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The Dunsborough Dungbeetles capped off a stellar season by defeating the Bunbury City Bulls 22-17 in the South West Rugby Union grand final in Dunsborough on Saturday.
Despite the Dungbeetles boasting an unbeaten home-and-away season and a 30-point victory over the Bulls in their last encounter, it was the visitors who drew first blood through a try in the opening minute.
The Dungbeetles were quick to respond through Fabian Leaf, who levelled the scores at 5-all from a set move inside the Bulls’ quarter after 10 minutes.
The game then developed into a tight arm wrestle though the middle of the ground with neither side able to attain a clear advantage until the 30-minute mark when a lapse in the Dunsborough defensive line and some slick Bulls passing resulted in their second try of the afternoon and a 12-5 advantage.
With half time approaching the home side locked up the scoreboard at 12-all at the break when clever tactical kicking put them within striking distance before Dwayne Palmer ran a strong line to punch over and score, with Abe Fulcher converting the try.
While both sides had early penalty attempts waved away, Fulcher then posted a successful one to give his side its first share of the lead 12 minutes into the second half.
The Dungbeetles’ cause wasn’t helped when they were reduced to 14 men for repeated slowing down of the ball at the ruck, and were forced to resist continual attacking raids from a determined Bulls outfit.
However, it was Dunsborough who was next to score when scrumhalf Brett Humphreys crashed over to score, with Fulcher again adding the extras to give his side a 10-point buffer with 15 minutes remaining.
While Dunsborough held the advantage in the closing stages of the game and were unlucky not to score again, it was the Bulls who finished proceedings with a consolation try against the run of play. However, it was the Dungbeetles who claimed the premiership 22-17 in a fitting finale to the season.