Four games to go and four points clear, Souths 4th grade went into this game with fate certainly appearing to be on Curtin’s side. One of their stalwarts had reached the amazing milestone of 400 games and today was the day chosen as that 400th game. With a substantial ground swell of support, the task before the Lions was an unenviable one.
Knowing what they were up against only helped spur them into action. A ferocious start hardly let up in the first half as both sides ding-donged and niggled their way towards the upper hand, albeit displaying some good skills and end-to-end Rugby to boot. A series of early infringements from Curtin gave Souths plenty of ball-time which was ran from the most unlikely of positions, continually testing the sturdy Curtin defence. A prolonged period of defending finally gave way to a great team try. Hayden Smith harried a clearing kicker who skewed his clearance to Captain Mark Carmichael. A dazzling run from the evergreen 10 evaded numerous tackles as he slalomed his way towards the Curtin line. With the line in sight, he off-loaded to the lurking Chris Chapman, evidently more at home on the wing than filling his normal duties at loosehead, as the gathered before ducking into a last ditch tackle and scoring in the corner. The rest of the half belonged to Curtin as it was South’s turn to defend. An impressive line-out took Souths ball as well as securing their own which supplied their lively outside backs with plenty of opportunities to reduce the arrears. The best defence in the comp though kept them out, reaching half time unscathed.
Changes to both teams saw only a raise in intensity. Another bout of ferocity at the breakdown led to further niggle just outside the Lions 22 resulting in a yellow for a Curtin replacement. Souths were unable to capitalise though but did manage to string together some great passages of play. Luwah Tofa continued his good run of form from the previous week, fashioning line breaks from nowhere. A further yellow card to Curtin should have let Souths in for further scoring but resolute defence from the home team kept them at bay. It wasn’t until both players from the home team had re-entered the fray that Souths added to their score. Magical play from Carmichael had seen Tim Coffey, player of the day due to barn storming running and rucking couple with an imperious 2nd half display of line out jumping, go very close. It was the Carmichael and Tofa combination though that put in young winger Jarrod Adlam for his first score of the year after a piercing run. Converted from a difficult angle from Carmichael, Souths nudged further in front. A couple more late changes from Souths saw some welcome players have a much needed taster as Souths continued to camp in the Curtin half up until full time.
Four points gained to take an eight point lead at the top of the table, Souths can only now lose their advantage rather than have it taken away from them.