The visitors ran in seven tries to three on a brisk autumn day in Toorak. Led by fly-half Kimu Valentini, the visitors came out of the blocks to open the scoring in the seventh minute through flanker Jack De Guigand. The number seven, whose support play was a feature of the Quins’ performance took the last pass from Justin Marsters to score next to the sticks.
Melbourne, who went through the 2012 regular season undefeated, only to lose with the prize on the line, fought back quickly through a dominant pack, and when the visitors bizarrely opted for a scrum in their own twenty two they were made to pay, getting shunted backwards and giving away possession. The home side capitalised with a try to their scrum half, and were on the board again after a bullocking run by Pahaulu, set up Andrew Stevenson. When prop Elliot Bull crashed over in the twentieth minute the home side was coasting and a penalty kick to Ben Jones saw the score blow out to 24-7.
The state of the game was turned on its head on the half hour mark. In a scene reminiscent of Retallick v O’Connor on Friday night, Valentini charged down a Melbourne clearance and was first to the ball for the five pointer. As the conversion was lined up, Melbourne number eight, Ian Pahaulu was red-carded for punching and the home side were down to fourteen. Melbourne held on to the lead going into the break leading 24-14.
It didn’t take long for the Quins to make the most of the numerical advantage with winger Larry Manu crossing after build up play from within their own quarter. The Unicorns slowly clawed back into the game minute but were quickly overrun by a marauding Quin’s back row. Taufa and De Guigand tormented the home side consistently taking the ball over the gain line. Valentini, backing up from Friday night’s Vic U20 fixture marshalled the backs as the home side were forced to defend for extended periods. Melbourne’s resolve crumpled as OJ Noa, and Quins’ most consistent forward, Sione Taufa crossed to take the game away from the home side.
Maradona Farao and Kemu Valentini completed the second half blitz, with the visitors running out commanding victors 48-24.
In other fixtures Power House, with Rebels Paul Alo Emile, Shota Horie and Bryce Hegarty fought back from a 10-0 deficit to defeat Footscray 22-13. Moorabbin piled on 33 second half points to overpower Box Hill 38-26. Melbourne Uni held on to grab the points despite a spirited second half performance by Endeavour Hills.
Next week sees Box Hill host Footscray, with Power House at home to Southern Districts. The students host a Melbourne side intent on returning to the winner’s circle while Endeavour Hills continue their search for a win against premiers Moorabbin.