Fortescue Premier Grade Round Eight Preview

Wed, May 10, 2023, 2:27 AM
Rugby WA Media
by Rugby WA Media

Two huge clashes at each end of the Premier Grade table highlight round eight, the Belt Up Round, brought by the Insurance Commission of Western Australia.

The top two sides, UWA and Associates, meet at Allen Park. Nine points separate the pair, but second-placed Associates have a game in hand over their unbeaten opponents.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the table, Perth Bayswater and Kalamunda face each other at Pat O'Hara Reserve.

Perth Bayswater will be buoyed by their round seven, 32-26 win over Wanneroo while Kalamunda ran Associates close, going down 35-39 after another narrow loss, 22-25 against UWA the previous week.

Kalamunda have just one win, their round one 16-11 victory over Southern Lions, but coach Paul King is confident they can end their losing streak.

King, in his second stint at the club, said: "It's very hard to break that losing streak sometimes.

"We just need to break it and I think we'll go alright.

"We went alright in the last couple of weeks against Soaks and we gave Uni, top of the table, a bit of a fright.

"But we are not getting the wins and no matter how good you played, a loss is a loss and losing is not enjoyable."

King has made a few tweaks to his side and is impressed with his players' work ethic.

"We've not made big changes just a few vital changes in position," he said.

"We've settled on a few different people in a few different positions and it's starting to work.

"We were always taught that if it's not quite working you've got to work harder.

"That's what we are trying to do. Work harder and smarter and see how that sets us up.

"The boys are putting in.

"All I can ask is that they try both on and of the paddock.

"There's a bit of confidence around the club.

"This is a pretty big game for both sides.

"Off the field we are good mates and on field...we're not.

"That's just how it is."

King has always coached an open style, putting width on the ball.

"When you are young you like to get the ball and run," he said.

"Nothing changes.

"All we are doing is dealing with big kids. All they want to do is get the ball and run.

"So, OK, let's have a little bit of a plan where we can do that, win and enjoy ourselves at the same time."

The Perth Bayswater - Kalamunda game is live on the RugbyWA YouTube channel with Associates - UWA the feature match on Stan Sport.

Wests have a tough task, travelling to face in-form Palmyra, but will be confident after their 26-22 victory over Joondalup Brothers. 

Southern Lions are at home to Cottesloe and Nedlands travel to Joondalup.