23.06.2008 – Graham Croker

It was like the good old days; a couple of Wallabies in the XV, a fired up opponent in Manly trying to outdraw the top gun, and a bigger than normal crowd at a cold and windy No.1 Oval.

With Phil Waugh at flanker and the club’s latest Australian representative, Dean Mumm, in the second-row, the Students prevailed 30-18 after leading 17-6 at the break. And though the Sydney University dominated possession, territory and the scrum, the committed Marlins restricted them to three tries to two in a tough and, at times, entertaining encounter.

Indeed, where the Students might have usually gone for the try option from penalties in kickable positions, they called on five-eighth Dan Kelly to shoot for goal. In the end, his three penalties, along with three conversions, made the difference on the scoreboard.

Manly fullback Adam D’Arcy opened the scoring with an early penalty goal before Waugh made his presence felt in the 15th minute, but not from a crunching tackle, a steal at the breakdown or a barging hit-up. Operating off a ruck following a storming run from Mumm, the Waratahs captain joined the backline at inside-centre, grubbered ahead from 20 metres out and won the race to the ball. Kelly converted and the Students took a lead they never surrendered.

Another Kelly penalty pushed the score to 10-3 before prop Jerry Yanuyanutawa, back from Australia A duties, had the crowd on their feet. It started with a Nick Haydon kick over a ruck inside the University quarter line. Yanuyanutawa zeroed in on the loose ball near halfway, gained a favourable bounce and stormed down the right touchline. There were thoughts of evacuating the H.K. Ward gymnasium as the runaway train gained momentum, but the big prop dived just before the line and the ground trembled as he slid over for a memorable try. It was Kelly’s duty to convert from touch.

Another D’Arcy penalty took the score to 17-6 and the teams went to the break with the Students knowing their dominance was not showing on the scoreboard and the Marlins knowing their commitment had kept the hosts to two tries and some frustration.

Kelly pushed the score to 23-6 with two penalty goals early in the second half as the Students dominated possession and territory.

The sweeping backline plays that had been thwarted by Manly for 60 minutes, finally paid off in a three-phase attack. A midfield snipe from Kelly was continued by Waugh and fullback Lachlan Mitchell. The ball was moved back to the right flank, where Yanuyanutawa and fellow prop Laurie Weeks took play inside the Manly quarter. The ball was then swept back to the right, with inside-centre Mitch Inman and Haydon combing to send speedy winger Lachlan Rosengreen through a big defensive hole to score near the posts. Kelly converted and the hosts held sway 30-6.

Despite some more telling runs from Mumm, two five-metre scrums that might have earned push-over tries, but instead earned a penalty to Manly, and ball movement along the backline, the Students couldn’t come up with a bonus point fourth try.

In fact it was the wouldn’t say die Marlins who came up with the remaining points. After D’Arcy had taken play to the University quarter, halfback Paddy Pearse scooped up the ball from a scrimmage and off-loaded a one-handed pass to centre Luke Johnson, who scored next to the posts for D’Arcy to convert.

With time almost up, Manly launched one last raid, starting from 50 metres out. Five-eighth Josh Gamgee, Johnson, D’Arcy and winger Stephen Scoles handled before D’Arcy scored in the corner.

The visitors had many solid performers, including flanker Will Brame, who played the full 80 minutes with the same commitment as Waugh, number eight Mark Fisher, second-rower Pat Mailie, D’Arcy and Johnson. Mumm relished his return for the hosts with some strong surges, flanker Pauliasi Taumoepeau was solid, Haydon was tidy behind a good pack, Mitchell was dangerous from fullback and Rosengreen continued his weekly improvement over the past month.

First Grade: Sydney University 30 (Phil Waugh, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Lachlan Rosengreen tries; Dan Kelly 3 goals, 3 pen goals) d Manly 18 (Luke Johnson, Adam D’Arcy tries; Adam D’Arcy goal, 2 pen goals) at University No.1 Oval.
Second Grade: Manly 24 (Dave Kennett, Isaac Tremmel, Steve Gilbert, Adam Donkin tries; Adam Donkin 2 goals) d Sydney University 13 (Pat McCutcheon, Nathan Trist tries; Jeremy Atkin pen goal).
Third Grade: Sydney University 14 (Duncan Hardy, Tim Alstrope tries; Scott Stumbles 2 goals) d Manly 8 (Adam Powell try; Sam Lloyd-Green pen goal).
Fourth Grade: Sydney University 10 (Jono Bowman, Robbie Gordon tries) d Manly 0.

First Grade: Sydney University 36 d Manly 3.
Second Grade: Sydney University 25 d Manly 7.
Third Grade: Sydney University 20 d Manly 13.

Women’s Championship
Parramatta 12 d Sydney University 10.