Premier Grade Rugby Union: Nedlands off to winning start

Premier Grade Rugby Union: Nedlands off to winning start

A DOUBLE by Brody Lam helped Nedlands kick off their 2016 Premier Grade campaign with an authoritative 22-10 win over Wests Scarborough at the Foreshore on Saturday afternoon.

Wests were able to display flashes of brilliance throughout the afternoon, with two tries coming through their forward pack, however it was Nedlands ‘defence first’ attitude that helped create attacking opportunities to get them over the line.

Nedlands coach Luke Doherty said he was happy with his side’s ability to find a way to win in the early stages of the season.

“We’re happy, we just spoke about it, we just wanted to win today obviously and they’re a quality side so we will take a bit away from that,” Doherty said.

“I think at the end we found a way to win which is pretty important in the early stages of the year, you just got to find a way and then work on the detail throughout the season, so we’re really happy.”

Commenting on his side’s strong defensive effort, Doherty said it was an area of the game he trusted his side with.

“I wouldn’t say we’ve been working a lot on defence, it’s just more of a trust issue and more of a mental thing more than anything,” he said.

“I think this group generally displays really good mental toughness and (defence) is just something that is non-negotiable for us.”

Doherty also said he was happy with the efforts of winger Lam, who helped seal his side’s victory with a double.

“Brody is a quality player, he’s finding his feet in the game but when you let him find some open space he’s electric, so our plan will be to try and get the ball in his hands, especially in a bit of space and hopefully he can weave a bit of magic and score some tries,” he said.

Nedlands opened the scoring through fullback Kouri Kudd splitting the uprights with a penalty shot from directly in front in the early stages.

Both teams were able to apply pressure in the line of defence, but it was Nedlands who were able to draw first blood, using their man advantage after a Wests yellow card to find a man overlap in the left wing corner for Lam.

Kudd’s kick attempt from a sharp angle made the score 10-0.

Nedlands dominated the majority of the first half through attacking line speed and strong defensive pressure; barely allowing Wests out of their own half.

In the late stages of the first half Wests were able to build up some attacking pressure, but lacked a clinical finish to get over the line.

In the 40th minute Nedlands prop Tom Sheminant collected the ball off a Wests turnover in the goal line and scored Nedlands second major of the contest.

Kudd continued his form with the boot, easily slotting the conversion attempt to put the score at 17-0 .

Wests opened the scoring in the second half in the 50th minute when scrumhalf Angus Taylor broke the line and set up the Boars within five metres of the line.

Wests continued to apply attacking pressure and after a set of successful phases Sean Flatman broke the line on the back of a pick and go to score his club’s first try of the season.

AJ Alatimu’s conversion put the contest at 17-7.

The Boars continued to apply the attacking pressure they had previously built, working their way to within 5m of the line, however an interception by Lam on the line allowed him to set himself up for a 100m run down the field and dive into the left wing corner to complete his double.

After an unsuccessful conversion attempt the score was 22-7.

The visitors were able to score a consolation try in the final minutes when Lorenzo De Villiers burst over the try line through a pack of Nedlands defenders.

In other Premier Grade results, Cottesloe defeated Kalamunda 35-26 at Hartfield Park, UWA edged out traditional rivals Associates 15-12 at McGillivray Oval and Perth Bayswater kicked off their season on a high note with a 31-14 win over Wanneroo at Kingsway Reserve.

Luke Worthington