Sydney University rode home on the boot of five-eighth Dan Kelly in their 20-17 win over Manly under lights at Sydney University No.1 Oval on Saturday night.
Manly scored three tries to the Students’ two, but Kelly landed two conversions, a penalty and a crucial field goal to help Sydney University to an eighth straight win in their run to the Shute Shield finals.
The win elevated the Students to fifth on the competition ladder, which is headed by Eastwood (79), with Eastern Suburbs (73), Southern Districts (73), Manly (73), Sydney University (65) and Randwick (57) making up the top six.
Having already disposed of top-six teams Eastwood and Southern Districts in the business end of the season, Sydney University can inflict another psychological blow on the finals contenders when they take on Eastern Suburbs at No.1 Oval on Saturday.
The Students will then round off the competition proper with a match against Penrith at Nepean Rugby Park before the run home for a possible sixth consecutive premiership.
The Students recorded their second clean sweep in three weeks when they won all grades and the three Colts matches on Saturday.
Also on line in the next two weeks is the Club Championship, which Sydney University has won every year since 2004. The Colts have already wrapped up the Colts Club Championship for 2010 to add to the club championships they won in 1997, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Should the Students successfully defend the Shute Shield, they’ll equal a long-held Randwick record of six successive premierships. The Wicks won six titles between 1987 to 1992. They’ll also move one title closer to the Wicks, who hold 27 premierships to Sydney University’s 25.
And Tim Davidson has the chance to captain six premiership-winning teams – a feat that could be on the record books for many, many years.
Meanwhile, Ben McCalman earned another Test cap when he came off the bench to join Sydney University team-mate Dean Mumm in the 44-31 Tri Nations loss to South Africa at Loftus Versfeld at the weekend. Coach Robbie Deans did not call on the services of Berrick Barnes and Luke Burgess, who were also on the bench.
And, the first rugby union title for Sydney University for 2010 is in the bag with the women’s First XV accounting for Warringah 33-10 in the Sydney Women’s grade competition grand final played at No.1 Oval on Saturday.
Sydney Women’s competition – Grand Final
First Grade: Sydney University 33 d Warringah 10 at Sydney University No.1 Oval.
Sydney Grade competition – Round 20
First Grade: Sydney University 20 (Dave McDuling, Greg Jeloudev tries; Dan Kelly 2 goals, pen goal, field goal) d Manly 17 (Chris Yarrington 2, Will Brame tries; Chris Yarrington goal) at Sydney University No.1 Oval.
Second Grade: Sydney University 79 (Tom Kingston 3, Bernard Foley 2, Anthony Pohlen 2, Alistair King, Luke Jones, Trent Dyer, Matt Schwager tries; Justin Bosilkovski 9 goals, 2 pen goals) d Manly 0.
Third Grade: Sydney University 44 (Cameron Lawrence 2, Dane Cole-Clarke, Hugh Marples, Sam Hosking, Wayne Gibson, Chris Chapman tries; Eddie Bredenhann 3 goals, pen goal) d Manly 26 (T McBlane 2, Isaac Treml, Steve Gilbert tries; Corey Murphy 3 goals).
Fourth Grade: Sydney University 44 (Sho Kataoka 2, Oliver Atkins 2, Duncan Hardy, Ian Hillard, James Cameron, Willie Du Plessis tries; James Metcalf 2 goals) d Manly 7 (Steve Gilbert try; Shem Grieve goal).
First: Sydney University 32 (4 tries) d Manly 22.
Second Grade: Sydney University 50 (8 tries) d Manly 33.
Third Grade: Sydney University 17 d Manly 12.