St Louis Bombers 22 LPRFC 5
With a relatively inexperienced squad, containing many fringe and upcoming players, and against an opponent who is the current D2 National Championship runner-up, Park gave their opponents all they could handle.
In wet conditions, the difference between the two sides proved to be the effectiveness of converting created chances; in terms of possession and territory, Park stood up to and matched their more experienced opposition.
Park began brightly and after weathering initial pressure with a disciplined defence, they turned the momentum. Strong running from Schaede and especially Perrizo put Park on the front foot. It was also welcome back to Terhaar, who not only anchored a steady Park scrum but found opportunities in the loose to barrage over more than one Bomber defender.
Eschewing a very makeable penalty kick at posts, Park continued to look for the try, and when they found a little space close to the left sideline, Andrus with a strong run and dive stretched out for the score.
The Bombers replied 6 minutes later creating space wide on their right wing but it is doubtful that their fullback remembers the pass he made to put away his winger, taking a big Davis hit as he released the ball.
Throughout the game, Park’s back row more than made up for their lack of pounds with quickness across the field. Johnson (continuing his brief but impressive appearances last season), Jewell and the seemingly omnipresent Laux were a constant threat both as ball carriers and at the breakdown. Rasmussen too added the qualities of a back row player from his hooker position.
A second, late, first-half try and two more in the second period edged the Bombers to what turned out to be an unassailable lead but Park never gave up. Kowalski was held up over the line and Branham was beaten by inches to a clever kick and chase under the posts.
All in all, this was a tough road trip but one in which Park has shown the future is bright with many newer players stepping up. Some of the new training methods too were seen to be paying dividends, with the twinkle-toed Boghani putting the ladder footwork drills to effective use with a sidestep last seen on the dance floor.
Team: Bogani (Terhaar), Rasmussen, Terhaar (Kowalski), Schaede, Perrizo (Boghani), Johnson (Jewell), Laux, Jewell (Jahner), Brady, Bean, Holmes (Olander), Branham, Jahner (Weed), Andrus (Finnegan), Davis (Holmes)