After a below par performance against University, the Wanneroo boys were determined to show their true worth and value today. But they got a rude awakening in the opening minutes of this game when they lost their own line out throw and Perth took advantage of the unexpected gift ball to open the scoring with a converted try.
Perth 7 – Wanneroo 0
The Dogs responded with some powerful forward drives and multi faceted back line play, but they weren’t able to make any decisive breaks because they lacked cohesion. They had much the better of Perth in the set pieces, particularly the scrum, where they put them under constant pressure. But they got no reward from the ref when the home scrum was disintegrating, wheeling and going backwards.
At an early midfield scrum Perth managed to scramble the ball away while they were being shunted around, but they got no respite because Wanneroo continued to pressure them wherever they moved the ball to. The Dogs contested everything and eventually forced a turn over, but during the forward tussle a bit of a blue occurred (was that you Elliott?) and a Baysie player copped a yellow card and ten minutes R&R from the ref.
From the resulting penalty, Olly took a quick tap that caught Perth napping. He raced through a static defence and gave an unselfish pass to Grayson, who crossed for an easy try. Chris Palmer converted it comfortably.
Perth 7 – Wanneroo 7
Elliot caught the high restart ball and got unfairly flattened for his efforts (payback?). Ethan took the penalty and hoofed the ball into Perth’s 22 for a line out. The Dogs caught their own throw in ball and tried to run it, but were a little out of sync and couldn’t penetrate. They were giving 100% individual effort, but weren’t firing on all cylinders and as their frustration increased they began to give away penalties that let Perth off the hook.
Bayswater had their chances, but didn’t make best use of them either. Both sides toiled hard but the play was fragmented, stifled and spasmodic. John-Martin Stewart took a quick tap from a bent arm penalty on the half way and evaded three or four flat footed defenders before being brought down in the Perth 22. The ref took exception to something and penalised him.
The game meandered on without reaching any great heights, until Olly Callan grabbed what appeared to be a misdirected line out ball and had a go at Perth’s try line. He committed the defence before offloading to Corey Tearoea who scored a remarkable try after some divine intervention.
Corey had moved the ball on when he was just a couple of metres out from the Perth try line, which was populated by a wall of impenetrable black shirts, so the ball skipped on from attacker to attacker. Like any good player, Corey was backing up behind his team mates when a defender tried to intercept a pass, only to slap the ball straight into Corey’s hands. He did well to hang onto it and step over for one of the easiest tries he’ll ever score. Chris put the icing on the cake with a successful conversion.
Perth 7 – Wanneroo 14
The game hadn’t reached any great heights and both teams had looked fairly ordinary. But Wanneroo were beginning to show more positives than the men in black. Perth’s full back was one of their shining lights, but he dithered after taking a high ball and the Dogs forced a line out from the ensuing play. The green forwards gave the ball out quickly and it reached centre Steve Nolson, who made a scything run that looked certain to pay dividends. But somehow he was brought down by a desperate, last gasp Perth tackle just short of the line.
Baysie was living dangerously, but displayed tenacity and guts to graft their way into Wanneroo’s 22 where the Dogs had to concede a penalty to halt their progress. Baysie kicked for the line, took their own line out ball and swung it sweetly along their backline, only to founder on Wanneroo’s rock solid defensive line.
Perth’s forwards took over and made some bullocking drives that were repulsed by their opponents, but their physicality earned them a penalty which they kicked into touch about 15 metres out from the try line. They finally got some reward for their hard yakka, when their pack took the line out ball and grunted their way over for a converted try in the corner just before the ref blew for half time.
It was a mostly, lacklustre first forty minutes with only a few bright intervals. The spectators, coaching staff and players on both sides were hoping for improvement in the second half.
Half Time Perth 14 – Wanneroo 14
The game restarted with Wanneroo kicking deep into Perth’s 22, where the catcher spilled the ball and the ref awarded a scrum to the Dogs. Replacement No 8, Shaun Barling, picked the ball from the scrum base and broke right, before giving a nice pass to Ethan Riley. Ethan jinked his way round a couple of defenders and tried to set Grayson up. Grayson took the pass but was running out of space, so he stepped inside and made a couple of metres before a text book tackle stopped him. He went to ground and set up a ruck about 10 metres from the try line. Corey passed the well presented ball quickly to his left, but a highly promising move broke down when the receiver dropped it.
After some wishy-washy play by both sides, the ref penalised Wanneroo for a scrum infringement. Perth tried an ambitious, long range kick which missed touch and Wanneroo chanced their arm with a quick counter attack. The ball was swung wide and fast through the hands until it reached captain Andrew King, who ran powerfully and made good inroads into Perth’s defence. Eventually the Dogs attack was stopped, but Perth had to concede a line out to do so.
Elliott took Scott’s throw cleanly and forced his way through the Perth line out. He looked for support and Olly was on hand to take the pass and maintain the momentum. He sucked in several defenders before slipping the ball to his fellow back rower Shaun, who went over the line for a very well worked forwards try. Mr Consistency, Chris, added the bonus points.
Perth 14 – Wanneroo 21
After the restart, replacement young prop Maui erupted into a rampaging run that reminded me of the bull and the china shop. He put Perth on the back foot instantly and the ball went out to Chris Palmer, who got tackled into touch. Perth used the line out ball to attack wide out to their left and when they couldn’t penetrate the Dog’s unyielding defence they changed direction to their right. But they only encountered another wall of eager tacklers and their efforts came to naught.
