Graham Croker
Sydney University wrapped up a seventh straight Club Championship with a 33-13 win over Eastern Suburbs in the penultimate Shute Shield round played at University No.1 Oval on Saturday.
The four tries to two win was the ninth on the trot for the Students, who have made a slow and steady march into the top five after a disastrous start to the season.
Sydney University will meet Penrith at Nepean Rugby Park in the final round of the competition proper on Saturday and could finish fourth on the ladder depending on the result of the match between Easts and Gordon.
Eastwood head the ladder going into the final round on 84 points, with Southern Districts (78), Manly (78), Eastern Suburbs (73), Sydney University (70) and Randwick (61) making up the top six.
Saturday’s win was another psychological blow in the Students’ pursuit of a sixth successive premiership. They have now disposed of top-six teams Eastwood, Southern Districts and Eastern Suburbs in the business end of the season.
Should the Students’ winning run continue and they successfully defend the Shute Shield, they will 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.
Sydney University Second Grade maintained their third position on the competition ladder with a 20-15 win over Eastern Suburbs on Saturday.
Warringah head the Colin Caird Shield competition on 83 points, with Randwick (83), Sydney University (72), Southern Districts (70), Eastwood (68) and West Harbour (63) making up the top six.
In a round of upsets in the J.R. Henderson Shield, Sydney University dropped to third on the ladder with a 19-13 loss to Eastern Suburbs.
Randwick head the Third Grade ladder on 80 points, with Eastern Suburbs (76), Sydney University (75), West Harbour (72), Gordon (70) and Warringah (56) making up the top six going into the final round.
Eastern Suburbs maintained their lead in the Fourth Grade competition with a 17-12 win over Sydney University on Saturday.
Easts lead the J.R. Henderson Cup on 87 points, with Randwick (73), Southern Districts (64), Northern Suburbs (59), Sydney University (54) and Gordon (51) making up the top six.
Sydney University’s three Colts teams continued on their winning way, with Firsts triumphing 34-7, Seconds 27-7 and Thirds 24-8.
The Colts also 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.
Meanwhile, Ben McCalman could have cemented a regular spot in the Wallabies backrow after turning in a strong performance at number eight in Australia’s nail-biting 41-39 win over South Africa in their Tri Nations Test at Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Playing his first match in the starting side after coming off the bench in his first two Tests, McCalman made some telling tackles around the ruck area as the behemoth Springbok forwards mounted attacking raids.
Sydney University team-mates Berrick Barnes, Luke Burgess and Dean Mumm came off the bench late in the Test to be part of the historic victory – Australia’s first on the South African highveld in 47 years.


Sydney Grade competition – Round 21

First Grade: Sydney University 33 (Lachie Mitchell, Peter Betham, Dave Dennis, Nathan Trist tries; Dan Kelly 2 goals, 3 pen goals) d Easter Suburbs 13 (Gavin Debartolo, Anton Lavin tries; Brendan McKibbin pen goal) at Sydney University No.1 Oval.
Second Grade: Sydney University 20 (Luke Jones, Julian James, Tom Kingston tries; Justin Bosilkovski goal, pen goal) d Eastern Suburbs 15 (Jacob Woodhouse 2 tries; Warwick Percival goal; Richard Mill field goal).
Third Grade: Eastern Suburbs 19 (Greg Franzel, Steve Rockett, Nick Healey tries; David Kehoe 2 goals) d Sydney University 13 (James McMahon, Robert O’Reilly tries; Eddie Bredenhann pen goal).
Fourth Grade: Eastern Suburbs 17 (James Ormesher, Charlie Kelly tries; Blake Boulton 2 goals, pen goal) d Sydney University 12 (James Metcalf 4 pen goals).
First Grade: Sydney University 34 (6 tries) d Eastern Suburbs 7.
Second Grade: Sydney University 27 (4 tries) d Eastern Suburbs 7.
Third Grade: Sydney University 24 (4 tries) d Eastern Suburbs 8.