Colts Competition Update and Fortescue Premier Grade Round Seven Preview

Wed, May 3, 2023, 8:12 AM
Rugby WA Media
by Rugby WA Media

Three new clubs will battle for the RugbyWA 2023 Belt Up colts title when the competition kicks off on Saturday with Wanneroo Districts, Palmyra and UWA joining reigning premiers Nedlands, Joondalup and Associates.

RugbyWA Operations Manager Jason Marrable said it was encouraging to see the growth which augured well for the future in the under-20 age group competition.

"It is great to see the new clubs fielding colts this year. We are excited to see them in the competition," Marrable said.

Marrable said there were new innovations in the competition this year.

Some matches will be broadcast as the feature game on the RugbyWA YouTube channel and the grand final will be played on the same day and venue as the senior grade finals.

A mini, two-week pre-season competition was won by Joondalup.

In Saturday's Belt Up first round games Nedlands take on Palmyra at The Foreshore, Wanneroo host UWA at Kingsway and Joondalup are at home to Associates.

Meanwhile, in round seven of the Fortescue Premier Grade, Perth Bayswater travel to Kingsway to play Wanneroo who will be buoyed by their bonus point win over Joondalup Brothers in the King of the North derby.

They will play for the Bill Watt Trophy. Watt is a life member of both Perth clubs.

Perth Bayswater coach Cale McCourt said it had been a frustrating start to the season.

They are on a three-game losing streak after an opening win over Joondalup and a draw with Palmyra.

But they have been close defeats, three points to Southern Lions, seven to Associates while only two late tries when they were down to 14-men blew out the 29-38 scoreline against Cottesloe in the last round.

McCourt said he had been hit by injuries.

"If I could keep the same 15 back-to-back it might be a bit of a different story," McCourt said.

"We've had season ending injuries, concussions, at least four changes minimum each week.

"It's a revolving door, players come in and others go out. It's never ending."

But McCourt was not using his injury list as an excuse for recent results.

"It's been frustrating, that's for sure. The footy is good. It's the execution at the end," he said.

"We play well and then let ourselves down with silly things.

"We need to play what we know, stick with it, tidy things up, keep the pressure on and build phases.

"We've never been far off. The losses have usually come as we chase the game.

"We almost held out against Cottesloe, but they came home when we were down to 14-men, and it was hard to deal with."

McCourt said he needed his "mobile and robust" pack to give his backline attacking options.

"We are there or thereabouts," he said.

"It's about earning the right to go wide but we turn over dominance.

"Again, it comes down to execution.

"We release the valve and then we are chasing the game again."

In other games the Kalamunda-Associates clash will be live on Stan Sport, the RugbyWA YouTube channel sees ladder leading and unbeaten UWA play Southern Lions, Wests Scarborough are at home to Joondalup and Nedlands host Palmyra.