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Pindan Premier Grade – Round 12

Nedlands 29 defeated Wests Scarborough 13 at Bennett Park, Doubleview

Cottesloe 68 defeated Perth Bayswater 5 at Pat O’Hara Reserve, Morley

Palmyra 41 defeated Wanneroo 5 at Tompkins Park, Alfred Cove

UWA 14 defeated Associates 11 at Allen Park, Swanbourne


By Fraser Smith


Nedlands have ended Wests Scarborough’s 11-match undefeated run and climbed to the top of the Pindan Premier Grade ladder for the first time this season, with an authoritative 29-13 victory at Bennett Park yesterday.


The first half was played at a blistering pace, with both sides clearing the ball quickly to utilise their backline strength. Nedlands dominated territory and possession for much of the first 40 and capitalised, running in three tries. The Boars also made the most of their limited chances in the first half, taking away points from all but two entries into the 22 to remain within striking distance, 22-13.


Wests controlled the bulk of possession in the second half, but failed to put the finishing touches on the end of some promising passages of play with the Nedlands defence holding fast to run out a comfortable victory.


Nedlands coach Luke Doherty said he was happy with his side’s performance against a quality Boars line-up.


“We can take a lot out of this game obviously,” he said. “We are very pleased, mainly because we put a plan in place on Tuesday night and boys stuck to it and as a coach it always great to see the work from the training track translate to the field.”


“We are a different team to the one that lost to Wests in Round One, today we really tried to bring intensity, good line-speed and make it a challenge for them at the breakdown.”


Doherty said that despite the strong victory, it’s not going to mean anything when finals come around.


“Obviously we’ve got the wood over them at the moment, but they are a quality side and anything can happen in the grand final or semi-final. We won’t be looking that far ahead though, we are just going to focus on the next six rounds and be ready for whoever we come up against later on.”


The Boars came out with intent in the opening five minutes, putting Nedlands under pressure to force a penalty at the breakdown. After kicking for touch just five-metres from the Nedlands line, Rory Walton claimed the lineout and the Boars formed a rolling maul for the Western Force’s Kane Koteka to fall over the line. AJ Alatimu converted to take the early lead, 7-0.


Nedlands struck back on their next possession with scum half Michael Ruru taking advantage of a gap in the Wests line and breaking three tackles before putting in a grubber kick for Dylan Loversidge to hunt down in-goal and score the visitors’ first try of the contest. Ian Prior converted to level the scores, 7-7.


Wests, determined to regain the ascendancy, strung multiple phases together executing a number of backline moves but are unable to break the Nedlands line. Alatimu dropped back into the pocket and slotted a drop goal from 30-metres out, to retake the lead, 10-7.


Dynamic scrumhalf Ruru continued to leave his impression on the game, picking up from the base of the ruck, selling a dummy and going 30-metres to score next to the uprights. Prior added the extras as the lead changed yet again, 10-14.


Prior added three more points to his tally as the Boars were penalised for infringing at the breakdown taking the lead to seven, 10-17.


Nedlands continued to pressure the Wests line late in the first half, swinging the ball from one wing to the other after a five-metre scrum for Dylan Loversidge to barge over for his second, taking two tacklers with him, 10-22.


Alatimu kept the home side in touch at with a penalty on the stroke of half time to close the gap to just nine-points, 13-22.


The Boars came out with added intensity in the second half but discipline at the breakdown and handling error squandered their most promising passages of the match.


Nedlands withstood the attacking onslaught and marched down to the other end to score their fourth of the afternoon through a Danny Hartwell pick-and-drive to notch up a four-try bonus point. Prior converted to close the game out, 29-13.


In yesterday’s other results, UWA overcame Associates, 14-11; Palmyra outclassed Wanneroo, 41-5; Cottesloe were too good for Perth Bayswater, 68-5;


Nedlands 29 (Dylan Loversidge 2; Michael Ruru, Danny Hartwell tries; Ian Prior 3 conversions, penalty goal)defeated Wests Scarborough 13 (Kane Koteka try; AJ Alatimu conversion, penalty, drop goal)


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