The Curtin University Goats got their season back on track in last weekend’s Match of the Round, pulling off an inspiring 26-17 win over ARKS at Harrisdale Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.
After defeating the Southern Lions last year, it is Curtin’s second win in the competition since their inception into the premier grade in 2019.
With both clubs losing their opening two encounters, the importance of the game hung in the balance, as both sides drooled at the thought of victory.
ARKS were the first to draw blood, taking an early lead through winger Adam Sunderland who linked with his backline to finish a marvellous try in the corner.
Despite a slow start, sustained pressure from Curtin saw them strike back with a vengeance as lightning bolt Nicholas Chadwick collected a loose ball near the goal line to run under the uprights to give the ‘Goats’ the lead.
As the wild weather engulfed the skies above, a power struggle unfolded with both sides trying to exploit each other and find the killer blow.
Robust defence from Curtin absorbed much of the threat from ARKS as they transformed their end of the field into a fortress.
Camped on the Curtin line, ARKS persistence finally paid off as the rampaging Anthony Russell charged over two defenders to crash over on the verge of half-time to give his side a 12-10 lead.
Trying to contain the ARKS bulldozer Levi Auvae proved to be a difficult task for Curtin as he relentlessly sucked in defenders and chomped up valuable metres with ball in hand.
A lack of discipline in the second half meant the ARKS were severely punished by the reliable boot of Curtin fullback Alex Klewinghaus who had his kicking radar firmly switched on.
Curtin’s hopes of another win in premier grade slowly vanished as Adam Sunderland scored his second try to give ARKS a 17-16 lead.
However, Curtin had their finger on the nuclear button, as speedster Nicholas Chadwick crept up on the ARKS attack like a librarian to score a majestic intercept try with minutes remaining on the clock, handing the ARKS the killer blow.
A late fightback from ARKS proved to be fruitless and Curtin hung on to clinch another famous win in the Fortescue Premier Grade.
Tries: Russell, Sunderland 2
Conversion: King 1
Tries: Chadwick 2
Conversions: Klewinghaus 2
Penalties: Klewinghaus 4