Bill's Match Report: Cottesloe v Wanneroo 29th June 2019

Updated: Jul 8, 2019

Cottesloe v Wanneroo: Round 13 at Harvey Field 29th June 2019


1 Andre Roux

2 Scott Cornell

3 Thomasi (TJ) Vunivalu

4 Elliott Ferriman (c)

5 Leon Power

6 Teautu (T) Walker

7 John-Martin Stewart

8 Mark Cornell

9 Tane Koteka

10 Ethan Reilly

11 Joe Bajjada

12 Andrew King

13 Grason Makara

14 Graham Hunter

15 Steve Nolson

If last week’s game against Nedlands was a big ask for Wanneroo, today’s game against Cottesloe is an even bigger mountain for them to climb. To be certain of making the top six and participate in the major finals they have to beat top of the ladder Cottesloe on their home ground. But far from being daunted by the prospect, the green machine is actually looking forward to taking them on.

The game couldn’t have started any worse for Wanneroo. In the opening minutes they were penalised for not releasing at the breakdown and Cott kicked the ball into the Dogs half for a line out. The Blues backs used their line out ball to attack Wanneroo’s midfield defence and when they couldn’t find an opening they gave their forwards a go. Cott’s barrel of a hooker took the ball on the run and slammed into two defenders. By staying on his feet and maintaining his forward drive he created an opening and slipped a pass to his flanker, who swept in for a converted try under the posts.

Cottesloe 7 – Wanneroo 0

Wanneroo responded with vigour and fought their way downfield into Cott’s 22. The green forwards were setting the ball up for a promising attack, when a turn over let the seagulls wriggle off the hook. But it was only a temporary respite, because the Dogs came roaring in again. They made ground through the middle of the field before giving the ball to Ethan who kicked it high and long into the corner. A howling gale was blowing off the sea, making it the catch a lottery that would have tested any player’s ability. But Cottesloe’s winger took the ball way above his head like an aussie rules player, controlled it and hoofed it back into the Dogs 22. He made a really difficult job look easy.

Wanneroo ran the ball well and were controlling the play. They were setting up for another attack when the wind lifted the physio’s tent up into the air and sent it crashing onto the field. Play was delayed while it was removed, but the interruption spoiled the Dog’s attacking opportunity.

The game resumed with a scrum feed to Cottesloe. The Wanneroo pack showed their prowess at the set piece by driving Cott backwards. The ensuing play was evenly shared for a while, until Leon Power muscled his way into a couple of Cott players and drove them backwards. He went to ground, set the ball and his forward cohorts drove straight over the top, enabling Tane to give quick service to his backs. Ethan drew his man and fed Grason, who took off like the road runner and his silky run bamboozled the defence. He slipped the ball to Nolly in the 22 and he sucked in a defender before giving a subtle little pass to Ethan, who had continued to run a good support line. Ethan finished off an excellent inter- passing team play with a well deserved try. He also converted his own try.

Cottesloe 7 – Wanneroo 7

Now it was game on, with Wanneroo champing at the bit. But their exuberance was dented when the ref pinged Elliott for clearing out beyond the ruck and awarded a penalty to Cott about 30 metres out in front of the Wanneroo goal posts. Thankfully, the wind came to the Dog’s assistance and blew the kick wide.

Cottesloe’s forwards took the drop out ball and hit it up. They recycled it three or four times, but couldn’t get over the gain line. The Dog’s forwards contested the break down, won the ball and gave it to captain Andrew King. He got through the first line of defence and looked to feed Grason, but his low pass went to ground, giving the scrum feed to Cott. The ref penalised Wanneroo for a misdemeanour in the scrum and Cott caught them on the hop with a quick tap & go. The home team put the ball through hands to their right wing, but Wanneroo scrambled back, reorganised and did a good job to stop them about five metres out from the try line. Cott earned the scrum feed, but Wanneroo’s power and concerted drive disrupted them and the ball squirted all over the place. Their flanker did a good clean up job, managed to pick the ball out of the mess and drive it forward. Wanneroo defenders swarmed over him and stopped him just short of their line again. Cott’s forwards recycled the ball for another phases, but they were all similarly dealt with. Their scrum half realised they couldn’t break through and shipped the ball out to his waiting back line. It got to their centre and he went for the try. Nolly hit him with a fine tackle, but he had sufficient momentum to carry him and Nolly over the line. The conversion missed.

Cottesloe 12 – Wanneroo 7

The try seemed to inspire Wanneroo, rather than deter them. They tore into Cott and pressured them so forcefully that the Blues had no option but to kick for touch. Ethan was given good service from the line out and made a break that took him into Cott’s 22, but the ball went forw3ard in the tackle and Cott got the scrum feed. Wanneroo bulldozed their scrum once again and the ref added to their pain by penalising them. Wanneroo took a quick tap, raced away and the try looked to be on. Only for the ref to call them back to retake the penalty. Ethan went for the three points, judged the wind perfectly and slotted the ball home.

