Sydney University posted another clean sweep in the Sydney Men’s Premier Grade rugby union competition on Saturday to maintain an unbeaten record by all teams – four grade and three Colts – after round three.
First Grade’s 39-30 win over West Harbour at Concord Oval also brought home some more silverware for the trophy cabinet in the form of the White Ribbon Cup. White Ribbon is the world’s largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women. The White Ribbon Cup was established by the Inner West Domestic Violence Liaison Committee with West Harbour Rugby Union and Sydney University Rugby Union in 2011, and is played annually between the two clubs.
The fourth contest for the trophy was a high-scoring affair, with Sydney University posting six tries to three in wet and greasy conditions.
Winger James Dargaville and halfback Jake Gordon scored two apiece, with number eight Hugo Dessens and outside centre James McMahon also grabbing five pointers.
Flanker Cohen Mason, and wingers Joel Brooks and Nash Kamahra scored for the hosts, who were kept in the game by five-eighth Dave Harvey with three conversions and three penalty goals.
West Harbour started on fire when Kamhara scored a spectacular runaway try which Harvey converted. But the Students hit back immediately when Dargaville made a long excursion down the right flank before sending Gordon over for a 7-5 scoreline.
With an intriguing battle developing in the set pieces, Wests played their hand from a five-metre scrum with a series of pick-and-drives resulting in Mason barging over. Harvey’s conversion and a penalty goal stretched the lead to 17-5.
As the rain increased in intensity, the Students maintained their composure and continued to mount attacks before utilising a big blindside to send Dargaville over in the corner. The Students edged ahead with two converted tries from Dressen and McMahon, but at try from Kamahra and a penalty goal from Harvey put the hosts ahead 27-26 after a see-sawing first half.
University coach Chris Malone utilised the services of retired captain Tim Davidson to chat to his troops at halftime and they responded by posting first points in the second half and securing the lead.
Gordon once again chose the blindside option and Dargaville responded accordingly for his second try. He retired soon after with a hamstring strain and was replaced by Jon Vaux, who traded penalty goals with Harvey to set up a 34-30 scoreline and a gripping finish.
The Pirates threw everything at the Students as the minutes ticked down before Gordon relieved the tension with a try from a grubber kick in his own half. The ball was collected by winger Kamhara, who passed over his shoulder when tackled near the sideline, only for Gordon to snare the pass and run away to score.
As the scoreline suggests, it was a near thing. University supporters will be hoping the winning run continues on Saturday when the club hosts its first home game of the season against Manly.
Sydney Men’s Premier Rugby Union – Round 3
First Grade – Shute Shield: Sydney University 39 (James Dargaville 2, Jake Gordon 2, Hugo Dressen, James McMahon tries; Byron Hodge 3 goals, Jonathon Vaux pen goal) d West Harbour 30 (Cohen Mason, Joel Brooks, Nash Kamahra; Dave Harvey 3 goals, 3 pen goals) at Concord Oval.
Second Grade – Colin Caird Shield: Sydney University 36 (Dane McCarthy 2, Sam English, Mitchell Whiteley, Tim Reid, Andrew Hunter tries; Dan Kelly 3 goals) d West Harbour 8 (Sione Tangi try; Angus le Livre pen goal) at Concord Oval.
Third Grade – Henderson Shield: Sydney University 24 (Richard Draper, Stuart Nutt, James Luff, James Swan tries; Jason Hofmeyr 2 goals) d West Harbour 15 (Nela Mafi 2; Ige Faaui goal, pen goal) at St Lukes Oval.
Fourth Grade – Henderson Cup: Sydney University 19 (Mark O’Dare 2, David Fong tries; David Fong 2 goals) d West Harbour 13 (Naipote Weleikaba 2 tries; Theo Karantzias pen goal) at St Lukes Oval.
First Grade – W. McMahon Memorial Shield: Sydney University 60 d West Harbour 17 at Concord Oval.
Second Grade – Shell Trophy: Sydney University 18 d West Harbour 10 at Concord Oval.
Third Grade – Bill Simpson Shield: Sydney University 55 d West Harbour 0 at St Lukes Oval.