Round 16 Wrap-up

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Aug 11, 2022 | News

Coming off an agonising 1-point loss against the ladder leading UWA at home last week, Our Premier Grade side have another chance at home this week against an in-form Wests Scarborough team, who are looking revitalised after scraping into the Top 6 in Round 13 with a 1-point win after the fulltime whistle against Wanneroo. Since then, they have knocked off UWA and Cottesloe in successive victories and will pose a stern test of where we are currently at. However, it’s our Colts with top billing this week, taking on Nedlands at Sir Charles Court Reserve for the 4th time this season in the Belt Up Colts Grand Final, having snuck into the decider last weekend after ‘Soaks missed out on a bonus point in their win over Joondalup. Since a heavy defeat early in the season, our Colts have played out a narrow loss and a 12-all draw in their two most recent meetings, so this is anything but a one-horse race. Our Colts aside are one of the most popular teams at the club, and we are expecting a big crowd down at Nedlands to try and cheer our boys home. There is also plenty going on in the ATA Community Women’s competition with our girls playing a double-header vs. UWA and Palmyra at McGillivray.

Obviously, we will kick things off with our Colts, but before we discuss their Grad Final performance, we need to set the scene of where these boys have come from…. We started our season with a group of young lads keen to throw the footy around and share a few beers. Many hadn’t played rugby since their junior years, and only one had played at Baysie the previous year. We had a great mix of young men with plenty of talent that could form the basis for a strong Colts team, but gee they were raw!!

After Round 1 it was evident, they would need some work to come together as a team. They would need to put in the hard work at training for the tides to change and start winning some games. It wasn’t until Round 5 that the boys got to sing the club song in the sheds after a drought-breaking 34-14 win over Mandurah. The coaches were starting to see the teams potential, and the boys felt relieved to get that first win under their belt. We went into our second game against Neddies the following week with something to prove after the first loss. It was a close game but the bridesmaids yet again going down by 6. Sure, it was a loss, but it sparked something inside the team showing them that they could match it with the best in the competition.  We continued to grow in confidence after this game and began playing some competitive rugby coming at home with several wins on the trot. Firstly, knocking off ‘Soaks 21-19, then Mandurah 38-8, Joondalup 26-12, ‘Soaks again 26-10 and the boys were on a march up the table. We met Nedlands again in our last match before the final in a must-win game back on their home turf, there was thunder, torrential rain and mud slide ensued. They scored two early tries, but our relentless defence kept them at bay for the next 40 mins. With 5 minutes to go we were still down by 12 and with our season on the line we managed to dig deep and score two tries, the last right on full time to draw the game 12-all. Winning games and bonus points became important as the fight for second spot between Soaks, Joondalup and Baysie went down to the wire.  A forfeit from Mandurah in the final round, coupled with ‘Soaks inability to secure a bonus point in their win vs. Joondalup was enough, and it saw us finals bound. So here we are headed to Nedlands for the 4th time this season, to compete in the 2022 Belt Up Colts Grand Final.

The game was a thrilling match showcasing the talent of the states U21’s. The sun was shining, the energy was felt across the supporters from one end of the field to the other. Some early injuries saw the bench activated early. Half time saw the scores locked up 5 a piece with a try next to the posts from the team’s top try scorer Zsen Falakoa. The second half was an entertaining but tight physical battle with standout defensive performances from the centre pairing of Issac and Jonathan. With momentum swinging back and forth right until the final minute the boys went down 18-12 to a very strong and composed Nedlands team. Although a disappointing end result, the Baysie boys can hold their heads high, knowing they emptied the tank and left it all out on the field. The season as a whole was extremely enjoyable, the Colts have lots to be proud of and there are plenty of positives looking to the future. The club is certainly proud of their performances, the energy they have brought to the club, and the support and loyalty they have shown by sticking around (or travelling) to watch the Senior grades. We are also appreciative of the support they have provided to bar sales at home games 😊😊😊. This is a young group and we’re very excited for what next year will bring, when the boys will be back aiming to go one better. Baysie Hard!

