Round 8 - Senior Match Report - by Kerry Smith
Round 8 - Senior Match Reports - by Kerry Smith

B Grade
Palmerston 30 Souths 12
Tries: B Evans (2), P Williams (1), S Werleman (2); Conversions: B Herbert (1); Penalty: B Catchcart (1).

A Grade
Palmerston 13 Souths 50
Tries: G Svanfelds (1); Conversions: G Svanfelds (1); Penalties: H Jordan (2)

B Grade

The killer B's took the field with just 14 players to take on South's for the Secretary's Cup. The side was a little lacking in confidence due to a fragmented preparation and the knowledge that some players would arrive late due to work or other commitments. The game started and Palmy's 15th player headed out just as the whistle blew.

South's gained an ascendency through some strong running from their biggest forwards helped by some casual defence from our boys. Slowly however the tide started to change and the confidence grew and the first half turned to a bit of an arm wrestle but Palmerston were leading at half time and the guys were genuinely enjoying the game. The second half continued on and our guys finished completely dominant at 30-12 and accepted the trophy. Highlights were the way in which the side ran out the full game and maintained a constant level through to the end. Strong performances from Sonny Tahi, Greg Jarvis, Aaron Bonaz and Paul Williams along with some new players having their first run paved the way to the win. A major blow to the 2014 players list was an injury to 'Big John Kuiti' who will likely miss several weeks and both A Grade and B grade will miss John.

A Grade

Palmerston were at least equal with the opposition for long periods but basic errors became costly particularly when infield kicks were poorly placed which gave South's fast outside backs opportunities to exploit the defensive weaknesses. Palmerston once again failed to treasure possession and gave up turnovers through lack of support at the ruck or dropped passes. The scrum however was absolutely dominant and a credit to all forwards but especially the front row of Gareth 'Shrek' Felton, Tommy Hurse and a magnificent full game effort from the veteran Shane Cotton.

The first half saw South's put on approximately 4 tries to 1 and take a healthy lead into the break.
One of the real issues for the supporters was that Palmy weren't really that much behind in skill and fitness level compared to the opposition but we just didn't capitalise on our opportunities. The second half was very different from the first when Palmy were ordered to hold on to the ball and just 'go forward' take the contact recycle and do it again until there was space to run. That tactic saw the two sides even out greatly and the score narrowed to 28-13. It was almost possible that we could pull a win out and had we managed a little better conversion of possession to points it could have been on. It didn't end that way unfortunately partly due to a shortfall of depth on the bench.
There were a total of 20 players that took part in the game and all gave a great effort but at the end of the day it was errors that cost.

Players' player by a long margin was Robbie Hurrell who always leaves everything on the field. Another standout was Anthony Smith who gave himself every opportunity to score whenever he took on the defence out wide and made some critical tackles at key times.