UWA still in with a chance

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Training Education -

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.

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