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Associates have consolidated their position in second place on the Pindan Premier Grade ladder with a comprehensive 44-10 win over Wests Subiaco at Allen Park.
Soaks (27 points) started round nine 10 points adrift of competition frontrunners Nedlands and one point ahead of Wests, with today’s bonus-point win affording them some breathing space on the table.
After trailing 10-0 after 28 minutes, the home side wrestled back a 17-10 half-time lead before running in a further 27 unanswered points in the second term.
Understandably pleased with his side’s performance, Associates coach Andy Cole praised his forward pack and said he was confident of the result provided his side played to its plan.
“We knew we had to play well against Wests, we knew we had to play a certain style and when we adjusted to that the boys realised what we could do and they came home strong,” he said.
“In the first half we didn’t think we deserved to be 10 points down but that just showed that you can’t give Wests any room and we knew that.
“We had a game plan coming into this match and we didn’t stick to it early. As soon as we stuck to that structure the result took care of itself.”
Despite Soaks’ lion’s share of possession through the early stages of the first half, it was the visitors that struck first when inside centre Chance Bunce put in a neat grubber kick for winger Vincent Silulu to score.
The pair combined again to double their lead at the 28-minute mark when Bunce sliced through and got outside the defence, before Silulu latched onto the inside pass to cross for his double.
Unfortunately for the visitors, Silulu’s second touchdown marked the end of their scoring for the day with Associates fullback Matt Dreyer booting four first-half penalty goals, and lock Hemi Davies picking up the spoils from the back of a rolling maul to give their side a seven-point advantage at the break.
The second term was one-way traffic as the hosts kept the scoreboard ticking over throughout the 40 minutes.
Another Dreyer penalty extended the lead to 10 points before tries to flyhalf Mike Rovira and outside centre James Rogerson ensured that it would be a favourable day for the home side.
Blindside flanker Ben Hales secured the four-try bonus point with 10 minutes remaining before his side added another touchdown to seal the five-tries-to-two result on the stroke of full-time.
Wests Subiaco coach Steve Montgomery said he was disappointed with how the second half panned out for his side.
“Despite trailing 17-10, we thought we were very much in it at half time,” he said. “We spoke about exactly how we wanted to play but there was obviously some miscommunication from the coaches as how we started and played that second half was not as we discussed.
“In that first half we attacked in the middle and if an opportunity arose out wide we went wide but then we seemed to come away from that.
“We’ve got the bye now; we’ll have a good week off, we’ll refresh and then get stuck back into it.”
All sides will receive a competition bye next week before resuming matches on Saturday, 7 July.