Melville Times sports preview: big weekend for Palmyra Rugby Union Club, plus hockey and soccer

Melville Times sports preview: big weekend for Palmyra Rugby Union Club, plus hockey and soccer

Palmyra Rugby Union Club

Palmyra has conceded just 38 points in the last four rounds of the Premier Grade competition, all victories that have helped the Palms cement their position in the top three.

Pally is just a game behind front-runners Nedlands and Wests Scarborough but faces a tough test this weekend when traditional powerhouse Cottesloe visits Tompkins Park on Saturday.

In a classic match-up between offence and defence, Palmyra will need to keep its impressive points allowed record intact against the Seagulls high-octane attack.

This is the first in a tough run of games for Palmyra – it plays each of the other four teams in the top five over the next month – and coach Donny Stevenson will expect his troops to be fired up and ready to play.

Palmyra is also hosting its past players lunch and invites anyone with an affiliation to the club to make their way to the ground from 12pm.

The Premier Grade fixture kicks off at 3.20pm, followed by the “golden oldies” playing under lights and finally a screening of the second Wallabies Test against England.

Melville City Hockey Club

Both the men’s and women’s sides are languishing in the wrong half of the State Hockey League ladder, although a last gasp win over the Westside Wolves at the weekend has energised the boys’ campaign.

This weekend the seventh-placed men host CT Pirates, who are languishing in 11th with just two wins so far this season.

A win, which coach Russell Lee will view as imperative, could catapult Melville all the way up to fifth on the ladder with a game in hand over the top four.

For that to happen, Justin McDougall and Matt Willis will need to be on song in front of goal, or Melville will need to uncover other scoring options.

McDougall and Willis have combined for 12 of City’s 20 goals this year.

The women were rained out last weekend – the second time weather has affected them this season – and will be desperate to secure their second win against North Coast Raiders at Duracraft Stadium on Saturday.

Last time out Melville beat CT Pirates 3-2 and their two losses this season – to go with three draws – have been by just one goal each.

Slow starts have plagued the women all year but they should be eager to go after the rain-forced bye last weekend.

Melville Rams Football Club

The Rams have been there or thereabouts all season but have failed to get across the line in a number of winnable games.

Melville’s 2-7 record after nine rounds of football means it is planted to the bottom of the ladder, but a re-match against Mt Lawley looms as an opportunity for the Rams to build some momentum for the second half of the season.

In the first game of the year, Melville travelled to Hamer Park where it was beaten by just 19 points.

Hawks centre half-forward David McKinley was the difference that day, slotting seven majors, and if the Rams’ key defenders can contain the big man Melville could well reverse that result at Melville Reserve on Saturday.

Melville City Football Club

In an extremely disappointing season for a team hoping to contend for promotion to the National Premier Leagues WA, Melville has not recorded a victory since round three in April.

Defence has been the Achilles heel of the young Melville squad for most of the year, 22 goals conceded in just nine games testament to the inexperience down back.

However, a nil-all draw against league leaders Fremantle last weekend was a promising sign the defenders are starting to gel and if Melville can make a habit of recording clean sheets, it has the attacking prowess up front to capitalise and start climbing up the ladder.

This weekend Melville hosts ninth-placed Kelmscott.

The Roos have struggled to score goals but also boast one of the stingiest defences in the competition, setting up an interesting encounter.