Associates have broken back into the top four of the premier grade rankings following a tense 27-22 victory over Palmyra at Tompkins Park.
In what is arguably one of the games of the season, both clubs demonstrated a champagne style of rugby in front of an electric crowd, but it was Associates who clinched the spoils.
Despite the disappointment from the ‘Battle of Broome Street’ still simmering, ‘Soaks’ were hungry to get back on winning terms after winning their opening three fixtures.
‘Soaks’ charged out of the blocks early on, gaining a 12-0 lead thanks to the allusive Sam Healy who scored both the early tries which included a scintillating runaway try under the uprights.
However, with a dazzling backline at their disposal, Palmyra burst their way back onto the scene to level the scores.
Turning on his magic wand, Sam Healy broke the deadlock as he opened fire from 45 metres out to kick a monster drop goal and send the Associates contingent on the sideline into pandemonium.
Front rower Paasi Fine crashed over late in the first half to give ‘Soaks’ some breathing space, but an arm wrestle awaited the Soaks side after the break as Palmyra boiled the kettle.
Replacing the injured Lachie Phillips, Todd Lewis orchestrated play beautifully from halfback, finding space behind the Palmyra lines with exemplary box kicks and controlling the pace of the game at the back of the ruck.
The tireless work rate of flanker Alex Rovira proved pivotal, as he held firm in defence while taking endless carries into contact.
Absorbing the late Palmyra onslaught, a late try to Luke Raduva proved to be the defining moment in the game as ‘Soaks’ took a slender lead into the final corner of the game.
Clashing heads with a Titanic like Palmyra pack, the ‘Soaks’ scrum contributed heavily to the final minutes, earning a few last gasp scrum penalties to help steer us to a famous victory at the ‘Oasis’.
Across the grades, second grade went down to a strong Palmyra side 29-15 while third grade found the going tough in the opening game of the day.
The Colts side ran rampant on Friday night, beating UWA 31-10 to get their season back on track.