28 May 2011
Individual brilliance: halfback Ethan Carlisle scored a sparkling try
Perth-Bayswater first grade continued to suffer the mid-season wobbles with a disappointing 37-24 loss to Associates at Allen Park today, slipping down the competition to seventh place.
The team started well, demolished Soaks' scrum at will and were motivated and urgent for lengthy periods. But the errors and penalties continued in epic proportions, the attack was again stilted and lacking any real threat of penetration, and to make matters worse, the much-vaunted Perth defence turned from stonewall to turnstile.
Perth-Bayswater had the better of the opening minutes and pressured Soaks with quick, abrasive forward charges and energetic back line movements. Eight minutes in Associates conceded a penalty for hands in the ruck and French centre Thomas Trautmann slotted the 30 metre goal from in front.
Soaks rebounded and landed an even easier penalty at the other end of the ground for the same offence, and the game was all square after 14 minutes.
Then it was Perth's turn again and a series of energetic attacks in Soaks' half gave Trautmann a tricky wide penalty shot which drifted wide.
The free-flowing game continued as Soaks moved back down the other end, tapped and ran a penalty in front of the posts, and mauled over the line in the corner for a try after 21 minutes. The sideline conversion missed but the home side took an 8-3 lead.
But black were right back on attack, and from a penalty tap after 25 minutes, the ball went wide and the forwards drove over out wide for the try to number eight Mac Heke. The wide conversion missed and the game was locked up again at 8-8.
The see-saw ended minutes later with Associates running in a simple try down the sideline on the half hour but missing the wide conversion kick, then minutes later running from another tap penalty through non-existent tackling for a try under the bar. The point blank conversion was a formality and Soaks shot ahead 20-8 with two minutes to half time.
Trautmann clawed back three points with a difficult penalty goal on the stroke of half time but the home team took a 20-11 lead into the break.
Hooker Niko Letufuga and flyhalf Dylan Parsons
It was small respite, with Soaks' forwards rushing the line a minute after the kick and almost scoring, but came up short from the subsequent penalty. Instead Trautmann goaled for Perth after six minutes from a penalty in front of the posts.
Perth's pack dictated terms in the scrums but the backs couldn't click on attack and scoring opportunities were rare. It was left to another Trautmann penalty after ten minutes to keep the scoreboard creeping forward at 20-17.
But it was wasted effort as penalties moved Soaks back onto attack and simple backline running gave them a free pass through imaginary defence. The conversion again opened the margin at 27-17 after 15 minutes.
Perth continued shooting themselves in the foot with directionless field kicking, missed clearing kicks and penalties, Soaks adding a penalty goal for offside after 20 minutes at 30-17.
Perth worked furiously to get back into the game with some big tackles and a few gutsy charges, but it was just bits and pieces of resistance as Soaks drove the nail home. Another Soaks try from a Perth penalty and knock on followed on the half hour, converted from out wide for a near-unassailable 37-17 lead.
But to their credit, black kept plugging away and after moving up the field with a penalty, halback Ethan Carlisle darted from the base of a ruck to score a marvellous 30 metre solo try in the final play of the day, eluding several defenders on his way to the line. Trautmann converted for a modicum of respectability at 37-24, but the score flattered a Perth team that hadn't really been in the game for 50 minutes.
Of course everyone had to then put up with Soaks' very silly club song, which was marginally less revolting than their fullback's hysterical schoolgirl shrieking throughout the game.
Perth first grade don't lack attitude or personnel but coach Rex George has a mountain of work to do on getting them playing with cohesion and confidence. As the half way point of the season approaches, there is plenty of time to get it right but Perth's supporters will be expecting real progress in the weeks ahead.
Referee Alex Ninkov was a welcome addition to the top level with a solid performance in his first grade debut with the whistle.
Seconds went down to Associates 29-8 at Allen Park, tiring badly in the second half to let the game slip away. The team led 8-7 at half time from a try and conversion by halfback Mark Hill, following a positive start but the writing was on the wall with a four players doubling up from earlier games and the forwards having a hard time staying with the bigger Soaks pack.
Associates dominated the second half although seconds came back for a period of attack, but without result, Soaks running out the winners 29-8.
Thirds continued their steady improvement with a 49-23 loss to Associates..
Fourths lost a close one to Associates 13-12.
Under 20s enjoyed a much improved game from recent weeks, with improved attitude and confidence, to defeat Associates 26-12. The team changed its game plan this week and were superbly led from the front by captain and lock James Eliasehewsky, who kept the team focused on their tasks. Under 20s stuck to their game plan and did the basics right, with low errors and domination of scrums and the breakdown to lead 14-7 at half time. Perth scored first and Soaks came back to score, but rousing words from captain James Eliasehewsky behind the posts got the team back on track for another try.
In the second half, Soaks took the game to Perth and scored, and Under 20s spent long periods on defence but were able to absorb the punishment and come back to score another 12 points.
Tries were scored by openside flanker George Chota, number eight Tiri McDonald, James Eliasehewsky and inside centre Hemi Chase. The team benefited from massive contributions by Under 18 players Hemi and blindside flanker Col.
Under 18s defeated Joondalup 33-21 at the Arena Complex.
The Women's team defeated Cottesloe/University 19-14.