Norwest Polecats dominated second half possession to eke out a 24-8 win over Sydney University in their Round 9 Tertiary Rugby League Championship match at Kellyville Park on Saturday.
Sydney University started well and led 8-nil midway through the first half, thanks to tries from Liam Coe and Gideon Mzembe.
But the hosts hit back with a try to Saardy Sawan to go to the break 8-4 down.
The complexion of the match changed in the second half, with the Polecats dominating possession and position. Despite defending for 77 plays and only completing five of 12 sets, the Lions were still a chance with 10 minutes on the clock, but the huge defensive effort took its toll as the hosts consolidated with several late tries.
The Kobe Jones Man of the Match was Scott Bunch, with three points, while William Grooms collected two points in a strong display and Graham Harris was awarded one point.
Sydney Trains lead the Division One ladder on 24 points, with UTS Tigers (23), Sydney University (18) and Norwest Polecats (16) rounding out the top four.
Sydney University will trek to Ollie Webb Reserve this Saturday to take on the fifth-placed Cumberland Beavers.
The Polecats made it a double for the day when they accounted for Sydney University 24-16 in the Second Division match.
The Lions skipped out to their normal first half lead, going to the break with a handy 16-nil advantage, thanks to Eden Pomare’s two tries and another from Kurt Lewis.
However that is where the good news stopped, with the fifth-placed Polecats putting on five second-half tries to run out strong winners.
Fitness and ball control let the Students down as the match wore on and some valuable lessons were learned: there are no easy games in the Tertiary competition, possession does count, and consistency is the key to unlocking premierships.
UWS Ducks head the Second Division table on 19 points, with ANZ Grizzlies (19), Sydney University (17) and Sydney Trains (17) making up a congested top four.
The Second Division match this Saturday will kick off at 1.15pm, with First Division scheduled for a 3pm start.