After posting big wins over the last 3 weeks, Round 8 threatened to be a thudding return to earth for Palmyra 3rds. The heavy flooding around Perth over the previous two days had left at least 8 players either missing, unavailable due to injury (including a season-ending broken ankle to Karl-Henry Korjus) or with severe head colds. It was therefore a depleted group who joined Shagger (AKA "Captain Hook" due to a heavily strapped elbow) on his yacht and sailed up Mitchell Freeway to play Joondalup Brothers. In somewhat of a turn of events, the team came out firing and scored the first try of the match - something they had not managed to do in any of the previous wins - through Elliot Knox in the 13th minute. A converted try to Joondalup heading towards half time put them ahead by two points but a penalty on the siren gave Jesse Maguire a chance to regain the lead for Palmyra. The 50 metre kick might have had Jesse feeling nervous but coach George Sutherland's soothing words of "YOU CAN'T KICK THAT FAR!", "LET RYAN KICK IT!" and "DON'T TRY TO BE A HERO!" put his mind at ease and, as George remarked afterwards, the kick was never in doubt. (Editor's note: remarks from George have not been embellished.)
Two tries, one converted, had Joondalup retaking and extending the lead in the second half - hooting and hollering with the wind literally at their back. However two penalties from Jesse kept Palmyra in touch and when Ryan Pietersen beat 31 tacklers on the left wing to score it was Palmyra who went into the closing stages with all the momentum. It looked like the team may have let Joondalup off the hook with 5 minutes to go when they gave away a penalty while deep in attack. However, rather than use the wind and reef the ball back into Palmyra's corner, Joondalup inexplicably tapped and ran (OK maybe not ENTIRELY inexplicably if you'd seen how terrible their line out had been) and a subsequent turnover saw man of the match Dan Gordon wheeling away from the breakdown. The ensuing passage of play ended with a barnstorming Tommy Foster delivering a perfect ball to Sean McDonald who crashed over for the try. Another Maguire conversion pushed the lead out to 4 points and the team held out for a satisfying, backs-against-the-wall, win and a big one in the context of the season.
Updated 16:27 - 11 Jun 2018 by Palmyra Media