Country 22 v WA 31 2 teams still looking for their first win. Both teams had shown glimpses of potential coming in but it is fair to say neither had played consistent whistle to whistle rugby. The first 8 minutes were an arm wrestle with the game being played between the 22’s. At 0-0 and with both defensive lines holding firm, it was no great surprise that WA elected to take points after being awarded a penalty 30m out. (3-0) Whilst the kick was readied, the referee took the opportunity to speak to the Country captain about repeated offsides. WA took possession from the restart and almost immediately the overly keen country defence infringed again and the resulting yellow card handed the momentum firmly to WA. WA pushed into the Country 22 where yet another offside handed Gold another 3 points. (6-0). The referee put the Country captain on notice that another yellow was imminent unless the steady flow of infringements ceased. Unfortunately the warning was not heeded. Another restart, another offside and another yellow card, this time to Country’s hooker . With the clear advantage WA pressed strongly, gaining territory with hard running before crashing through for a well worked try. With the conversion, the advantage was extended to 13-0. WA then made full use of their numerical superiority, moving the ball wide and, with good hands and strong running, twice found the left hand corner. 25-0 From that point Country started to roll. With sustained pressure, and a full complement of 15 players on the park, they forced forward. A try in the left hand corner was an appropriate reward for effort. No conversion so 25-5. Country then moved swiftly back into WA territory, bullocking the ball down the left hand side of the field before moving the ball crisply right for another try. No extra points 25-10. Half time. With the weather turning foul, grinding rugby was the order of the day. 6 minutes in, Country narrowed the gap with a 5 pointer and a further 2 added with splendid conversion from out wide. WA struck back rapidly with 3 points to keep a healthy buffer. Country then began to push back into offside territory, gifting WA another 3 points and earning another warning from the referee. Both teams were playing tough, no compromise rugby in the wintery conditions with Country perhaps having the better of the going, stringing together multiple phases through the close in runners. They finally got their reward with a defensive lapse allowing a stroll through try. No conversion 31-22. With 3 minutes to play WA lost a player to the sin bin. Country continued to push forward, grinding their way in WA territory but to no avail with the clock running out with the final score at 31 -22. This was a thoroughly entertaining game between two tough, motivated teams. The difference probably came down to 2 factors. Firstly Country failing to adjust to the referee’s desire to keep the defensive line in place and secondly the superb effort of WA’s Nicholas Jooste, who made 6 from 7 kicks in very trying conditions.