30 April 2011
Ooh la la: French centre Thomas Trautmann epitomised the team's new esprit de corp
Perth-Bayswater First Grade recorded their third win from four games in the 2011 season to maintain second place in the competition, with a strong 33-18 victory over Wests-Subiaco at Rosalie Park today.
The boys in black are going from strength to strength with each game and showed against a competitive Wests outfit that they are starting to put together the combinations and the confidence to be genuine contenders this year.
The teams were evenly balanced in a free-flowing first half although a late try allowed Perth to go into the break 18-13 ahead. But a lengthy period of dominance in the second spell and solid defence in the later stages wrapped up the game for the visitors.
Wests started strongly and kicked a penalty for offside after two minutes.
But Perth pounded back downfield with aggressive, mistake-free rugby to thump wave after wave of phase ball over the Wests defence until blindside flanker Mike Murphy surged over for a try close to the posts. French centre Thomas Trautmann converted the sitter and Perth took a 7-3 lead after six minutes.
Wests hit back two minutes later with a wide run that switched their wing back inside to score untouched close to the posts, and the conversion regained the home side the lead at 10-7.
However, Perth worked back onto attack and 15 minutes in Trautmann kicked an angled penalty goal for offside to draw even at 10-10.
Happy days: Damon Cunningham kept the opposition defence guessing all day
The quick, accurate rucks continued, mixed with less productive field kicking, while fullback Damon Cunningham was a constant source of inspiration with slippery attacking runs and number eight Jackson Achilles made frequent destructive breaks from the back of the ruck.
Another slightly easier penalty for Trautmann followed after 23 minutes for coming around the side of the ruck as Perth's big scrums gave them solid possession, but Wests restored the draw at 16-16 with a sitter penalty for not rolling away four minutes later.
Perth finished the half on attack with abrasive phase play and then on the stroke of half time, half back Ethan Carlisle nipped from the base of a ruck, stood up the defence and shot over for a try out wide. The wide conversion was just astray but Perth went into the break 18-13 up.
Perth powered into the second spell, locking Wests in their 22 and hammering their line, the home side losing a player to the sin bin in desperate defence.
Then from a penalty lineout after 10 minutes, the black forwards mauled up and lock Olsen Rere drilled over the line for the try. Trautmann slotted a superb wide kick to take Perth ahead 25-13 with the game well in hand.
Wests rebounded to attack Perth's line and on the 20 minute mark scored in the corner to narrow the margin to 25-18.
But it didn't last long and Perth rucked downfield where a simple back line sweep put flanker Nick Richards over in the corner. The sideline conversion missed but Perth were 30-18 up with 15 minutes to play.
Perth kept the pressure on and Trautmann added another moderate penalty goal five minutes later to extend the lead 33-18, the French centre enjoying an accurate day with the boot with thirteen points from three penalties and two conversions.
Wests had the better of the closing minutes as both teams tired, Perth conceding soft turnovers and losing the ball with poor handling. But their defence held firm and they saw out the remaining time without conceding points.
Coach Rex George said that the team was improving every week with combinations forming and players adapting to playing patterns, but there was a lot of improvement to come.
"We conceded a couple of soft tries and blew some points with silly errors," Rex said.
"But we came away with five points and you can't ask for more than that."
Second grade remained at third place in their competition, one point behind joint leaders Nedlands and Palmyra, with a close 16-13 win over Wests-Subiaco.
Seconds started strongly but dropped back a gear in an untidy, scrappy game against Wests-Subiaco at Rosalie Park. Wing Joel Grant scored a try from from a wide run and halfback Mark Hill added a conversion and penalty to put seconds narrowly ahead 10-8 at half time.
Wests lifted in the second half to dominate long periods of play but a yellow card and penalty allowed seconds to escape the danger zone, and a second penalty to Hill sent the boys in black ahead 13-8. However Wests bounced back with a try in the corner to draw even at 13-13, but then conceded their second yellow card as seconds went back on attack. A certain try went begging when a forward pass was called as second grade dominated the scrums but were let down by poor handling along the back line. With time running out the game seem headed for a draw but a long range penalty just before full time was duly converted with a superb, flat 45 metre kick by Hill to steal the game 16-13.
After dropping third grade at the start of the season due to low numbers, the club has worked hard to field a team and was able to play a third grade game against Wests on Saturday. The score was not flattering, with a 55-12 loss, but with more players and hard work the team could be a great asset to the club.
Glorious weather at Wests met the boys from fourths on Saturday. With many guys turning up early to make sure that thirds got a team on the paddock, fourth grade assembled to take on last year’s grand finalists back in the fourth grade black competition, where we belong.
From the outset, the boys in black went on the attack and it wasn’t long before inside centre Matt made huge metres through the midfield only to slam the ball down on the wrong line (a cunning ploy from Wests management so mark out 18,000 different lines to confuse us and even themselves). The referee took pity and gave us an attacking scrum and a couple of pick and drives from the loosies resulted in a try to Sione, converted by Shane ‘Barr Fridge’ Barr. Some excellent forward play lead to the ‘Barr Fridge’ slipping past some feeble Wests forward defence, who were busy playing tiddly winks rather than tackling, to score under the posts. 14-0 up. Bert dominated the lineouts — ours and theirs — some big runs from our new hooker led to an attacking scrum, the ball popped out the back of the West’s scrum and while their number eight slept, Sam picked up the loose ball and strolled to the try line, stopping to get confirmation from the boss Barney that he could touch down. Conversion successful 21-0. That completed one of the best 20 minutes of rah rah from the boys in black in a while. A momentary lapse in concentration allowed the West lads a meat pie next to the sticks, which they converted 21-7. Perth were awarded a penalty out in front on the stroke of half time but ‘Barr Fridge’ missed the attempt and it seemed that Wests' cunning line-marking plan had backfired when their own fullback dotted the ball down on the wrong line. This led to a mad scramble that lasted nearly five minutes, eventually Dwain ‘The Train’ Barr chipping the opposition defence, regathering and offloading the ball to Tony ‘Peppers’ Bingham to score. 28-7 at half time.
The second half continued where the first left off with excellent combined play from the forwards and backs. A second try to ‘Barr Fridge’ and a try to Dermot, who found that years of practising being offside at the ruck and lineouts paid off by pouncing on a loose Wests ball to grab his first try in years. Final score 40 -7 and a very good team performance — a tougher task next week. Man of match honours this week to Sam, who proved after years on the wing that he really is a loose forward.
Unders 20s had a bye this week.
Under 18s recorded a good 24-19 win over Wests after leading 17-8 at half time. Again the team opened with twenty minutes of perfect rugby but again lost shape as the match progressed, the team dropping back to allow the opposition to dictate the style of play. Most of the second half was spent defending their half but a converted try saw them safely home. Two other non-tries scored on the confusing Rosalie Park double markings did not help the cause.