Rugby Union: Cottesloe win sets up finals showdown with Wests Scarborough

Cottesloe will face off against Wests Scarborough in the first vs fourth placed play off at Bennett Park this weekend.

A win for Cottesloe meant they were relying on Palmyra to beat Kalamunda to ensure Kalamunda would not finish above them on competition points, with that match ending 45-14 in favour of Palmyra to make room in the top four for the Gulls.

Cottesloe coach Alex Stajka said that despite the result going in their favour they would take it with a pinch of salt.

“It’s bittersweet,” he said. “We haven’t really performed well in the last two weeks, but obviously to get to the semi-finals is always pleasing.”

__ “I think our set piece was good, but just our game management was really questionable at times.

Our key decision makers will have some questions to answer on Tuesday and we will get it right for next week.”

Stajka said the team would be going into the Wests game with a positive mindset.

“We’ve given Wests two pretty tough games this year,” he said.

“We were close to getting a bonus point up until the last play a few rounds ago. We don’t fear them, we respect them, but I don’t think we’ll have to change too much.”

Bayswater came out firing in the early stages of the contest, dominating possession and territory seeming to make light work of a usually stiff Cottesloe defence.

Making their way into the Cottesloe 22 they were able to push the ball over the line through Carlos Flutey-Clarke for their first major of the afternoon.

Henrik Oosthuizen added the extras giving the home side an early 7-0 lead.

The momentum shifted in Cottesloe’s favour through the middle stages of the first half, with the Gulls looking as if they were going to create a chance down the left wing, however the ball went out of bounds before reaching winger Wayne Thompson.

Cottesloe’s continuous attacking pressure soon became insurmountable for Baysie, pushing the ball over the line down the middle through Alistair Haining to tie the game 7-7 after a Charl Nieuwenhuis conversion.

The Gulls closed out the first half strongly, dominating possession and territory that would finally lead to a try in the corner from Netinilli Fielea to give the visitors the lead closing out the first half.

_Nieuwenhuis added two points with the conversion giving his side a 14-7 lead.

Bayswater struck first in the second half, closing in on Cottesloe’s lead with a Benji Keenan try after the fullback cut through the middle and dived over the line breaking through the last tackle to put the score at 14-12.

The missed conversion by Oosthuizen left his side down 14-12.

Mid-way through the second half Baysie kicked an easy penalty goal from directly in front through Oosthuizen giving themselves a one-point lead, 15-14.

Cottesloe picked up the intensity towards the end of the competition moving the ball into Bayswater’s 22 and looking to create attacking opportunities.

They then slung the ball out wide for right winger Tobias Hoskins who beat two defenders as he dived into the corner for the clutch game-winning try.

Cottesloe walked away 19-15 victors, continuing their streak of not having missed the finals since 2008.