PALMYRA has overcome second-placed Nedlands 20-7 in a hard fought contest on a wet and wild afternoon at Tompkins Park on Saturday.
From the first whistle, the horror conditions made it nearly impossible for either side to string quality phases together with the first half marred by handling errors.
Palmyra made the most the strong breeze to head into halftime leading 8-0.
Realising the opportunity to knock off one of the title favourites, Pally ran in two second half tries to one to put themselves well in the premiership discussion with a 13-point victory.
With the blustery conditions wreaking havoc for both teams causing multiple handling errors Palmyra were the first to trouble the scorers through a penalty from Jared Trevathan in the 19-minute.
Playing into the breeze Nedlands looked to reply minutes later with a penalty goal of their own but Laurence Joel’s effort was blown off line to keep the hosts ahead 3-0.
Both sides enjoyed solid stints in possession but the slippery conditions and soggy pitch made for tough going with the majority of rugby played between the two 10-metres lines.
With time ticking down in the first half Palmyra made the most of a rare trip into the Nedlands’ 22 thanks to a linebreak from Panashe Kamhara before swinging the ball wide to find an overlap for Michael Fotu to go over. Trevathan’s attempted conversion struck the post to have Palmyra leading 8-0 at break.
Determined the stamp their authority on the match, Palmyra came out firing in the second half continuing to hammer away and opting to keep the ball in tight and play through their forwards.
Following a strong break from behind halfway Pally made their way deep into Nedlands’ 22 and after threatening to go over on multiple occasions eventually crossed for their second of the afternoon to extend their lead to 13-0 after 55-minutes.
Sensing the momentum Nedlands responded almost immediately earning a penalty and kicking for touch before executing strong rolling maul for Shane Hemi to fall over the line.
Joel converted to close the gap to 13-7.
With the rain beginning to clear up Palmyra went straight back on the offensive and after a sustained pressure inside the 22 found Mees Erasmus who barged his way through three tackles to go over for the host’s third of the contest.
Jared Trevathan converted to push the margin out to 13-points.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, Nedlands camped themselves deep in Palmyra territory but the homeside defended strongly on their own line to hold Nedlands out for well deserved 20-7 victory.