Rugby Union: Kalamunda Bulls lose closely-fought tie to Cottesloe


Kalamunda’s elite development WA Academy members Turiti Galiki, Hera-Barb Malcolm-Heke and Deedee Nairube.
Kalamunda’s elite development WA Academy members Turiti Galiki, Hera-Barb Malcolm-Heke and Deedee Nairube.

THE Kalamunda Bulls women’s rugby union team bravely took on the winter storm and competition heavyweights Cottesloe, but went down 5-7 at Harvey Field over the weekend.

It was a David and Goliath encounter, with the Cott squad boasting nine State players including three Australian internationals recently returned from the Aussie trials in Sydney.

Play was in gale force winds and the Kalamunda women defended resolutely in the first half.

Cottesloe continually chipped over the Kalamunda defensive line for field position. At the 20-minute mark, Cottesloe caught Kalamunda by surprise with a quick tap penalty 15m out.

A try to hooker Antoinette Jagounder between the posts resulted. Natasha Haines added the conversion.

The Bulls worked the ball back up field against the wind with some strong forward play but went to the sheds at half time without adding to the score.

The second half started with strong straight runs from the Kalamunda pack and they pressed into Cottesloe’s defensive zone for the rest of the game.

The Bulls crossed the Cottesloe line early with a super push-over try which was disallowed for a “double movement”. Undeterred, they continued to attack against the experienced but increasingly desperate She-Gull defence.

The Kalamunda score came when fullback Turiti Galiki fielded a clearing kick which failed to find touch, and gassed two Cottesloe defenders on the outside to touch down in the corner. Galiki is the competition’s top try-scorer with 17 for the season.

Captain Neesha Barrett said: “We are a big, physical team but also the new kids on the block with so many new players. We’re the underdogs but having fun putting it together for each other on the field.”

But the weather made for a rugged forwards day and none worked harder than Neesha Barrett leading from the front with a great captain’s game.

The team are second on the ladder and look forward to a finals campaign in a few weeks.