Rugby: Associates sneak into Premier Grade semi-finals after 30-25 upset win over Palymyra

Associates scored a surprise 30-25 win over Palmyra, making it to the Premier Grade semi-finals
Associates scored a surprise 30-25 win over Palmyra, making it to the Premier Grade semi-finals

ASSOCIATES has snuck into the Premier Grade semi-finals after upsetting Palmyra 30-25 in the final round of the regular season Tompkins Park on Saturday.

The result sets up an immediate rematch at the same venue this weekend and Pally will be desperate to claim revenge and book its ticket to the final.

Soaks started much better than the home side with an early penalty to fullback Brendan Owen opening the scoring for the visitors.

A try to Associates lock Lachlan Valentine midway through the first half saw Soaks extend its lead before Palmyra flyhalf David Neilson struck a penalty to take the score to 8-3.

The visitors replied with a try out wide to winger Jasper Warren before Palmyra finally kicked in to gear through a superb individual effort from Manihera Eden the fullback chipping the defence and gathering to score his side’s first try.

Number 8 Hayden Croghan crossed shortly before half-time to ensure the sides entered the break deadlocked at 13-13.

Palmyra came out looking more urgent in the second half and when replacement forward Levi Auvea scored, the home side took the lead for the first time in the game.

Associates was not finished and a further penalty to Owen helped the visitors wrestle back the momentum before Owen and then winger Ronan Colleran both scored tries to jump out to a 30-20 lead with under five minutes left on the clock.

Palmyra managed to score a consolation try but the visitors urgency throughout the game was the difference between the two sides on the day.

In other games, Palmyra reserves finished the season undefeated with a 60-5 victory, the colts also went through their season undefeated with a 62-7 win, while third grade secured third position on the ladder with an 83-14 belting of Associates.

Fourth grade finished their season with a hard fought 33-28 loss.

Palmyra now go into this weekends elimination finals on Saturday at Foreshore Oval. In Premier Grade, Palmyra (1) take on Associates (4), Reserve Grade sees Palmyra (1) against Kalamunda (4) and in Colts Palmyra (1) are up against Perth Bayswater (4).

In other finals on Sunday at Bennet Park, the Palmyra thirds (3) take on Cottesloe (2) and the Palmyra women (3) take on Wanneroo (2).