Next, we move onto a huge weekend of rugby for our Perth Bayswater Women’s team this week with a double header at UWA sports park. We started the contest against UWA’s women team with two ten-minute halves. UWA began strong bagging two tries early in the game, but our Baysie women found their groove, played their pods, and managed to get on the board. The game concluded 12-5 to UWA, had it been a full game the result may have tipped in our Baysie women’s favour. Without hesitation our ladies were straight into their second game against Palmyra women’s team. Palmyra, like usual offered a hard game of rugby putting pressure on our fitness and strength, relentlessly attempting to clear out at the rucks. Our Baysie ladies held their own with some huge hits and cleanouts of their own, maintaining the safety of all participants. Our Baysie ladies fought till the end showcasing their continued skill development and teamwork as we have continually seen throughout the season. Unfortunately, as the days underdogs the results did not fall in our favour with Palmyra taking the game 20-0. Perth Bayswater women’s team player of the day went to one of our newest recruits Molly Cross. Molly’s increased confidence and versatility shone through today with some big runs and massive tackles, making metres and shutting down the opposition’s play. Special mention also to Tia Mason for her first try of the season (perhaps she can teach Meihana a thing or two about getting over the line 😊) and our only try of the day. Thank you to UWA and Palmyra for two very different games to motivate and push us to do and be better as a team. We look forward to seeing you on the field next season.

In our Premier Grade clash, we started brightly and controlled the ball well over the first 10 minutes dominating possession and looking sharp as we shifted the ball to runners in wide channels. So, it was completely against the run of play when the ball came loose with Nathan on attack 10m into the Wests half and the Wests openside scooped the ball up and ran 50m before putting Kainoa Gudgeon over on his outside. We had a few boys guilty here of not playing the whistle here, but to be fair we have a clear ruck formed, the tackling player does not release Nathan, and rips the ball free from the ground. This should have been our penalty, and instead we’re 0-7 down having dominated the early proceedings… Wests almost score again 10 minutes later after back-to-back penalties give them a lineout throw inside our 22m, from which they look to maul over the line. We manage to halt them 5m short, so the half back pulls the ball out and passes to Jonah Placid at pace. Jonah crashes into a strong tackle by Jake Strachan who manages to halt him and bring him to ground. Jonah gets up and without releasing the ball carries on with his run putting the ball down under the posts. However, the referee judges that the tackle was affected, and awards us the penalty. It was a huge collision, and Jake looks a little shaken up after that one. Brandon is also looking sore, clutching at his shoulder: Not good signs given our current injury list and the importance of both players to our line-ups. Brandon only lasts a few more minutes before he’s replaced by Joe Annan.

We shoot ourselves in the foot a few minutes later… With a lineout throw inside our 22m after tackling Wests into touch we throw to the front and secure clean ball and look to maul it, but get it all wrong and get pinged for an obstruction. From the resulting penalty Wests put the ball into touch, secure their lineout ball and maul it over the line to really compound our mistake. We are now 0-14 down and desperately seeking a way back into the match.

The first spark of our comeback lights in the 30th minute. We have a lineout throw inside the Wests 22m and Dante hits our jumper cleanly. We set-up our maul and get a good drive on it advancing the ball almost to the Wests line. Aidan is at the back of the maul when the ball comes out and he picks up and dives over the line amongst the mass of bodies. The referee takes his time with it, but eventually sees the ball down over the line and awards thew try. Jake adds the extras, and we are on the board and back in the game at 7-14. With a distinct sense of déjà vu we repeat the effort in almost identical fashion and in precisely the same spot, except this time it’s Dante driving the back to the maul that comes up with the ball. Jake again adding the extras to leave us at 14-all. Its at this time also that Jake Strachan succumbs to his earlier knock in stopping Jonah Placid from scoring. Given his history with head knocks this season he is pulled off as a precaution. He is replaced by Otu Mausia, who has been fighting illness all week himself, to close out the game. Here is hoping that Jake’s prognosis is good, and he can re-join the team again this season. 14-14 is the half-time score.

As we start the 2nd half there are another 2 changes made, with Issak Fines-Leleiwasa coming on for Josh Stops at 9, and Ty Newsome-Smith replacing Aidan Mcdonagh. We earn an early penalty inside the first 2 minutes and Otu coolly slots it to give us our first lead of the match at 17-14. This lead would prove to short lived, as we give away a silly (and very pedantically officiated) penalty 2 minutes later. We clear the ball from the ruck back to Otu in the pocket to clear 25m out from our line, and a Baysie defender is penalised for changing his line to impede a chasing Wests player (despite the Wests player not being in a position to actually put any real pressure on Otu’s kick. It’s just really poor rugby all around really. The result is an easy penalty for Wests which Kainoa Gudgeon duly slots to lock scores back up at 17-17.

