Bulls in upset win over Nedlands
KALAMUNDA has pulled off a thrilling one-point upset over Nedlands at the Foreshore to reclaim the RugbyWA Cup in the Pindan Premier Grade Match of the Round.
In a defensively orientated first half, the contest looked to be evenly split before a number of errors and costly penalties came back to bite Kalamunda and allowed Nedlands to take a 12-3 lead into the break.
Kalamunda rallied after the break to hold Nedlands to just three second-half points and secure their biggest scalp of the season to date with a 16-15 victory.
Kalamunda coach Josh Heke said the win was a massive result for his side and their finals aspirations.
“In five years of coaching Kalamunda this is only the second time we’ve beaten Nedlands at home, so it’s a big result for us,” he said.
After the dominating play in the opening 10 minutes, Kalamunda opened the scoring via the boot of Hamish Buick, who struck truly after the home side were penalised at the breakdown.
Nedlands responded 10 minutes later, earning a penalty and opting for the lineout, leading to a perfectly executed move where Joe Ritchie found scrumhalf Michael Ruru darting through the front of the lineout to cross the line for the first try of the match.
Kalamunda came out firing in the second half. From the resulting scrum Leo Auvva picked up from the back, before Mark Royal drove the ball over the line a few phases later.
Buick converted to reduce the deficit to just two points, putting Kalamunda right back in the contest.
After dominating at scrum time all afternoon, Kalamunda got rewarded for their effort, earning a penalty directly in front of the posts just 15m out and Buick made no mistake to put the Bulls back in front 13-12.
After spending the majority of the second half camped in their own half, the Bulls looked to drive down the other end with less than five minutes remaining in the game. After chipping off valuable metres with ball in hand, the Bulls earned a penalty just 25m from home which Buick nailed to push the visitors back in front 16-15.
Beginning from behind halfway, Nedlands looked to roll the dice to find a winning score with two minutes to play but a forward pass handed possession back to Kalamunda.
The Bulls held strong to win the scrum and boot the ball into touch to reclaim the RugbyWA Cup for the first time since round five.