A two-try performance by Joseph Richie has seen Nedlands secure the 2015 Pindan Premier Grade minor premiership, with an authoritative 27-0 victory over Palmyra at Tompkins Park.

Nedlands dominated territory throughout the entire game, never allowing Palmyra to enter their 22, while using their physical forward pack to dominate the ground game in the blistering wind. Palmyra were limited in their chances to clear the ball from their own 22 in the first half due to the strong wind and the stiff Nedlands defence, which lead to Neddies running in five tries to take home the minor premiership pennant.

Nedlands Assistant Coach Tom Fearn said he was happy with his side’s season, but the minor premiership is only half the battle.

“The minor premiership is part of it, but at the end of the day the major premiership is the goal,” he said.

“Today was tough conditions, we held our line together, got our five points and move on to next week.

“It’s all about building pressure, and I don’t think we were that direct in the first half with the breeze, and our support lines weren’t direct enough either, but we achieved that in the second half and got rewarded.”

Nedlands came out with intent in the opening stages of the match, dominating possession and time in the 22. They were able to cross the line multiple times, but were denied the points after being held up.

Fred Titiko eventually broke the line after nearly 15 minutes of constant attacking pressure in the Palmyra 22. Titiko broke two tackles, and used a duke move to beat the final man and cross the line for five points. Titiko was unable to kick the conversion due to the strong wind, leaving the score at 5-0.

Nedlands scrum-half Michael Ruru was able to take advantage of a gap in the Palmyra defensive line, using his forward pack to carry the ball up to the chalk and dive over to further extend his team’s margin to 10-0 heading into halftime.

The second half began with Nedlands applying pressure on the Palmyra defence, but not with the same ease as the first half, as the wind was not carrying the ball in their direction.

Loosehead prop Joseph Richie scored his first try of the day, powering across the line after Nedlands were able to string together a successful set of pick and goes inside the five metre line, extending their lead to 15-0.

Nedlands scrumhalf Michael Ruru was ejected from the game in the 55th minute after exchanging pleasantries with Palmyra winger Panashe Kamhata on the sideline.

Richard Naylor secured the bonus point for Nedlands, with a thunderous run down the sideline, beating three defenders on the way and charging his way across the line to put his side up 20-0.

Neddies closed out the day with Joseph Richie scoring his second try of the day, breaking the line at the 22, busting through multiple tackles to complete a monstrous run and score the final try. Ben Titiko’s conversion put the final score at 27-0, sending his side home with a bonus point victory and the 2015 Minor Premiership.

In Saturday’s other results, Associates claimed seventh spot on the ladder, defeating Joondalup 33-25, Wanneroo narrowly defeated UWA 17-15, Wests Scarborough proved much too strong for Perth Bayswater, 61-5 and Cottesloe booked their ticket to the finals with a 34-19 win over Kalamunda.

Nedlands 27 (Fred Titiko, Michael Ruru, Joseph Richie 2 tries; Ben Titiko conversion) defeated Palmyra 0.

Pindan Premier Grade – Round 18
Associates 33 defeated Joondalup 25 at Allen Park, Swanbourne.
Nedlands 27 defeated Palmyra 0 at Tompkins Park, Alfred Cove.
Cottesloe 34 defeated Kalamunda 19 at Hartfield Park, Forrestfield
Wanneroo 17 defeated UWA 15 at Kingsway reserve, Kingsway.
Wests Scarborough 61 defeated Perth Bayswater 5 at Bennett Park, Doubleview.