Soaks Triumph In Battle of Broome Street
By Harry Ayers
Associates have retained the RugbyWA Cup and bragging rights over rivals Cottesloe with a 43-16 win at Allen Park in the Battle of Broome Street.
Associates captain Dean Taylor-Menzies credited his team’s defence in a match he described as the toughest match they’ve played so far in the Fortescue Premier Grade season.
“It was a tough match out there today,” he said. “I’m really proud of the boys, our defence really stood up and we were able to score some points of the back of that.”
“The rivalry added something extra to the week, we haven’t been strong against Cottesloe in the last couple years. We knew we had to rectify that and come out strong.”
“We came out hard and conceded a lot of penalties and sometimes that just happens. The ball didn’t seem to bounce our way at the start but we cleaned that up and I’m just happy with the effort put in by the guys.”
From the kick-off both teams came out firing, with Cottesloe starting with possession, driving down the field, forcing a number of penalties out of Associates however bone-crunching defence from Associates forced a turnover putting them on the front foot.
Isn’t wasn’t long before returning PG Hampshire winner Brendan Owen put his mark on his maiden game for the 2018 season, setting up fullback Hugh Norcross in the corner with a beautiful grubber kick to allow Associates to open the scoring 5-0.
Cottesloe hit back strong, using Associates’ early aggression against them, forcing countless penalties to put the ball back into Associates’ own half.
Stepping back into the scrumhalf position this week Charl Nieuwenhuis put the first points on the board for Cottesloe, nailing a penalty kick through the sticks, putting the score 5-3.
Cottesloe went on attack again, driving Associates back to their own five-metre line through good running work from the forward pack. The Gulls’ big men got over the line only to be held up by the hosts.
Associates’ defence held strong yet again, holding Cott at bay before Rodney Iona used his strong kicking game to get Soaks out of danger.
The host’s defence paid dividends as lock Afa Manukia barreled his way over to put his side ahead 12-3.
Cottesloe looked to respond but a heartbreaking knock-on within reach of the try line halted their momentum.
Cottesloe were not disheartened as they continued to apply pressure. After a number of good phases of running rugby, Nieuwenhuis cut into the lead nailing two consecutive penalties to reduce the margin to just three points.
A yellow card to Cottesloe in the shadow’s of halftime handed Soaks a big scoring opportunity and skipper Dean Taylor-Menzies took full advantage to crash over. Owen nailed the conversion to hand his side a 10-point buffer after 40 minutes of play.
Owen continued to punish Cottesloe with the boot after the break, nailing a penalty to push Soaks out to a 22-9 lead.
Starting to shown signs of frustration, Cottesloe conceded another yellow card and penalty-try after a nasty high tackle.
Associates took full advantage of the extra player as Owen set up winger Ryan Draver with a brilliant chip kick over Cottesloe defensive line.
Continuing the onslaught, Owen joined the try-scoring party, slicing through the Cottesloe defence to cap off a dominant performance by the ladder leaders, finalising the 43-16 victory.