Sydney University continued their recent impressive form and push for a semi-finals berth by defeating Warringah 48-12 in their Round 15 match at University No.1 Oval on Saturday.
On a sticky surface, the Students ran in seven tries to record a valuable bonus point, taking them to clear sixth on the competition table with 41 points.
Fullback Julian Huxley potted an early penalty goal to set the University machine in motion and for the first 15 minutes they pounded Warringahs defences with continual backline raids and forward surges.
The opening try came in the 17th minute on the back of a surge from loosehead prop Jerry Yanuyanutawa who was brought down five metres from the Warringah line. The ball was quickly recycled and moved to the left where five-eighth Dan Kelly stepped through the stretched defence to score. Huxley converted for a 10-nil scoreline.
Warringahs woes were compounded from the restart when a loose kick from the visitors was collected by Huxley, who spotted a gap and counter-attacked. He linked with winger Peter Betham, who unleashed his customary jink and in and away to confuse the covering defenders, before sending Kelly over under the posts. Huxley converted and the score was 17-0 to University.
There was no relenting from the hosts. With 10 minutes remaining in the half the ball was moved quickly through the backline to winger Nathan Trist, who scored in the hill corner.
Another mighty surge from Yanuyanutawa, followed by a series of well executed pick and drives resulted in halfback Nick Phipps claiming his first try for the afternoon and a bonus point for the team. Huxley converted and the Students went to the break leading 27-nil, much to the delight of their supporters in the grandstand.
The first 10 minutes of the second stanza was characterised by a greater commitment from Warringah. This proved fruitful when fullback Pat McCabe, who plays with the Brumbies in the Super 14 competition, took advantage of some scrappy play to dart through a gap and score untouched near the goalposts. Sam Harris, a Western Force signing, converted for a 27-7 scoreline.
Warringah maintained their intensity and it paid dividends in the 20th minute when reserve Waratah halfback Josh Holmes took a quick tap from a penalty and swung the ball to the right, where winger Dylan Smouha launched himself for the corner, evading the covering University defence, to score. Harris failed to convert from the sideline.
Universitys period of hibernation ended when former London Wasps back , outside- centre Lachie Mitchell, spotted a gap in the Warringah defence 40 metres out. Backing himself, Mitchell showed tremendous acceleration and determination to outsprint the cover and score near the uprights. Huxley converted and the score was 32-12 to the Students.
University raised the tempo during the final 10 minutes. An eight-man shove from the Students pack on a Warringah scrum feed disrupted Holmes over-the-should pass to his backs. University flanker Pat McCutcheon, showing his skills as the Australian Sevens captain, pilfered the ball mid air and outsprinted the defence to score. Huxley converted and the score ballooned to 41-12.
In the form that saw him selected for the Wallabies, Huxley instigated another try to close proceedings for the afternoon. Spotting a gap after some phase play, he drew the cover defence and threw an inside pass. The bouncing ball was regathered by Phipps, who scored his second under the posts, for an easy conversion for Huxley.
With six wins from seven matches across grade and Colts, the spirit in the club was evidenced by a passionate rendition of the club song in the dressing room.
First Grade: Sydney University 48 (Nick Phipps 2, Dan Kelly 2, Pat McCutcheon, Lachlan Mitchell, Nathan Trist tries; Julian Huxley 5 goal, pen goal) d Warringah 12 (Dillon Smouha, Pat McCabe tries; Sam Harris goal) at Sydney University No.1 Oval.
Second Grade: Warringah 23 (Mitch Greenway, Toupou Iongi, Andrew Gowling tries; Tristan Stanley goal, 2 pen goals) d Sydney University 16 (Alistair King, Bernard Foley tries; Bernard Foley 2 pen goals.
Third Grade: Sydney University 38 (Nick Duffy, Hugh Hawkins, Justin Bosilkovski, James McMahon, Toby LEstrange, Julian James tries; Justin Bosilkovski 4 goals) d Warringah 10 (Sam Kiely try; Ryan Butcher goal, pen goal).
Fourth Grade: Sydney University 53 (Oliver Atkins 2, S. Kataoka 2, Dan Simpson, Hugh Dessen, Ian Hilliard, Cameron Lawrence, Scott Cameron tries; Hugh Bushell 4 goals) d Warringah 12 (L. Smith-Mel, Ryan Butcher tries; Ryan Butcher goal).
First Grade: Sydney University 29 (4 tries) d Warringah 19.
Second Grade: Sydney University 65 (10 tries) d Warringah 0.
Third grade: Sydney University 34 (5 tries) d Warringah 0.