Rugby Union: Cottesloe defeats Palmyra 31-18 to register third win on the trot

Rugby Union: Cottesloe defeats Palmyra 31-18 to register third win on the trot

COTTESLOE claimed their third consecutive victory with a 31-18 triumph over third-placed Palmyra at Tompkins Park on Saturday afternoon.

With the contest locked at 10-10 at half-time, Cottesloe rallied to run in three second-half tries to one for a 13-point victory.

Cottesloe head coach Alex Stajka said he was pleased with his side’s effort in a big game.

“We came up against a team that is in form and playing good rugby and we took the game to them and scored some nice tries,” he said.

Cottesloe made their intentions clear from the outset, crossing for the first try within two minutes through winger Nili Afeaki, who went over in the right corner.

Pally then caught the Gulls offside and flyhalf Jared Trevathan made no mistake to easily knock it over to close the gap to two points.

Cottesloe responded in a matter of minutes, earning a penalty and kicking for touch before Hadleigh May took control of the ball at the back of a rolling maul to fall over the line.

With time ticking down in the first half, Palmyra found their first try of the match through Panashe Kamhara after the winger scooped up a dropped highball to charge 40m unchallenged and score under the posts. Trevathan converted from directly in front to level the scores heading into the break.

Palmyra came out firing to begin the second half determined to put up the first points of the half on the board and did so through a well-struck penalty from Trevathan, who put the home side in front for the first time in the match, 13-10.

With their place in the top four on the line, Cottesloe fought back strongly to go over for their third try and Neuwenuis converted to push the visitors back out in front.

With 15 minutes to play, Cottesloe again went on the offensive, opting to kick for touch instead of taking a shot and the decision paid off, with the scrumhalf Charl Neuwenuis scoring and then converting his own effort to put the score at 26-13.

Determined to stay in the contest Palmyra struck back minutes later through Manihera Eden who put on some footwork to dart through a gap to touch down.

The missed conversion kept the deficit at 26-18.

Cottesloe then landed the final blow through Alistair Haining and Neuwenuis struck true to seal the 13-point win.