We had our chances over the next 10m minutes, including a period where we were attacking Wests right on their line and earning a penalty for shithousery in the breakdown. With the penalty we call a 5m scrum, and then get pinged for pulling it down on the loosehead side… This would prove to be a massive momentum shifter, giving Wests a real shot in the arm and seeing us noticeably shift down a gear. With Wests on attract inside out half we get penalised for a side-entry at the breakdown. Wests kick to the corner, win their line-out and drive over from the maul (again). With the successful conversion Wests are 17-24 ahead and we are back playing catch-up. We earn a penalty in the 70th minute and we elect to take the points, realising that we need to score twice to take the win the decision is understand as it puts us back within 4 at 20-24.

The next big moment in the game comes a few minutes later with Wests on attack around halfway. Iona Uilli is penalised for a sloppy high tackle on Kainoa Gudgeon 5m into our half. The tackle was certainly high, but not dangerous or intentional and certainly penalty only. With the referee playing advantage Wests move the ball through 9 phases and advance the ball to deep within our 22m before the play starts to break down. Inexplicably, and in the world’s longest advantage, the referee brings the play back for the high tackle penalty. To make matters worse, the kicker takes the penalty from 10m further into our half and 10m further across to the sideline, allowing him to put the ball into touch far closer to the line that they had any right to… I’m getting the feeling that the universe doesn’t want this to be our day! We get penalised for our maul defence. They elect to take a scrum and then get Jonah Placid one-on-one with Issak on the wing, and he crashes over. 20-29 Wests.

We now 9 points adrift with time seriously running out. We try through to the final whistle, but we struggle to get our hands on the ball, and they are coming home with a wet sail. Some strong running in close is pulling our defenders in and with players in space out wide Wests kick cross-field to their replacement winger, who catches and passes back inside. We try and scramble, but they have too many numbers and pass back outside to the fullback who crosses for another try right on full time.

The full-time score will read 20-34, but that does not tell the whole story. The 2 late tries flatter Wests and in truth the game was far closer than the final score. We certainly have some work-on areas this week, our maul defence being the biggest. Our discipline and following the game plan will be focus areas too, but we should still take a lot of positives out of this game. For long stretches we dominated, and we looked threatening with the ball in hand, our lineout was strong, and the effort was there, and if a few key moments within the game went our way this could have been a far different result.

In closing I would ask you boys to remember that we are still the team that won 5-straight in the lead up to our last 2 games. We are that same team that beat Palmyra away, that beat Cottesloe away, that beat Nedlands away (twice), that ruthlessly dismantled Rockingham and Joondalup at home. We know that every man named in our 23 to wear the Black each Saturday has earned the right to wear our jersey, and can bring something to the team to help us get the result. We have worked hard to build depth this year, and we have so much talent within our group that we can put up a team each week that is good enough to beat any team in this competition.

This weekend against Cottesloe at Harvey Field is a big game for us, and we shouldn’t shy away from that fact. We have earned the right to play these big games that actually mean something through our blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have transformed ourselves into one of the most formidable sides in this competition, and the prize for that is that the games get harder not easier. We go again this weekend against those bloody Seagulls Coastal Pigeons.  So go out there and have fun boys. Trust the game plan and the man next you. Empty the tank and give it all you’ve got, and the whole club will be proud of you regardless of the outcome. But I’m certain, with every fibre of my being, that if we front up and play our best rugby, and follow our game plan, that light will overcome darkness, good will triumph over evil, and that no amount of money Cottesloe can throw at their problems will be enough to trump our heart, soul & guts! Lessgo boys!!

In other results, Third Grade dished out a dominant 33-0 win to keep their finals aspirations alive. Wade Bryant, Peter Iulio, Jerome Brown, Alan Taplin and Mark Hill all crossing for tries, and Robbie Rua converting 4/5. A huge game this week vs Cottesloe with another win required to keep us in finals contention. In Reserve Grade, Sam Thornley bagged  double, and Siosia Unga and Pousea Elisara (with an ice pack still on his neck 😊) crossed for tries in our total of 24, however Wests were too strong running in 7 tries in their 45.






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