Marist College Ashgrove enters the AIC rugby league fray this Saturday after an excellent opening round that uncovered plenty of standout performances across the schools.
Marist Ashgrove had a bye in last Saturday’s first round, which featured wins to St Patrick’s College, Iona College and Villanova College in an entertaining day at Curlew Park.
It was difficult to choose a favourite for the inaugural AIC First XIII competition before the opening round. That task was no easier after Iona outlasted Confraternity Carnival semi-finalists Padua College last Saturday.
Iona’s 18-16 win included two tries by fullback Max Plath – the son of former Broncos utility John Plath. Plath’s second try early in the second half pushed Iona to an 18-4 lead but they had to withstand another comeback from the resilient Padua.
At Confraternity Carnival three weeks ago, Padua stormed back from a 0-18 deficit against powerhouse St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon, to qualify for the semi-finals.
They looked set to escape again last Saturday when Iona was down to 12 men with six minutes remaining.
Padua continued to attack the line but they were unable to crack the Iona defence.
Iona coach Chris McKenna, a former Queensland State of Origin star, praised his players for their commitment in a fine opening to the competition.
“A credit to Padua College because they kept coming at us and we were never comfortable,” McKenna said.
“I was proud of our guys. We had some injuries and some guys had to play more minutes than expected but they dug deep.”
Iona has a bye this weekend when the second round is played at Marist Ashgrove.
The home school enters the competition off the back of an impressive seventh placing at the Confraternity Carnival but they face a tough opening match against St Patrick’s – the 10th-placed Confro team.
St Patrick’s opened their AIC campaign with a close 30-12 win over St Laurence’s College.
St Patrick’s were well served by fullback William Boland, who was chosen in the Confraternity Carnival representative team.
He scored a try in the 53rd minute which broke a 12-all deadlock before the home team added tries in the 58th and 59th minutes.
Villanova meets Padua this Saturday, buoyed by their 46-22 over St Edmund’s College.
Villanova did not play at the Confraternity Carnival but their performance in rugby union earlier this year showcased the skill level of their players.
St Edmund’s opened the scoring with a try in the eighth minute before Villanova scored some excellent long-range tries.
St Edmund’s and St Laurence’s will vie for their first win of the season when they meet on Saturday. Both teams had plenty of positives to take from their opening matches.