The second visit to Joondalup for the season saw a much changed Souths second string. Injuries, unavailability and call-ups had depleted starting team with positional changes galore also. Alan Murray filled in a 10 with Ronan Kent coming into the side at 15 were the new and major changes to the back line. A new front row combo also took to the field with Lee Chapman, Dave Ingo and John Bowman re-shuffling to suit.
Horrendous conditions in the warm up gave way to a breezy but dry afternoon as Souths kicked with the wind. The reliable Souths pack went about its business, taking it to a new-look Joondalup side as they had done in every other fixture this year. Jackson, James and Finlay were dominant and it was their hustle at the break-down that kept the conveyor of possession running smoothly. A piercing run from Tim Coffey set up a the well drilled pack to hammer away at their opposition, a passage of play finished by Geordie James in the corner. Conversion missed but the upper hand gained. Novice props they maybe but Bowman and Chapman took it to their opposite numbers in the scrummage leading to a number of early substitutions from the Joondalup 4ths. This continued pressure brought about numerous penalty opportunities with captain James pointing to the posts, with Murray making good one of 3 chances. In such weather, this was never going to be the 5-pointer festival the 1st game was and after a Joonalups larger pack imposed themselves on the game, a lengthy bout of massive punts ensued with both 10’s wanting to build a platform well out of their own 22s. A late penalty to Joondalup saw the half out. 8-3.
A flood of substitutions complimented the very real deluge shortly after half-time. Marco Angola had a encouraging spell at Prop as did Jeff Astfalck as the hard working front-rowers were cycled. Although changes were needed, they did ultimately see the Souths pack waiver under fierce resistance. The 2nd half was Joondalups with a constant barrage of quick-taps and strong running they kept Souths well on their toes. A rare blind-side foray by Ronan Kent saw Scotty Lander in space, but the ball was spilled before advantage was gained. Demetrio Kavelashvili entered the fray to great effect and made his presence felt early at 6 with a bone-shuddering tackle on the opposition 8. Penalty kicks were once again to decide the fate of the game. A late effort from Joondalup sailed over, leaving them dangerously within reach, with an even later effort luckily for Souths hooking wide.
An encounter too close for comfort but a win they just deserved to claim shaded by Souths. 8-6