Sydney University turned in their best performance of the year to defeat Sydney Trains, the reigning Tertiary Rugby League Cup premiers, 35-22 in their clash at Middleton Park on Sunday.
Sydney Trains went into the match as undefeated competition leaders, but were put to the sword by Sydney University, who re-entered the competition this year after a two-year hiatus.
The Students trailed by 12-nil early on but fought their way back and Brendan Lee’s well-taken try just on half-time set up a good lead going into the break.
Tough, intimidating front-rowers’ games from Junior Tuapo, Scott Bunch, Sione Toli and Daniel Betham set the platform for a great second half battle.
Liam Coe’s return to the team gave added strength, while Graham Harris turned in another outstanding game with ball in hand. Tries to Gideon Mzembe, Andres Rossini and Lasalo Matapule gave the Lions breathing space to hold out a fast-finishing opposition.
Coach Steve Freeborn said the whole squad turned in a solid defensive effort, with Elisi Mahe, William Grooms and Jay Parker displaying plenty of examples of tough, rugged no nonsense contact.
Graham Harris was the Kobe Jones Player of the Match, while Jay Parker earned two points and Brendan Lee earned one point.
Sydney Trains still head the Division One ladder on 21 points, with UTS Tigers (20), Sydney University (17) and Cumberland Beavers (14) making up the top four.
The Division Two clash resulted in a nail-biting 26-24 win to Sydney Trains.
Sydney University gained the lead with two minutes left on the clock when Marcus McCarthy scored a length-of-the-field try, but the Students couldn’t hold out the Trains on the last set.
Tries to Elias Dagher, Dean Reid, Matty Makk and Trent James looked enough to earn a win after a great first half. But goal-kicking cost the team a greater lead.
Kingi Ngata earned three points as the Kone Jones Player of the Match, ahead of Kurt Lewis (2) and Nathan Rokia (1).
UWS Ducks head the Division Two ladder on 19 points, with Sydney University (16), ANZ Grizzlies (15) and Sydney Trains (14) making up the top four.
Sydney University will travel to Kellyville Park to take on Norwest Polecats in Division One and Two in the next round of matches on June 14.