Eastwood extended their 2011 Sydney Grade rugby winning streak to 13 with a 22-7 win over Sydney University in the Shute Shield clash at TG Milner Field on Saturday.
The undefeated Woodies ran in three tries and had the game well in control when they led 22-nil before the Students posted a late try through number eight Tim Davidson.
The win kept Eastwood well ahead on the competition ladder on 61 points and on target for the minor premiership, while the loss saw the Students slip a rung to fifth. Manly hold down second place on 47 points, with Eastern Suburbs (44), Randwick (42), Sydney University (40) and Northern Suburbs (37) making up the top six.
After two clean-sweep weekends – over Warringah and Parramatta – before Saturday’s losses in First and Second Grades and Third Grade Colts, the Students had enough points in the tank to maintain the lead in the Club Championship and the Colts Club Championship.
Indeed, Sydney University lead the ladders in Third and Fourth grades and the three Colts grades.
With tighthead prop Laurie Weeks, Davidson and flankers Jono Jenkins and David Hickey back from Super 15 duties, the Students went into the Eastwood game slight favourites in the eyes of most Rugby News judges.
But the hosts put paid to those predictions, despite losing captain and blindside flanker Hugh Perrett for 10 minutes on a Yellow Card offence. Although while he was out of the action, winger Mark Frost crossed for the opening try on the 19-minute mark. Five-eighth Pierre Hola missed the conversion but kicked a penalty soon after to open the margin to eight points.
The Woods crossed for their second try in the 32nd minute, with outside-centre Tim Bennetts combining twice with Frost for the winger’s second try. Hola converted and the hosts carried the 15-0 lead into the break.
Ten minutes into the second half Eastwood capitalised from a turnover deep in their own territory, with Bennetts sending winger John Grant on a 50m run to the line. Hola kicked his second conversion for a 22-0 lead.
The Students retaliated for a large chunk of the second half and camped on Eastwood’s line. But each raid was repelled by solid defence or from a penalty or an error – and no points came their way until the final minute when Davidson bagged a try that was converted by five-eighth Bernard Foley, fresh from making a cameo Super 15 debut for the Waratahs against Auckland Blues.
Sydney University will host Eastern Suburbs in a Round 14 fixture at No.1 Oval this Saturday, with First Grade kicking off at 3pm.
Sydney Grade competition – Round 13
First Grade: Eastwood 22 (Mark Frost 2, John Grant tries; Pierre Hola 2 goals, pen goal) d Sydney University 7 (Tim Davidson try; Bernard Foley goal) at T.G. Milner Field.
Second Grade: Eastwood 27 (Dylan Brass, Barney Wood, Tim McDonald, Luke Breckt tries; Mick Snowden 2 goals, pen goal) d Sydney University 17 (Josh Dillon, Pat McCutcheon tries; Eddie Bredenhann 2 goals, pen goal).
Third Grade: Sydney University 62 (Hugo Dessens 2, Josh Koops 2, Nick Edwards 2, A Siovor, Levi Dodd, Callum Fryer, Cameron Lawrence tries; Jack Macklin 6 goals) d Eastwood 0.
Fourth Grade: Sydney University 53 (Tim Vumiwa 2, Tim Isidro, Tom Halliday, Geordie McSullea, Richard Hodgkinson, James Cameron, Connor Foley, Harry Marples tries; James Cameron 2 goals, Brock Baillie goal, J Holmes goal) d Eastwood 7 (Alex Nicholls try, Andrew Cardinale goal).
First Grade: Sydney University 43 (6 tries) d Eastwood 36 (6 tries).
Second Grade: Sydney University 30 (5 tries) d Eastwood 17.
Third Grade: Eastwood 13 d Sydney University 0.
Sydney Women’s competition – Round 13
First Grade: Sydney University 52 d Penrith 0.