Students win physical battle against two blues

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Article content courtesy of ‘China.’

Sydney Uni got their Shute Shield title defense off to a solid start last weekend defeating the Parramatta Two blues 37-19 in round one of the 2011 Shute Shield at Merrylands RSL Rugby Park.

Parramatta’s first grade adopted a physical approach towards the 2010 Shute Shield Premiers and the match was not one for the faint hearted.

University appeared tentative during the initial stages, as kicks and some passes went astray. 

University fullback Toby L’Estrange settled down the Students after 5 minutes with a field goal following a break down the right wing by winger Willie du Plessis.

University’s lead was short lived as the referee Mr McGregor, penalised the Students for offside and killing the ball at the ruck.

Parramatta’s five eighth Ioane Sefo impressed the crowd by kicking three long range penalty goals for the Two Blues to lead University 9-3.

When University five eighth Danny Kroll reduced the deficit after Parramatta were penalised for being offside in their quarter, Parramatta led 9-6 in a tight match.  

University’s strapping outside centre, and Waratah squad member Tom Kingston, showed his skills in beating the man when he busted through the Parramatta backline.

Kingston was later brought down inside the Parramatta quarter. 

The ball was quickly shifted to the left where University’s left winger dubbed ‘Barack’ Nick Edwards received the final pass to score.

Danny Kroll converted and the Students were leading 13-9 with 10 minutes left to play in the first half.

One could argue that a turning point came next when Parramatta were left with one man short for the remainder of the game.

University hooker Ben Roberts took the ball up and was met by Parramatta breakaway Brad Sheridan.

Sheridan picked up Roberts and proceeded to dump him on his head and shoulders.

Referee McGregor deemed Sheridan’s tackle as dangerous and red carded the breakaway after consultations with his assistant referees.

University were also penalised when breakaway Dave Hickey took umbrage to the tackle executed on Roberts.

Like a cage fighter, Hickey challenged the whole and rather large Parramatta forwards.

Hickey was duly sin binned for 10 minutes to prepare a Monday tutorial.

Parramatta inside centre Jesse Leota caused the lead to change 5 minutes from the break when he regathered a loose ball on the University 10 metre line.

Seeing that the University defence was not established, Leota showed good pace for a big man and outsprinted the covering University defence to score in the North East corner.

Sefo failed to convert the try from the sideline but Parramatta were leading University 14-13.

In an attempt to stop Leota’s try, University half back and Captain Matt Schwager injured his hand and was replaced by Eddie Bredenhann. 

From the kick off, University worked their way to within 5 metres of the Parramatta tryline.

A lineout ball was caught by University break away Harry Marples who brought the ball down for his forwards to form around him.

This signalled the cue for University to apply their trademark rolling maul.  

Showing no ill effects from his earlier introduction to a bungy jump minus the bungy rope, hooker Roberts burrowed through the maul to plant the ball over the line under a plethora of players.

Kroll missed the conversion but the Students were leading 18-14 at halftime.

Coach Todd Louden was satisfied by the effort of the young University 15 but cautioned that only an aggressive physical effort in the second half would result in a victory. 

The second half started when University were able to secure a 5 metre scrum from the Parramatta tryline.

With their numerical advantage, University set a series of punishing scrums, resulting on each occasion with Parramatta being penalised for collapsing.

Referee McGregor later awarded University an inevitable penalty try for repeated scrum collapses. Danny Kroll kicked the conversion and University were up 25-14.

Parramatta inflicted some of University’s own medicine next when they executed  a rolling maul 5 metres out.

Parramatta’s big loose head prop Sione Taula, drove over the line for the 5 points.

Sefo missed the conversion but Parramatta was now within a converted try to overtake the Students at  25-19.

University inside centre James McMahon provided a handy buffer by scoring next.

Receiving the ball along the backline, McMahon saw a gap in the defence and showed deceptive speed and footwork   to outrun the Parramatta defence and score a 40 metre try. 

Bredenhann failed to kick the conversion but University were now leading 30-19 with a bonus point and less than 5 minutes left to play.

With their defence tiring, Parramatta allowed University’s tall second rower Tom Heslop to score adjacent to the posts on full time.

Bredenhann converted and the final score was 37-19 to University.

A long season awaits the young University side. But their commitment to play an attacking but aggressive style of game has not gone unnoticed from coaches Louden, Manu and Avery.

The dour 80 minutes played was summed up by coach Louden at full time, “It was ugly”.    

All University teams on Saturday recorded bonus point victories.

Fourth grades debutant coach Clint Allardice notched University’s first victory of the day with a 52-0 scoreline.

Co-coach Rayne Simpson, the man blessed with the Denzel Washington looks, was texting non-stop for updates while he is overseas on business.

University’s First Colts will continue the Club tradition of powerful under 20’s with their 70-21 victory. 

Left winger Phil Tuinuku will come into representative calculations with his blistering pace. 

University’s number 8 Will Skelton still at high school will be an awesome athlete once he stops growing and a franchise is prepared to feed him.