With narrow losses in the first two rounds of the NSW Tertiary Rugby League competition, Sydney University First Grade are hoping to open their account when they host Norwest Polecats at Henson Park on Saturday.
The Students re-entered the competition this year after a two-year hiatus and suffered a 30-28 loss to 2013 Tertiary Cup premiers UTS Tigers in their first round encounter, which was played as a curtain-raiser to the NSW Cup match between Newtown Jets and Canterbury Bulldogs.
Down 18-10 at halftime, Sydney University fought back to take the lead late in the match and had another touchdown disallowed before the Tigers capitalised on two errors to score at the death and take the points.
Adam Sarkis, who scored three of University’s six tries, was named Man of the Match.
Having almost pipped the premiers, Sydney University gave another good account of themselves in the second round clash with 2013 grand finalists, Sydney Trains, at Middleton Park.
While the Trains stayed on track for a 30-22 result, the Students held an early 16-nil lead on the back of tries from Liam Coe and Sarkis.
When the Trains found their rhythm they hit back to take the lead, but it was in the face of the solid defence led by from Jay Parker and Adam Harber. Tommy Williams tried hard to generate an attack that had limited possession, with first tackle errors hurting Sydney University’s chances.
Daniel Betham turned in a fine debut performance, while Sydney University Sport and Fitness EAP scholarship holder Gideon Mzembe kept the game in the balance in the last 15 minutes before being named Kobe Jones Man of the Match for the Students.
Sydney University’s Second Division side opened their season with a 32-4 win over UTS Tigers. They then led Sydney Trains 28-4 in the Round 2 clash before the Toot Toots dominated the last 18 minutes to run out 30-22 winners.
This Saturday’s Tertiary Cup matches between Sydney University and Norwest Polecats will be the curtain raisers for the NSW Cup clash between Newtown Jets and Auckland Warriors.
The Sydney University Second Division match will kick off at 11.15am, with First Division starting at 1pm.