Round 1 Wrap Up
With minimal preparation and a team made almost entirely of senior squad and fourth grade players this was a game that could have gone anywhere. Early ties to Adam Marshall and Keegan Dassler contributed to the boys shooting out to a 17 – 0 lead after 20 minutes. Strong carries from Panashe Kamhara, Brendan Tucker, Dassler and Levi Auvue provided go forward throughout the game but consistent handling errors and messy ruck ball allowed Cott back into the game and the final score saw Pally pull through 24-19.
Struggling with numbers at training in the weeks build up didn't have to much of an effect on the young men as they prevailed against an equally undermanned Cott side by 48 – 7. Strong ball carriers across the park were supported by stand outs from last season Kale Bissett and Evan Stafford as they carried their great form through to the new season.
With the majority of the team having played almost a full game for the earlier 3rd grade the 4's came unstuck against a much fresher Cott side. Losing Brendan Tucker to a head clash and several other suffering cramps and strains meant keeping in touch became more and more difficult. Special note of Jamon Tuiavi'i as he played 2 full games of outstanding rugby. 4th Grade stalwarts Brett Limpus, Junior Greig and Tairi Noema worked hard and were supported strongly by a number of Colts who also backed up but ultimately it was a bridge too far. Score Cott 50 – Pally 7.
The reserve grade team looked to continue its dominance from last year. After blowing away the competition last year Pally has actually increased its depth in the squad this year and will be looking to once again have a massive season. Coaches Jonny Alston and Jerry Mataceva would have been happy with the 45 – 12 scoreline but like all games will be seeking improvement in the coming weeks. Strong performances came from the returning Mike McMillan, JC Nel and Sam Jurisich. Tuhoe Mahaki also displayed his mobility and work rate with a two try performance.
While earlier in the pre season it looked as if the women’s team would struggle for numbers the now look to be pulling together a very strong team. A strong scrummaging performance from Mercedes “Sadie” Putz was supported by Taimani Marshall and Josie Bird. The girls put in a notable effort at the breakdown and with their strong core of leadership aided by international experience expect to see them pick up some good results this season. Final score Cott 22 – Pally 15.
With pre-season action limited to a single hit out against Associates and a couple of inter squad trials it was hard to know how the team was going to open the season. Strong carries from Mees Erasmus, Onehunga Havlli and Manihera Eden were complimented by a hat-trick to Toots Waenga. Head coach Donny Stevenson was happy with the ability of his charges to score from anywhere on the park and the strong defence (characterised one several outstanding cover tackle by reserve half-back Isaac Marriner) shown for patches in the last quarter. However a reduction in key errors and stringing the defence together for longer periods will be required if the Palms wish to go another step further this year. Strong individual performances from Joel Winterburn and Pau Halifihi were supported by a man of the match performance from new first five David 'Duck' Neilson. Final score Palmyra 41 Cottesloe 27.
Next week the club heads to UWA with Fourths & Womens splitting from the rest of the club and head to Curtin University.
Updated 15:26 - 1 May 2017 by Palmyra Media