The first ten to fifteen minutes saw some scrappy play from both sides, neither able to hang onto the ball for more than 5 phases. Pats could not create enough space and get outside of their own half, but some extremely poor goal kicking from Padua fullback Joe Andrews let Pats off the hook. Twice within five minutes the fullback missed kicks from 5 to 10 out nearly directly in front, and the crowd made the boy’s life hell from this point on.
The men in green and gold finally gained some territory through some great runs up the middle of the park from superstar Number 8 Junior Fakaosilea and they quickly converted this territory into points, with prop Sean Langkilde scoring the first points of the match.
Pats quickly gained ascendency from this point on with some bone crunching tackling from the Pats forwards, led by that man Junior, but against the run of play Andrews drew his side level. Unfortunately for him the try meant his conversion was literally directly in front of the Old Boys and he could not handle the pressure, spraying the ball wide. The scores sat at 5-5 when the half time whistle blew, the game still up for grabs.
The second half began in a similar fashion to the first, but a change in kicking duties to hooker Brent Fordyce gave Padua a comfortable buffer, leaving the scores at 14-5 with five minutes to play. Padua were defending well and Pats had no answer, simply dropping the ball after a few phases then giving away penalties which could easily have been avoided, Fordyce was calmly stepping up and making them pay.
With 5 minutes left, the home side again took the ball inside the Padua 22 and after 10 to 15 phases an inspired run from Junior carried three Padua defenders over the line for a well deserved try, right under the posts. Flyhalf Mitch Walker converted and the scores sat at 14-12 with only two minutes remaining.
Curlew Park was ready to explode and the second phase following the restart saw Junior beat two would be defenders and offload to a flying Regan Glynn, who stepped inside two defenders himself and flew down the sideline in front of the Old Boys to score.
St Pats had pulled off another great escape, similar to the 2011 victory over St Laurence’s in front of a full crowd. Walker missed the kick and the score sat at 17-14 when the final whistle was blown.
Missed chances were the story of the day for Padua, while the men from St Pat’s will be counting their lucky stars a player like Junior Fakaosilea has graced their school. He was unstoppable in what was by far his best game of the year, nearly singlehandedly carrying the men from Shorncliffe.
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BrumbiesB+ Earned a gold star in Week 1 of the term but are marked down for a poor first half on Saturday when the visiting team was not punished. Finished well though and are the best in the class.
WaratahsC Had two naughty lads in detention in Canberra and should have been three. Need regular caning and also extra scrummaging homework. A pity—had a good half-hour winning in Week 1. Could do better.
RebelsC- Had a good result in Perth but did not pay attention in Johannesburg and star pupils made mistakes. This was frustrating because they scored four tries when they concentrated properly. More consistent efforts needed.
ForceC- Bad marks for Week 1 at home but we received a note that the poor lambs were affected by high humidity. Recovered in Week 2: it was only against the Reds, but a win is a win.
RedsD- Some bad seasons, and two comfortable losses this year, indicated there was a problem at home. They are now in the care of foster coaches and one hopes that their work can improve.