Pindan Premier Grade – Round 15 – ‘Belt Up’ Round
UWA 20 defeated Nedlands 19 at McGillivray Oval, Mt Claremont
Wests Scarborough 46 defeated Cottesloe 30 at Harvey Field, Cottesloe
Joondalup 34 defeated Wanneroo 21 at Kingsway Reserve, Landsdale
Kalamunda 26 defeated Associates 21 at Allen Park, Swanbourne
Perth Bayswater 13 defeated Palmyra 11 at Tompkins Park, Alfred Cove
UWA upset Nedlands 20-19 in yesterday’s Belt Up Match of the Round in the Pindan Premier Grade to claim the Mike Denton Trophy and RugbyWA Cup.
Nedlands, who had previously strung together 13 consecutive victories, led 19-7 at half-time and looked as though they might run away with the game, before UWA – led by flanker and Belt Up Man of the Match Richard Hardwick – scored 13 unanswered second half points to steal the one-point victory.
Hardwick said he was proud of his side’s performance against the competition front-runners.
“We said before the game that it was going to take guts,” he said. “At the beginning they got over us but we regrouped at half time, we refocused and dug deep at the end.
“We just had to trust in ourselves and trust in our plays and patterns, what we’ve trained all season. While we may not have scored as many tries as Neddies today, we were able to put pressure on them and get the points in the end.
“We’re still optimistic about what we can achieve this season. We believe we have a chance and with three big games to finish, all we can do is go out and play our best rugby but we certainly haven’t given up yet.”
UWA opened the scoring against the run of play in the opening minutes when outside centre Ben Taylor intercepted a Nedlands pass on his own 22-metre line to race away and score for an early 7-0 lead.
With both teams throwing everything at each other throughout the high quality encounter, it was Nedlands who scored next when prop Joe Ritchie broke the line from 40 metres out before offloading to Dylan Loversidge to score.
The try sparked the Nedlands machine, who peppered the UWA line and were then denied on three occasions with players held up over the line, before Ritchie again broke through, this time dotting down adjacent to the posts for a 14-7 lead.
The visitors added their third try on the stroke of half-time when quick hands from flyhalf Jesse Toto down the blindside allowed winger Kauri Cudd to cross in the corner for a 19-7 lead at the break.
With the students staring down the barrel of successive losses, Hardwick started the UWA comeback two minutes into the second half with a superb individual try starting on the 40-metre line and brushed through two tackles to score.
UWA winger Levon Kvas-Rothwell, who converted the try, then added a penalty goal to bring his side to within two points at 19-17.
With the game well and truly in the balance, both sides threw everything at the opposition while conceding nothing in defence, until a Hardwick charge with five minutes remaining drew the penalty, and allowed Kvas-Rothwell to knock the ball over for a 20-19 victory.
In yesterday’s other results, Perth Bayswater recorded their first win of the season over Palmyra, 13-11; Wests Scarborough defeated Cottesloe 46-30; Kalamunda edged out Associates, 26-21; and Joondalup claimed their local derby over Wanneroo, winning 34-21.
UWA 20 (Richard Hardwick, Ben Taylor tries; Levon Kvas-Rothwell 2 conversions, 2 penalties) defeated Nedlands 19 (Dylan Loversidge, Kauri Cudd, Joe Ritchie tries; Tavita Davis conversion, Kauri Cudd conversions)