History repeated itself recently when Sydney University Football Club sent a President’s XV south of the border to take on Melbourne University Rugby Football Club in a match to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first match between the two universities in July 1909.
The match also celebrated the centenary of the Melbourne University club.
As with the 1909 match – won 15-3 by SUFC, the 2009 fixture resulted in a 27-10 win to the visitors on Main Oval in the middle of the Melbourne University campus.
Most of the SUFC side came from the Colts ranks, with a handful of seasoned SUFC veterans from a bygone era, including Marc Avery, Ben Daly, Marc L’Huillier, Trevor Walsh, David Haydon, Jason Reilly and Lachlan McCutcheon.
SUFC opened the scoring after five minutes when flanker David Haydon touched down off the back of a rolling maul from a lineout.
After the opening try, the contest between the two teams turned into a good arm wrestle, with MURFC able to control their own possession well and take some metres off SUFC’s defence through well-executed pick and drive rugby.
The skills and experience of the SUFC team often showed through at the set-piece and breakdown, with the team securing quality possession to often break the Melbourne defensive line off first phase play.
Young SUFC backs Tom English, Callum Fryer, Chris Chapman and Alex Rokobaro showed their wares with some expansive football from good field position. Fullback Rokobaro was rewarded with a try for his efforts, along with a try to Angus Sinclair, who controlled the game well from five-eighth.
MURFC’s tries were scored by fullback Ryan Carmichael and hooker Christian Brown.
A well-attended Centenary Dinner was held after the match at University House, where a panel discussion featuring luminaries Brendan Nasser, Geoff Vaughan and Peter Crittle entertained the audience.
Bring on 2109.