From then on, the home side started to struggle in most phases of play and Wanneroo began to lift their game until they gradually reached the high level, quality play that they are capable of.
Perth were under the pump, but they didn’t lack heart or effort and managed to hang in and disrupt some very promising attacking phases. Wanneroo aided them at times, by giving away unnecessary penalties. But overall, the Dogs were beginning to dominate the game.
From a Wanneroo scrum, Shaun did a pick & go that tore holes in the Perth defence. He was well supported and the pack drove the ball on until Perth were penalised at the breakdown. Captain King showed confidence by electing to kick for the line, rather than take the three points on offer. His forwards rewarded his faith in them, by hanging on to their line out ball and wrestling their way towards the line where John managed to wriggle over for a try that Chris converted.
Perth 14 – Wanneroo 28
Perth showed great resilience and intestinal fortitude to make a strong midfield break under pressure and were looking good until their last ball carrier was comprehensively decked by Olly. Wanneroo played the ball quickly and kicked it up field, only for the ref to call play back for a transgression. He deemed Olly had been in front of the kicker (it didn’t look like it) and gave him a yellow card because he had pinged him for a similar offence earlier.
Bayswater’s winger caught a high ball deep in his own territory and ran it back immediately. He chucked in a couple of good side steps that caused a bit of mayhem in the Dog’s defence. Wanneroo regrouped urgently, put the shutters up and forced Perth to kick. A well placed chip kick saw the ball bounce tantalisingly just in front of the Dog’s line, inviting the pick up & try. Ethan raced back to cover and dropped on the loose ball a mere heart beat before a Perth player got there. He stopped the try scoring opportunity and Perth got penalised in the tackle. So Wanneroo survived and kicked for touch to relieve the pressure.
Hooker, Scott Quinnell threw a pinpoint ball to Elliott, who gave it off the top to Corey. He kicked it down field where it was gathered by a Perth player, who took off on a determined run up the sideline. Several Wanneroo defenders were closing him down, when TJ suddenly hurtled out of nowhere and smashed him into touch. The linesman immediately flagged for no arms, but TJ escaped with a warning.
Perth never stopped trying, but their small glimmer of hope was being extinguished and their time was running out, as Wanneroo grew in confidence and began to put their ‘A’ game together.
The home side lost their own throw in at a line out, but managed to force the Dog’s ball carrier into touch to earn another go. This time their hooker made an awful mess of his throw and Wanneroo took full advantage of his mistake to steal the ball and mount an attack. They took the ball into contact through eight or nine phases and somehow Perth hung in, but they were only delaying the inevitable. From a ruck in Perth’s 22, the ball was whipped out to quickly to Grayson, who scuttled round the defence and put the ball down under the black dot for another five pointer. Chris maintained his excellent conversion rate.
Perth 14 – Wanneroo 35
Wanneroo caught the Perth drop out ball and used it cleverly to set up another confident attack. A smart phase of running rugby was instigated by Ethan, who created a gap before feeding the ever present Olly. He took the ball into contact and sucked in defenders before passing to Andrew King, who showed skill, determination and strength to score out wide. Chris missed his only kick of the day from a very difficult position.
Perth 14 – Wanneroo 40
Wanneroo were on fire now and no matter how hard they tried, Perth just couldn’t contain them. A superlative passage of play saw Ethan’s creativity come to the fore again, when he made an incisive break before giving a sweet pass to Chris who was riding shotgun. Chris gave the ball to Steve Nolson on his right and it went from him to Grayson about five metres in from the side line. Grayson feinted to his right before slipping the ball back inside to Steve, who skipped through a wrong footed Perth defence to score. Kicking machine Chris resumed normal service and slotted the conversion.
Mitch Reilly summed the try up perfectly when he said “That was a bit of magic.”
Full Time: Perth Bayswater 14 – Wanneroo 47
The game finished with Wanneroo having made a successful transition from tentative, indecisive, individual players, to a cohesive unit that was dominant and unstoppable by the end of the game.
There is no doubt that Wanneroo can challenge for a top four spot if they continue to play to their full capability and maintain continuity, as they did in the second half today.
Perth showed some excellent touches at times and gave their all, but couldn’t quite tie it together. Talking to some of them afterwards, they say they have good young players coming through and will rebuild under new coach Brendan Loag. Brendan is a highly skilled and very experienced coach and Bayswater can only get better under his tutelage. We wish them all the best.
Steve (Festa) Cavanagh said he was pleased with his Team’s fight and endeavour.
It showed that they can tough it out when things aren’t going right. He was also happy with individual efforts, but they need put their game together more consistently.
CAPTAIN’S CALL: Kingy said the team made hard work of it in the first half. We had plenty of opportunities, but didn’t take them. In the second half we capitalised on our possession and the tries came flooding in.
OTHER RESULTS: Second grade Perth 19 – Wanneroo 34
Thirsty Thirds Perth 0 - Wanneroo 62
Flatulent Fourths Perth 47 – Wanneroo 17
There will be no match reports for the next two games. I’ll be overseas for a family birthday celebration.
See you all on the 18th May.
Best wishes for another two wins