Stu­dents given a tough les­son

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Positions Vacant - El­liot Raiter

AS­SO­CIATES dis­man­tled UWA 50-5 in a one-sided af­fair at Mcgilvray Oval on Satur­day af­ter­noon to keep its fi­nals hopes alive.

In a dom­i­nant per­for­mance, Soaks set up the vic­tory with a clin­i­cal first half that yielded six tries, with Fu­ture Force Foun­da­tion player Bren­don Owen the star at full­back for the vis­i­tors.

As­sis­tant coach Damien El­ton was pleased with the team’s per­for­mance in what was a do-or-die fix­ture for the men in gold.

“It was good the boys stuck to the game plan and knuck­led down,” El­ton said. “It was a must win for us this week to get our sea­son back on track.”

“The open­ing min­utes of the clash was lit­tered with ball-han­dling er­rors, with Soaks skip­per Dean Tay­lor-men­zies and Stu­dents scrumhalf Rory O’sul­li­van knock­ing the ball on early.

The vis­i­tors soon set­tled and opened their ac­count through Michael Hard­wick, with the num­ber six charg­ing over from close range.

Soaks dou­bled their lead three min­utes later af­ter a bru­tal move for­ward from their pack.

Lachy Valen­tine col­lected a pick and go from the base of a maul to slide across the line.

The UWA defence strug­gled to con­tain the pow­er­ful vis­it­ing side, with Valen­tine mak­ing it a dou­ble af­ter an­other close-range dive for the line, as the lead pushed out past 20 points mid­way through the first half.

As­so­ciates full­back Bren­don Owen then stamped his author­ity on the fix­ture with a barn­storm­ing run from his de­fen­sive 22 to score a stun­ning solo try, weav­ing his way through sev­eral UWA de­fend­ers.

Tay­lor-men­zies added fur­ther pain be­fore the end of the half, with the num­ber eight break­ing through the UWA de­fen­sive line be­fore an off­load to Ryan Draver set­ting up the eas­i­est of tries for the away team.

Alex Rovira joined the scor­ing spree mo­ments be­fore half-time, with an­other ag­gres­sive move for­ward from Valen­tine re­sult­ing in ter­rific ball po­si­tion on the left­hand side.

A cut-out ball fell in the hands of Rovira as he crossed un­der the posts with his side go­ing to the break 36-0 up.

The sec­ond half be­gan with an­other Soaks foray for­ward, as Tom In­gram coasted over the try line un­touched to ex­tend the lead be­yond seven tries.

The vis­i­tors would only score one more try for the match, with the Stu­dents defence hold­ing firm for the ma­jor­ity of the half, as the game turned into a slogfest late.

Univer­sity winger Nick Chad­wick man­aged a con­so­la­tion try late in the piece with a blis­ter­ing run down the left­hand side that handed the Stu­dents their first points for the fix­ture.

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