Palmyra push­ing for say in fi­nals

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Sport -

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.

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