Palmyra pushing for say in finals
PALMYRA has established itself as a genuine finals contender with an authoritative 22-0 victory over Kalamunda in the Premier Grade match of the round at Tompkins Park on the weekend.
Despite having limited time on the ball in the opening 40 minutes, Palmyra applied massive pressure and made the most of opportunities to head into the half-time break with a 15-point buffer.
In the second half, Kalamunda looked to mount a comeback but Palmyra stood strong to hold the Bulls scoreless and announce the club to the rest of the competition.
Palymra coach Donny Stevenson said he was happy with his side’s defensive effort in what was a big game for his team.
“Our defence is probably the biggest thing we take out of that game,” he said.
“We were under the pump early and we defended our line really well.
“Full credit to Kala; they put us under pressure but when we got the ball, we were able to capitalise and turn it into points. For us to be able to take a lead into half-time after not having much ball was a big plus for us.”
Stevenson said he discussed the importance of winning with his team before the match.
“We spoke about it in the changerooms. I told the boys that if we want to be contenders and want to have a crack at the top four, then these are the sorts of games we have to front up for,” he said.
“We did it without much ball and basically just won it on the back of our defence and a bit of ticker.”
Kalamunda dominated both possession and territory in the opening 15 minutes and turned down multiple opportunities to kick penalties in order to go for the try but good line speed from Palmyra allowed the home side to withstand the early onslaught.
On its first meaningful possession of the contest, Palmyra moved the ball right to find Tutere Waenga, who had moved into the line, before the fullback burst through the Kalamunda line, breaking a number of tackles to storm 50m and score under the posts.
Jackson Nelson converted with ease to extend the lead to 7-0 after 20 minutes.
Paly continued to make the most of their opportunities, stringing the phases together in Kalamunda’s 22 and after Hunga Havili almost went over in the left corner, the home side swung the ball right to find an overlap, allowing Nelson to score his side’s second of the contest.
Kala came out firing in the second half, once again enjoying plenty of time on the ball in Palmyra’s half but gave up a shot at the posts to go for a try, only to come up empty.
At the final whistle, Palmyra ran out 22-point victors to the delight of the team’s passionate and vocal home crowd, establishing a top-four spot heading into the mid-season bye.
In other games, Cottesloe overcame Perth Bayswater 56-22, Joondalup defeated Wanneroo 23-22, Nedlands was too strong for Associates 36-13 and Wests Scarborough got past UWA 29-20.