Round 4 Wrap-up

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May 2, 2022 | News

Round 4 of FMG Premiership rugby saw all three Senior Men’s grades plus our ATA Women’s Community Grade team take on Southern Lions away at Success Regional Sporting Complex.

In perfect sunny conditions Third Grade smarting after the close last round loss to ARKs turned up ready to atone and atone they did!! In a sparkling display of running rugby, Perth Bayswater ran in 8 unanswered tries, dominating the match from start to finish and never letting Southern Lions settle into the contest. With seven different try scorers, it was a real team effort and the perfect response to last week’s poor result, with the final score Perth Bayswater 48, Southern Lions 0.

In what is unfortunately becoming the tale of the season, our Reserve Grade served up more ‘rocks and diamonds’ in their clash against Lions on Saturday. An interrupted preparation and Premier Grade needing to call up a number of players didn’t help the cause, and as a result the team were always likely to struggle against a Lions outfit that are proving themselves to be one of the early favourites for the title this year (being one of only two undefeated sides 4 rounds in and boasting an impressive +101 for and against differential). We started poorly, with some sloppy defending around the breakdown costing us two early tries. In a great show of character, the team worked hard to drag themselves back into the contest, and after a couple of tries of our own we were within striking distance of making a real game of it early in the second half. Unfortunately, a combination of injury (two head-knocks and a broken nose) and losing players to Premier Grade preparations, saw us exhaust our bench early, and with Southern Lions able to find another gear they ran out comfortable winners in the end 64 to 22. The bye is coming at the right time for us, and hopefully with it we will have more fit bodies to call on in a fortnight to take on Nedlands.

The afternoon’s Premier Grade main attraction saw two evenly matched teams put on an absolute belter of a game, which for the vast majority of the 80 minutes looked like it could have gone either way. In the absence of both of our regular captains, Nuku Pauta led the team on Saturday, and we welcomed Brandon Olow back after a week on the sidelines. The late scratching of co-captain Otu Mausia also saw our “Mr Fixit” Victor Paul slot into Fly Half, after previous starts coming at Full Back and Scrum Half this season. In a first half that could only be described as “patchy”, we did a few things well, including a spectacular 30m try to Nuku, but we were largely wasteful with the ball and unconvincing in defence, and seemed to be barely hanging on. At 7-17 down at half time the feeling on the sidelines was that we needed to be the next to score, and whilst Victor did slot a penalty to take it to 10-17, Southern Lions were the next team to cross the line, and given the way the first half had played out, we were really staring down the barrel of defeat with scores at 10-24. In what would prove to be a massive momentum shift Southern Lions were actually the next to cross again, however, somehow we managed to effect a tackle 1m out from the line and inexplicably get a body underneath the ball to prevent what looked for all money to be a certain try (and probably game-over). Instead the denied try proved the catalyst for an incredible comeback, with the boys in black and white able to turn the ball over deep inside our defensive 22m, and take it coast-to-coast on the resulting play in a well-worked team try finished off by Danny Vae Vae. The try put the score at 22-24 and the team were starting to believe that a win was possible, with the shift in intensity noticeable from the sidelines. What was also becoming apparent was a marked improvement in our option taking and seemingly a growing trust in our ability to protect and recycle the ball at the breakdown, and a realisation that we didn’t have to try and push low percentage plays in order to break the opposition down. An example of this smart heads-up rugby can be seen in Tavish Meade at 13 getting the ball on attack inside our half, but seeing the space in behind punching an excellent kick into touch deep inside their 22m and winning us a line out throw in an excellent attacking position. We were able to secure possession from this set piece, and capitalised by scoring a try off of the resulting rolling maul. The try and successful conversion put us in the lead for the first time, up 29-24, and a Victor Paul penalty goal soon after put us up by 8. With time running out and Southern Lions now needing to score twice to regain the lead they started to really chance their arm, attempting to run the ball from dangerous positions. In one such endeavour they tried to push a pass that really was not there to be thrown, and it was that man Tavish again who was able to pick-off the intercept, and touch down under the posts to seal a memorable comeback win away from home. Final score Perth Bayswater 39, Southern Lions 24. For the many club supporters that made the trek down for the game it was a special result, as it showed so much character and fortitude to be able to work ourselves back into the contest and get the win that in the first half was looking unlikely. One also gets the feeling that this could end up being a season-defining game for the players, and hopefully an experience they can call on at the back end of the season if our backs are against the wall and we need to find something special again. Well done boys – the whole club are proud of you.

In the day’s other games, our Colts went down away to Joondalup 19-8, and our ATA Women’s Community Grade team played out a highly entertaining and competitive game against Southern Lions Women’s, that was highlighted by a brilliant long-range try to Emily Fetherston, and captain Bridget Meade touching down 3 times.

Well done to all teams for representing the club so well.

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