Cottesloe 12 – Wanneroo 10

Cottesloe came back with a vengeance and attacked in numbers. They tried the crash and bash routine, but Wanneroo’s defence was sound and they dished out some big hits that kept Cott at bay. There was only a minute or so left on the clock for half time when the Dogs were struck a savage blow. The ref spotted an infringement in one of the battles for possession and penalised Wanneroo. Cottesloe took the kick and the three points and the ref blew for half time. Cottesloe 15 – Wanneroo 10

HALF TIME: Cottesloe 15 – Wanneroo 10

A lesser team might have folded after such a devastating blow, but not the Roo Dogs. Joe caught the restart ball and thumped it back into Cott’s half. The Blues ran it confidently until John-Martin Stewart chopped their ball carrier down with a shuddering tackle that stopped him in his tracks. JM’s good work was undone when the ref penalised Wanneroo’s backs for offside. Cottesloe opted to go for the points, but missed.

They war of attrition resumed and both sides contested every inch of ground. Cottesloe and Wanneroo traded the ball, territory and play, but neither side could get an effective edge over the other. Seta (Rob) Fano came on as a replacement for Wanneroo and had an immediate impact when he hit the Cottesloe scrum half with a fearsome, but fair, tackle that bent and buckled him. Unfortunately the half back had to go off (we all hope he is ok).

Play resumed with a scrum to Wanneroo and once again, they shoved Cott backwards. No 8, Mark Cornell, did a great job of controlling the ball and keeping it in at the base while his pack took the Blue scrum on a sight seeing tour of their pitch. He eventually let the ball out while the scrum was still going forward, giving his backs time and space to operate in. Kingy carried the ball well and offloaded perfectly to Grason just as he got tackled. Grason evaded several defenders and made a scorching run up the field with Graham seemingly attached to his shoulder. Graham took Grason’s pass and made another twenty metres up his wing before being caught and tackled into touch. Cott ran their line out ball into Wanneroo’s half, only for John-Martin to pop up again and drill the ball carrier. The Blues were penalised for hands in at the tackle and Ethan kicked the ball into their 22 for a line out. Just when all was going sweet, Wanneroo lost their own line out ball and Cott wriggled off the hook.

Wanneroo’s work rate was testament to how badly they wanted the win, but they put pressure on themselves by giving penalties away – but only because they were trying so hard. Cottesloe aren’t top of the ladder for nothing. They are a class act who are used to winning and they take every advantage they can get. I’m proud to say that Wanneroo matched them and forced them to fight tooth and nail for every scrap of possession and every inch of ground.

The ref awarded Cott a scrum feed on the 10 metre line, but Wanneroo’s dominance in the set piece made it very uncomfortable and difficult for them. They did manage to get the ball away, but because it was slow the backs were denied the time or space to use it effectively. They tried to instigate an attack, but Rob put another rib tickler on the ball carrier forcing a team mate to pick and kick. Nolly got back, gathered the rolling ball and swept up field before chipping it over the side line. Leon pinched Cott’s throw in, but got pinged by the ref in the process. The Blues opted for another line out and were stunned to have their play ruined, when Mark Cornell brilliantly intercepted the scrum half’s pass.

Every Wanneroo player was applying huge pressure on Cott, but the Blues gave as good as they got and the game reached impasse for a while. Then Cott made a break from a line out and found a rare gap in the middle of the park. Their runner made a good thirty metres before Wanneroo managed to bring him down. Cott moved the breakdown ball to their left winger for another foray into the Dog’s territory, but he didn’t get too far before he was decked and the Dogs raced in to contest the ball. Both packs fought for it until the ref blew for a scrum to Wanneroo. Cott’s prop must have been feeling the heat in the tight, because he dropped the scrum and gave a penalty away. Ethan kicked the ball to the half way for a line out, but the Dog’s plan of attack was thwarted when the throw in wasn’t taken cleanly. The ball bobbled around all over the place and although Leon mopped up the mess, Cottesloe got a penalty out of it.

The home team took the line out option and kicked the ball into the Dogs 22. Their flanker soared high, took the throw in and when he hit the deck he managed to squeeze through a hole in the green line out. He got tackled fairly quickly, but set the ruck ball up well. Cott’s forwards took it on, until the ref saw another infringement and pinged Wanneroo right in front of the posts. The drover’s dog could have back heeled the ball over the posts from there and Cott didn’t miss either.

