ASSOCIATES CELEBRATE HERITAGE ROUND WITH A TOP OF THE TABLE WIN
By Harry Ayers
Associates have solidified their claim as the top team in the Fortescue Premier Grade competition after a gutsy win over UWA.
In a historic game for the club, Associates had a strong performance as they dominated the score 34-3.
UWA set the tone of the match bursting out of the gate showing off great skill around the ruck and forcing easy penalties out of Associates giving themselves a 3-0 lead in the opening minutes.
As their defence worked hard to keep off the home team, their attack lacked forward pressure allowing Associates’s captain Dean Taylor-Menzies to crash over the try line from the back of the scrum to score the first try of the game.
After a hard fought low scoring first half, Associates were rallied up by head coach Ryan Parkin imploring them to increase their pressure on attack.
A determined looking UWA started the second half with conviction but the game was dominated by Associates as their performance reflected their number one spot in the standings.
Associates looked to take the pressure off as they ran back onto the ‘Boneyard’ to start the second half, prop Paasi Fine forcing another penalty out of UWA as fly-half Harry Webster took the opportunity extended the lead to seven points showing prowess with the boot.
A strong UWA defensive structure held off the Associate’s attack from making a move before lock Lachlan Valentine crashed over pushing Soaks further ahead.
UWA fought valiantly despite a having lost key players to Mauritius’ Beachcomber’s World Club 10s Western Force squad. But their best efforts couldn’t control a loudly supported Associates side in a monumental game for the club.
Afa Manukia further extended the lead in the latter end of the half with a clever quick-handed try followed by Harry Webster continuing to prove his ability nailing 100% of his kicks for the day.
It was a match to remember as Associates came away with a 34-3 win capping off a tremendous celebration of their 70th Anniversary in the annual heritage round.