Joondalup Brothers have captured the elusive Rugby WA Cup and kept their unbeaten start to the 2020 season alive after a robust 24-19 win over Kalamunda at Hartfield Park.
Starting the season as underdogs after finishing sixth in the competition last season, the Brothers win over Kalamunda has cemented them as one of the form teams in the competition and sees them sit firmly in the top four on the table.
However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing on Saturday as they were met by a rampaging Kalamunda side who were eager to retain the RugbyWA cup after claiming it in the backend of 2019 with a win over ARKs
Both teams traded early tries, but it was Kalamunda who maintained the early pressure, employing their rolling maul to great effect as they led 12-10 after the first 30 minutes.
Two close range tries in the first half from back rower Patrick Tuialli saw Joondalup gain ascendancy and they soon found themselves 17-12 in front as they headed into the half-time break.
With pressure mounting, Joondalup captain Sheldon Tarawa set the tone for the second half as he jostled three defenders down a short channel and scored under the posts to extend the ‘Brothers’ lead.
One man who wreaked havoc for Joondalup was fullback Clay Uyen who’s blistering counterattack punctured holes across the Kalamunda defence and forced them to play large parts of the game in their own half.
While the scoreboard would remain hostile to Kalamunda, one arena of the game that did serve them well was their scrum as their heavy pack marginalised the Joondalup forwards.
The heavy work rate of Joondalup flanker Ryan King didn’t go unnoticed, as his ferocity in defence and support play at rucks provided comfortable security for his side.
In a last-ditch effort to save the score line, Kalamunda surged home to close the gap to 24-19 as Jacob Rumble crashed over for his second try following a patient build-up.
Despite a sustained effort from Kalamunda, Joondalup held their nerve in defence to clinch victory and ensured that the Rugby WA Cup stayed North for another week.
Joondalup will now look to defend their title against Nedlands at HBF Arena next week while Kalamunda will be hoping to redeem themselves as they host the Coastal Cavaliers for another clash in the ‘Bull Ring’.
Tries: Heke, Rumble 2
Cons: Koiatu 2
Tries: Tuialii 2, Tarawa
Cons: Tarawa 3