Cottesloe 18 – Wanneroo 10

Ethan’s high, hanging drop out gave his forwards enough time to challenge Cott for the restart ball. Leon did well to get a hand to the ball and disrupt their jumper, but the Blues came away with the ball and made ground. Wanneroo fought desperately to regain possession and in their desperation they gave away another penalty in their own 22. Cott chose the line out option and after taking the ball into the first phase they released their human missile, the barrel shaped hooker. He charged head first into Ethan and I’m not sure who was the more surprised at the result, Ethan or the hooker. Ethan bravely set himself for the tackle, only for the portly one to bounce him backwards, but the barrel boy lost all momentum too and got clattered by the Wanneroo pack.

Wanneroo was on fire and looking dangerous. They hurled themselves into everything and their courage and tenacity was rewarded with a penalty. They had to score to get a bonus point, so they took a quick tap and fed Nolly on the run. He weaved his way to the half way unimpeded and when he finally got tackled he fed the ball back to his support runners. Replacement Cory Tearoa took the ball on beautifully, and kicked into space when he got closed down. Cott was under the pump and chose to kick the resulting line out ball deep into Wanneroo territory for some relief. The Dogs moved their line out ball quickly to Rob who was lurking in the centres. He drove it up strongly, but the ball went loose in the tackle. Cott took it and replied with some thumping drives, but couldn’t breach the green defensive wall. Leon put a massive tackle in and Beets followed it up with a close encounter of the prop kind on some poor Cottesloe player. Harvey field was no place for the weak or faint hearted.

Time was getting away from them, but Wanneroo were in no mood to concede defeat. The ref awarded a scrum feed to Cottesloe on the half way and then penalised Wanneroo for an early engagement. Beets was incensed and made it clear to all and sundry that his opponent had pulled back on the engagement, to milk the penalty. He advised him that he was lacking in intestinal fortitude and would help him by rearranging his anatomy at the next scrum. Unfortunately for the prop his captain opted for the scrum. Beets dutifully kept his word and drilled his man so forcefully that he saved him paying for colonic irrigation by scrumming the living s**t out of him. BUT, he did it fairly and the Wanneroo pack decimated what was left of the Blue (black & blue?) scrum.

The ref justifiably awarded a penalty to Wanneroo, but it was too little too late because it was the last play of the game. Despite their total commitment, he Dogs were still eight points in arrears and a converted try wouldn’t win the game for them, nor would a penalty. But either one would earn them a bonus point that could keep them in the finals. So Ethan went for the penalty goal from forty five metres out in the howling wind. It was a very good effort, but the kick missed and the game was over almost immediately.

FINAL SCORE: Cottesloe 18 – Wanneroo 10

What a pearler of a game and what a fantastic effort by Wanneroo. They stood tall and took it to the league leaders with conviction and pride for the full eighty minutes. They matched them in most phases of play, outplayed them in some and came tantalisingly close to a victory. Cottesloe showed that they are a very good and very experienced team, who know how to tough it out in close games. And they don’t come much closer than this one.

The good news is that ARKS did Wanneroo a huge favour by beating Palmyra. That result keeps Wanneroo in the top six and in the major league finals by the tightest of margins. They deserve it.

This young Wanneroo team is constantly looking to improve and they are slowly getting there. If they continue to work on their game with their coaching staff in training, they will learn and progress. It won’t be easy but it does look promising.

I could all be picky and point out that they give away too many penalties, sometimes muff crucial passes, and occasionally lose their way. But the fact is that all teams can be guilty of those things. Cottesloe made almost as many mistakes and faux pas, but their experience enabled them to cover them up a little bit better. Most of the penalties Wanneroo concede are a direct result of their endlessly determined efforts to win the ball or protect it.

You don’t give penalties away if you aren’t trying. And the Dogs never stop trying.

By the way, when I refer to the ‘Team’ I’m not just talking about the starting fifteen players. This team is a united outfit made up of a playing squad, coaching staff, manager and physio. They all contribute.


Coach Steve (Festa) Cavanagh said;

Although I’m disappointed with the loss, I’m very pleased with the team’s endeavour. I thought Wanneroo dominated the game at times and the guys proved that they can compete at the highest level in WA rugby.


Captain Andrew King said;

We came to Cottesloe knowing we had to get an away win against the top team in the competition. It was a daunting task, but not one that we shied away from. We were actually looking forward to it. We may have lost but we gave it our best and Cottesloe know that they only just scraped through. I’m proud to be captain of this resurgent team.


Popular Wanneroo player, Elliott Ferriman, played his last game for the Roo Dogs today. He is returning home to play in Wales where he has a contract with Newport. He will be sorely missed, both on and off the field.

