Wests go down in thriller

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Look Local - El­liot Raiter

KALAMUNDA caused a ma­jor up­set to de­feat a pre­vi­ously un­beaten Wests Scar­bor­ough team 34-27 in a thrilling Premier Grade con­test at Ben­nett Park on Satur­day.

The Bulls largely dom­i­nated the game and with the ma­jor­ity of at­tack­ing play cre­ated by Kalamunda, the top side was shell-shocked from the first whis­tle.

Rus­sell Burges put in a her­culean ef­fort, while the Bulls pack held their own against a pow­er­ful Wests side.

The home team started brightly, with Al­bert Nikoro tak­ing ad­van­tage of poor ball-han­dling and slic­ing through sev­eral de­fend­ers to com­plete a su­perb solo ef­fort from the half­way line.

Kalamunda ap­plied the pres­sure and was even­tu­ally re­warded, with Burges steal­ing the ball from a Wests scrum be­fore hand­ing off to Fu­ture Force Foun­da­tion mem­ber Jor­dan Hol­gate, who crossed over to make it 7-7 af­ter 15 min­utes.

Hol­gate fol­lowed up his try with a barn­storm­ing run mo­ments later, with Leo Avuaa prof­it­ing, tak­ing the ball over from close range af­ter some bru­tal phases.

Trad­ing of penal­ties then kept the fix­ture within arm’s length as Nikoro and Ai­den Shor­tall made no mis­takes in front of the sticks.

Will Dreadon rubbed salt into the wounds late in the half, with Shaun Baker giv­ing a cut-out pass to al­low the num­ber four an easy path to the try line, with the un­der­dog Kala side go­ing into the break lead­ing 19-10.

Wests again struck first to be within two points, with Matt O’brien reach­ing full stretch for the line af­ter be­ing found un­marked in the cor­ner.

Kala once again took con­trol of the con­test, with sus­tained pres­sure re­sult­ing in a penalty at the break­down, with Shor­tall adding the ex­tras.

Kalamunda spir­i­tual leader Burges then turned the game once again, charg­ing over from close range to ex­tend the lead to nine points with 15 min­utes to play.

Shaun Baker sealed the con­test with 10 min­utes to go, as an at­tack­ing set piece saw the num­ber 10 cross over in the cor­ner, with the home crowd si­lenced by a re­mark­able dis­play.

A late Loui Toetu try was merely a con­so­la­tion, as the pre­mier­ship favourites were out­played in a bruis­ing en­counter.

The fix­ture fin­ished 34-27, with Kalamunda mov­ing into fifth po­si­tion, while Wests give up top spot to Palmyra.

Burges was de­lighted af­ter the vic­tory, with the Kala leader be­liev­ing a team per­for­mance was vi­tal to knock­ing off the dom­i­nant Wests side.

“There wasn’t one per­son in our team that didn’t rise to­day. We have been build­ing over the past few weeks. We have been try­ing to drive pa­tience and it’s re­ally start­ing to pay off now,” he said.

In other matches, As­so­ciates de­feated Perth Bayswa­ter 24-15, Cottes­loe beat Wan­neroo 42-26, Palmyra had a 3630 win over Joon­dalup and Ned­lands beat UWA 28-19.

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