson, when he came on, absolutely pummeled a number of Soaks players and did tremendous psychological damage in the 30 minutes that he played. Gafa S’ua, Kaisa Reidy and Lafa Ikenasio seemed to enjoy poleaxing ball carriers, both together and in pairs, with an audible slap being heard by the supporters during contact. Nili Filea and Tamba Lebbie were never satisfied with just tackling in the midfield, they always rose and attempted a jackal steal as well. For this writer though, Ivan Fepulai was the best player on show. He slammed dozens of Associates players for the full 80, showing absolutely… ZERO… respect for the champions. He seemed to take pleasure in obliterating supposed hard-men and he even managed to find time to score a try. Just a fantastic performance.

This week, the lads travel to Scarborough to take in Wests in what should be another physical encounter.