“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
Lest we forget.
Last week saw Perth Bayswater host ARKs at Pat O’Hara Reserve for a very special ANZAC Round of FMG Premiership Rugby.
The day saw us welcome several VIPs, including representatives from Nollamara RSL, local and State Government and RugbyWA, as well as club sponsors, and Life Members, to help us mark the occasion. Along with some scintillating rugby, the occasion was marked by an ANZAC Day Commemoration ceremony, which included the reciting of The Ode, observance of a minute’s silence, the playing of the Last Post, both Australian and New Zealand National Anthems, the last post and the rouse. It certainly sent a shiver down my spine and added an element of theatre to what was already shaping as a great day.
Further adding to the occasion, Round 3 was the first time this season we’ve managed to have our ATA Women’s Community Grade side playing at home along-side our 3 Senior Men’s teams. It was fantastic that so many of the club’s supporters finally got to see our women in action, and to see how far along they have already come on their rugby journey. Unfortunately on Saturday they ran into a far more experienced team, and the final score reflected as much, however the passion and commitment with which they represent our club was on full display, and they should be proud of their efforts. The club certainly is.
Despite coming into Saturday’s clash in a rich vein of form, Third Grade were unable to get the win this week. In what represents their first loss for the season, we were ultimately unable to string a number of impressive individual efforts together into a cohesive team performance capable of knocking off a good ARKs outfit that were primed for the occasion. We were in the game right until the final whistle, but in the end it just wasn’t enough going down 14 to 21.
The news was better in Reserve Grade, with our boys breaking their duck and getting on the board for the first time this year, running out 24 to 12 winners. Whilst we still made it hard for ourselves at times, and I’m sure there’s plenty that Brownie will be wanting the team to work on this week at training, at the end of the day a win is a win, and it’s great to finally get some reward for the hard work being put in on and off the field. I feel there is plenty the team is capable of come the back end of the season, if we can build some continuity in selection and performance, but we will first need to overcome an impressive Southern Lions outfit this weekend before looking any further ahead. Southern Lions are coming of the bye, and recorded two very good wins in Rounds 1 and 2 vs. UWA and ARKs. So we should expect a tough contest, and we will need to be at our best.
In the afternoon’s main event our Premier Grade team shook off the memories of a poor Round 2 showing away at UWA, and instead picked-up where they left off at home in Round 1 vs. ‘Soaks. Despite some big names missing in the likes of Brandon Olow and Joe Annan, and with a new starting halves combination with Victor Paul shifting into scrum half, the team started assuredly dominating the early exchanges. We were able to turn our territory dominance into early points via two penalty goals courtesy of the left boot of Otu Mausia, before starting to really break the game open mid-way through the first half with some well taken tries on the back of consistent pressure. By the end of the game, we had 3 players bagging doubles (Tashir Newsome-Smith, Outunuku Pauta and Chris Saulala), with Mathew Faoagali also crossing the line, and Otu finished the day almost flawless from the tee, converting 6 form 7 and finishing with 3 penalty goals for a personal haul of 21 points. ARKs crossed for a couple of late consolation tries but were never really in the contest. Final score Perth Bayswater 56, ARKs 19.
In the afternoons other game Perth Bayswater Colts had a tough day at the office away to Nedlands Colts, going down 40 to 7. Whilst Jimmy and the boys will be hurting after the loss, it’s important to remember that these combinations are new, with our Colts team only recently being re-assembled for this season, after a couple of year hiatus, and that the core of the team are bottom end of the age bracket. These sorts of rugby lessons are tough to learn, but there is massive potential for this group later in this season and next year as they continue to develop. It was great to see the Colts back at the club in the afternoon supporting our Senior grade teams from the sidelines!!