Sydney University extended their winning run to four on the trot with a 49-10 result over Gordon at Chatswood Oval on Saturday.
The six-try-to-one effort kept the Students perched on the fourth rung of the Shute Shield ladder on 26 points after eight rounds, with Eastwood (32), Manly (30) and Southern Districts (27) ahead of them and West Harbour (26) and Randwick (23) making up the top six.
But despite posting another clean sweep, Sydney University dropped to second on the Club Championship ladder to 1334 points, as Gordon only fielded one Colts team. Randwick edged ahead of the Students to 1347 points with their clean sweep over Southern Districts, who fielded the full complement of four grade and three Colts teams. Manly (1266) and Eastwood (1264) are also in the Club Championship hunt.
The young Sydney University side continues to improve under coach Chris Malone, who blooded two more first graders on Saturday. Colts flanker Jim Stewart didn’t disappoint in his First Grade debut and goal-kicking second-rower Byron Hodge also excelled in his run-on debut, landing five conversions and three penalty goals to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
The Students took an early lead 7-nil lead when they pounced on a Gordon mistake and shifted the ball to winger Greg Jedoulev who cracked the defence and sent fullback Nathan Trist over.
The Highlanders hit back and levelled the scores with a well-executed wrap-around resulting in centre Tom Matthews crossing adjacent to the posts.
Hodge put the Students back in front with three penalties and five-eighth Stuart Dunbar gave them a 21-10 half-time buffer when he scooted over just before the break.
With the first half having been a very physical affair with tempers fraying, Malone called on his troops to lift the pace and intensity in the second half and they responded accordingly.
Two dominant five-metre scrums early after the restart resulted in skipper Tom Boidin and Hugo Dessens scoring converted tries.
And then Tom Kinston entered the fray – at fullback – having flown back from Melbourne where he watched from the bench as the Melbourne Rebels defeat the NSW Waratahs 24-22. He set up winger James Dargaville for a five-pointer and then ran in one of his own as the Students dominated the half.
With Gordon having linked with the University of Technology, Sydney, to start their own scholarship scheme, the match was contested for the inaugural Vice-Chancellor’s Cup, which was presented to Sydney University by Australian Rugby Union CEO, Bill Pulver.
The Students have the chance to reclaim the Club Championship lead when they take on Randwick at Sydney University No.1 Oval on Saturday.
Sydney Men’s Grade competition – Round 8
First Grade – Shute Shield: Sydney University 49 (Tom Boidin, Hugo Dessens, Stuart Dunbar, James Dargaville, Nathan Trist, Tom Kingston tries; Byron Hodge 5 goals, 3 pen goals) d Gordon 10 (Tom Matthews try; Terry Preston goal, pen goal) at Chatswood Oval
Second Grade – Colin Caird Shield: Sydney University 35 (pen try, Tom Heslop, Levi Dodd, Willie du Plessis, Ben Cannon tries; Ben Cannon 2 goals, pen goal, Levi Dodd pen goal) d Gordon 19 (Nick Walker, Tom Coupland tries; Ryan Matthews 2 goals, pen goal).
Third Grade – Henderson Shield: Sydney University 78 (Hugh Fraser 2, Richard Quigley 2, Ben Murray 2, Ollie Gresham, Michael Pollastri, Cameron Lawrence, Oliver L’Estrange, Laumua Potifele, James Stewart tries; David Fong 6 goals, Cameron Mason 3 goals) d Gordon 5 (Matt Bell try).
Fourth Grade – Henderson Cup: Sydney University 87 (Jack O’Connor 4, Jack Sullivan 2, Ben Lenehan 2, Duncan Boyd-Jones 2, Jack Jones, Daniel Cope, Julian James tries; Ben Lenehan 8, James Swan, Jack Sullivan, Jack O’Connor goals) d Gordon 7 (Luke Turia try; Tristan Pixley goal).
First Grade – W. McMahon Memorial Shield: Sydney University 64 (10 tries) d Gordon 6.
Second Grade – Shell Trophy: Not contested.
Third Grade – Bill Simpson Shield: Not contested.