Coach Steve (Festa ) Cavanagh said:

When I was looking for a tall lock who could carry the ball well last year, I was unbelievably fortunate to have Elliott answer my prayers. Not only has he carried well, he has played brilliantly, brought experience beyond his years to the team and shared it with his mates. He also gave a hard edge to the team that is essential in any successful sport.

We loved having you Elliott and we will watch your career with great interest.

Remember that the kennel door will always be open for you.


SECOND GRADE: Cottesloe 64 – Wanneroo 0

Coach Clint McDonnell said,

The boys gave everything they had, but were well beaten by the better team on the day.

Chris, Jamels, Caleb and Brad all stood out.

I feel we have the personnel to do a good job if the team could just get a bit more structure into their play.

We have a hard core of committed players, but some of the guys make it tough for them by not turning up to training. Please try to rearrange your commitments for the rest of the season so you can make training and support your team mates, even if it’s only on a Thursday. We can finish the season strongly if we work together.


This outstanding team started a little tentatively and gave away a penalty in the opening minutes to go 3 - 0 down. Cottesloe’s pack had some big men, but they didn’t pose any great threat and the Dogs coped with them relatively easily. The score stayed the same until the half time whistle.

The most interesting thing in the half time break was watching ‘G’ have his dreads groomed and plaited by Sian. Not too many men have a personal, on field, grooming service, do they?

The second half saw the Dogs resume normal service and controlling the play. Their organisation and structure gave Bryce the opportunity to score a second try that Matthys converted. 3 – 7.

The Roo Dogs stepped up to another level and after multiple hits by the likes of ‘G’ and Boff they gave the pill on a plate to Bryce and he scored his second try.

Matthys stroked the conversion over. 3 – 14.

Cott somehow managed to get a bit of go-forward ball and made a really good break thru the middle of the park. Two successive, potential tries were snuffed out by excellent tackles, courtesy of full back Mike.

Wanneroo showed daring and imagination by using replacement Ian Harvey as a line out jumper. Not bad when you consider Harvs is a dwarf who barely reaches the height of most player’s socks. But hush ma mouth, he beat his opposite number in the line out contest – always luvved ya work Harvs.

Matthys kicked a penalty 3 – 17.

Cott were on the field but hardly in the game, when their fly half tried to run the ball out of his own 22 and cocked it up. The Dogs pack ripped the ball off him and gave it to Matthys, who let Ceri off the leash. The Welsh wizard raced in for a try that Matthys converted.

FINAL SCORE: Cottesloe 3 – Wanneroo 24.

Coach Paul Arnold said:


Player of the day: Ian Boffin

FLATULENT FOURTHS: Cottesloe 19 – Wanneroo 10

Wanneroo were a bit disjointed, and had to work hard against the wind to contain Cott. They were doing well until a couple of defenders got sucked in and left space out wide that Cott exploited for a try. 7 – 0.

The Dogs accepted the challenge and responded with some very good inter-passing play by the forwards. They drew the defence before releasing the ball to the backs and Dean de Villiers cantered in out wide. 7 - 5.

Wanneroo got caught inside their 22 and tried to run the ball out of defence. They were looking on song, until a horribly timed pass gave an undeserved gift try to the Blues.

14 – 5.

The Roo Dogs lifted their game and powered forward. Arno had a lovely run that took play into Cott’s 22. His pack recycled the ball and it went along the line to Dean, who plonked it down out wide again. 14 – 10.

Superstar RugbyWA president, Francis Williams, was running the line when a lock went down injured. He stripped off quicker than gypsy Rose Lee to get a pozzy in the pack. Nice one Franger. The game finished when Cott scored from a line out 19 – 10.

Wanneroo had enough possession to have won, but chose the wrong options late in the game by mounting multiple forward attacks that Cottesloe were able to contain. Had the forwards just hit it up a couple of times and let their back line loose, they would have run riot.

FINAL SCORE: Cottesloe 19 – Wanneroo 24.


The fourths have the ability and potential to be a very competitive team.

But they need assistance because they don’t have a coach or manager.

Players like Ian Harvey & Neil Sutcliffe are trying to play, coach and be game day managers at the same time.

It’s too much for them to do and it’s affecting the team.

If there aren’t any coaches waiting out there, a game day manager to assist with organisation would be very welcome

If you want to help, please let me, Ian or Neil know.

Player of the day: ?????

LADIES: Cottesloe 5 – Wanneroo 41

Pare said the Ladies played exceptionally well and are now top of the table.

She said it was an all round team effort and their pre game plan of spreading the ball wide was well executed

Everyone was delighted for Tanya, who finally managed to score her first ever try - at the tender age of 40.

The girls pointed out that the score would have been higher if two of their players hadn’t got stage fright and knocked the ball on in front of an open try line. No names mentioned Sera & Fozzy – oops I let it slip.

Player of the day: ????

Bill Watt