21 May 2011
Out of the gloom: Lock Brent Murphy tries to raise the team's fortunes
Perth-Bayswater first grade seemed to have blown all their gunpowder in the heroic comeback win over University seven days earlier, going down with barely a whimper to Palmyra 19-0 at Pat O'Hara Reserve on Saturday.
Apart from a rousing ten minute spell of all out attack on Palmyra's line right at the end of the match, Perth never looked remotely like scoring and suffered from dreadful ball retention problems.
Defence was one of the few bright spots, the team defending manfully against a switched-on, dynamic Palmyra team that came to play fifteen man rugby with speed and passion.
The match was evenly poised for the first twenty minutes as both sides battled between the 22s, mixing attacking runs with positional kicking but neither side created real attacking opportunities.
Then after 22 minutes Palmyra put together a series of rucks into Perth's 22 and their forwards mauled up for a try. The visitors converted from a moderate angle and took a 7-0 lead.
French wing Thomas Trautmann missed a difficult penalty chance five minutes later and Paly went back onto attack in Peth's 22. An abysmal clearing pass in goal gifted Paly with an attacking scrum five metres out and a bizarre penalty for not releasing gave Paly yet another opportunity which resulted in a simple overlap and touchdown in the corner. The sideline conversion went astray but Paly had a solid 12-0 lead after 35 minutes.
With Paly's scrums giving as good as they got and their backs showing slick attacking skills, the mometum was all with the visitors going into the break.
Running like a gazelle: prop Samuel Taleni shows how it's done
Palmyra dominated possession in the early part of the second half although Perth worked mightily for a share of attack, but on five separate occasions in the first 20 when the home side gained good attacking ball in Paly's half they immediately lost it through simple errors.
Perth's scrums started to assert dominance and heroic defence restricted Palmyra's attack but a semi-functional lineout didn't help, and after 26 minutes a lost lineout led to a penalty for offside on the line, and Paly again mauled up for a simple try. The wide conversion succeeded and Paly were enjoying a cakewalk at 19-0, while Perth seemed incapable of holding onto the ball for more than three phases and had not looked vaguely like challenging Palmyra's line once in the entire game.
In the final ten minutes Perth finally awoke from their slumber and hammered Palmyra's line with repeated pick and drives but just couldn't make it over the line despite repeated attempts. Palmyra hung on until the final whistle for a well-deserved win.No way through: battering the line without success in the final minutes
Seconds suffered a 20-12 loss to Palmyra after trailing 10-7 at half time, dropping to fourth on the competition. Despite going into the game with a definite plan to play a tight game, the team lost structure and shape, and played to the opposition's strengths instead of their own. Like firsts, seconds failed to maintain possession at the breakdown, and Palmyra capitalised with open, attacking play. Prop Josh Hickey scored both tries from pick and drives from structured play, and halfback Mark Hill added the conversion.
Thirds lost to Palmyra 33-15.
Fourths drew with Palmyra 10-10.
Under 20s suffered a flat 20-0 loss to Palmyra after being 10-0 down at the break, despite starting well. The team played reasonably well and had a good attitude but the forwards weren't able to provide a good platform for the backs and were overshadowed by the Paly forwards during the match.
The team was missing several players and had the bounce of the ball go against them at the wrong times but overall just failed to rise to the occasion, not playing enough as a unit and struggling to catch up once they were behind.
Now lying a distant fifth in their competition, the team has a lot of work in front of them and need to start thinking and working as a team before the second round.
Under 18s again brought home the only good news of the day, maintaining their number one position on the table with a 42-9 win over Palmyra.
The Women's team had a bye.
The club chose this occasion to thank its volunteers for their many hours of valuable work, without which the club could not operate. Certificates and vouchers, and for the lucky few even the odd kiss, were handed out by the lovely Di Scholes, while food and drink served in a sideline marquee during the game made it special day for the club's volunteers.