An Andrew Norton try on the bell secured a 23-all result for Randwick against Sydney University in their Round 10 Shute Shield premier rugby clash at No.1 Oval on Friday night.
The Randwick five-eighth finished off a last gasp counter-attack to score in the corner and level the scores. Liam Windon’s conversion attempt went astray and the Wicks shared the spoils with the hosts.
Sydney University only had themselves to blame for surrendering 16-3 and 23-13 leads in an entertaining affair under lights in front of a bumper crowd.
University second-rower Byron Hodge had his goalkicking radar working from the outset, potting three early penalty goals as payment for University’s territorial dominance, while Windon answered with one for the visitors in a tryless 9-3 first half.
A wayward Randwick kick seven minutes into the second half resulted in the first try of the match. University winger Henry Clunies-Ross fielded the ball and made a big incision into Randwick’s half. Flanker James Nonu-Carling collected the dregs from an ensuing ruck and stormed over from 15 metres out. Hodge landed the extras for a 16-3 lead.
Windon replied with another penalty goal to keep the visitors in the hunt, and winger Nathan Roye continued the momentum with a try off a very suspect pass. Windon’s conversion took the score to 16-13.
University winger James Dargaville came to the rescue after a sustained build-up when he gained possession from a ruck and ran through a number of defenders to score. Hodge edged the lead to 23-13 and a grandstand finish.
That finish began when the Students lost Dargaville to the sin bin and continued when Randwick prop Tristan Goodbody picked up a loose ball to surge over for a try. And with time running out Norton’s last-ditch effort levelled the scores.
The draw saw Sydney University drop to fourth place on the competition ladder, but kept Randwick in the top six. Unbeaten Manly head the Shute Shield ladder on 49 competition points, with Warringah (43), Eastwood (36), Sydney University (33), Parramatta (28) and Randwick (27) making up the top six and Southern District (27) just out of the mix on a for-and-against count.
Manly also head the Club Championship ladder on 1742 points, with Sydney University (1639), Eastwood (1616) and Randwick (1348) still in contention.
Sydney University will be away to Southern Districts at Forshaw Rugby Park this Saturday for a Round 11 clash that has suddenly taken on new importance.
Sydney Men’s Premier Grade competition – Round 10
First Grade: Sydney University 23 (James Dargaville, James Nonu Carling tries; Byron Hodge 2 goals, 3 pen goals) drew with Randwick 23 (Nathan Roye, Tristan Goodbody, Andrew Norton tries; Liam Windon 2 goals, 2 pen goals) at Sydney University No.1 Oval on Friday night.
Second Grade: Sydney University 21 d Randwick 6.
Third Grade: Randwick 19 d Sydney University 17.
Fourth Grade: Sydney University 17 d Randwick 12.
First Grade: Sydney University 38 d Randwick 23.
Second Grade: Sydney University 47 d Randwick 12.
Third Grade: Sydney University 26 d Randwick 0.
Sydney Women’s premier rugby competition
Sydney University 44 d Waverley 0.