UWA still in with a chance
UWA defeated Joondalup 23-20 in a hard-fought contest at McGillivray Oval in the Rugby WA Premier Grade match of the round to keep their finals hopes alive.
With points at a premium in the slippery conditions, UWA got on the board early earning a penalty at scrum time before Gareth Walters gave the home side an early 3-0 lead.
Joondalup answered quickly to shift the UWA pack at the next scrum to earn a penalty of its own to level the scores.
With the rain causing havoc the early trend of penalties continued, with Joondalup scrumhalf Johann Louw slotting his second to give his side a 6-3 lead.
After sustained pressure in the UWA 22 Joondalup forced multiple penalties and opted for the scrum to go for the try but came up empty.
Eventually the Brothers decided to put points on the board, with the boot of Louw taking the score to 9-3.
Joondalup went back on the offensive to earn a penalty at the break down 35-metres out.
Louw again made no mistake to make it a nine-point margin.
UWA responded almost immediately, making its first trip into the Brothers' 22 before swinging the ball wide to find Jason Merrie, who went over in the right corner.
Walters converted to have UWA back in the contest at 12-10.
Discipline continued to hurt the home side with Joondalup’s pressure forcing another penalty at the breakdown. With Louw in fine form from the tee, the Brothers shot for the posts again and pushed their lead back to five points.
With time ticking down in the first half UWA put together some strong passages of play but were unable to convert them into points to head into the break trailing Joondalup 15-10.
UWA dominated possession and territory in the opening 15 minutes of the second half but the pouring rain created handling errors in sight of the try line.
After hammering Joondalup’s line just five metres out UWA earned a penalty and Walters closed the gap two points. UWA added its second try of the contest with a well-worked forwards’ try from close range as Nevin Mills barged his way over. Walters made no mistake to push UWA out to a 23-15 lead.
Joondalup could not find a winning score as UWA held on for a hard fought 23-20 win to keep its finals ambitions alive.