25 June 2011
Half-forward: halfback Mark Hill was a fourth loose forward
It wasn't exactly a work of art, but when Perth-Bayswater first grade drew the Bulls 27-27 at Pat O'Hara Reserve on Saturday, they showed enough aggression and enterprise to leave the field feeling a little unlucky about the result.
A slow start them left playing catch up against a dominant Bulls team in the first half but some of their best rugby of the season in the second spell saw them take the lead later in the game and surrender it only to a couple of dubious penalty decisions.
Kalamunda dominated early territory as both teams missed difficult penalty kicks, until 12 minutes in when Kalamunda took a prime attacking position with a penalty kick to the sideline, and after losing and regaining the ball, swept wide for a simple try beside the posts. The sitter conversion gave the visitors an early 7-0 lead.
Perth had very few chances until centre Thomas Trautmann kicked a monster 45 metre penalty for offside after 17 minutes.
The home side finally managed to put some attacking phases together in Kalamunda's half but knocked on and the Bulls went back on attack, slicing through ineffective defence for another try beside the posts. The kick was again a formality and Perth were trailing 17-3 after 22 minutes, with another disppointing loss beckoning.
Back to back: flyhalf Dylan Parsons and right wing Brendan Anderson
But another Trautmann penalty for offside on the 22 kept Perth in touch after 32 minutes, after a promising attacking move bogged down.
Perth kept plugging away and rucked up to the line from a penalty scrum, and prop Samuel Taleni finished off a series of heavyweight charges on the line with a try a short distance from the posts. Trautmann converted, the half time whistle blew and Perth were back in the game 14-13.
Perth started the second spell strongly and were rewarded with a penalty goal to Trautmann to take the lead for the first time in the opening minutes of the half. But Kalamunda replied in kind minutes later to creep ahead 17-16 after five minutes.
Then Perth went back onto attack, Trautmann added another penalty goal and after a charge down in goal, number eight Mac Heke peeled off the back of the five metre scrum and burst over for the try. The wide conversion missed but Perth took a 24-17 lead after 19 minutes.
But penalties cost Perth and Kalamunda worked wide to score in the corner, then kicked the sideline conversion to draw 24 all after 27 minutes.
A dodgy lineout penalty with ten minutes to play snuck the Bulls ahead 27-24, but Perth charged back and after failing to cross after two tap penalties, Trautmann kicked the third to draw again at 27-27 with a couple of minutes on the clock.
Both teams had chances in the fading minutes of the game but neither could convert them into points and match finished with a 27-27 draw. While it was not the result the team needed, and dropped Perth down the ladder a notch to seventh place, it showed that with half a chance Perth first grade can produce the goods.
The team now needs to back this up with an eighty minute effort in the coming weeks.
In other games, seconds lost to Kalamunda 17-15, thirds lost to Kalamunda 31-26, fourths lost to Kalamunda 10-5, Under 20s had a bye and Under 18s won by forfeit 25-0 over Wanneroo. Only the women tasted success on the field with a 58-7 win over Kalamunda's girls.