Although they suffered their first defeat of the season in the final competition round on Saturday, Sydney University women’s rugby team were the 2014 minor premiers in the Sydney competition.
Having put together an unbeaten 14-match streak, Sydney University hit a Parramatta brick wall at Granville Park, where the hosts ran out 12-5 winners in a war of attrition.
The rugby was described as gritty, rather than pretty, as Sydney University struggled to contain the big Parramatta pack, who kept hitting the defensive line time and again.
The Students did manage to spend 10 minutes in the Parramatta quarter in the first half, but couldn’t post points and that was to prove decisive as the match wore on.
In the second half Tuainekore-O Taputunui-O-Iva Inamata found space out wide to score University’s only points of the game. Inamata led from the front all game, matching Parramatta’s physically and repeatedly putting her body on the line.
The Students will need all 15 players offering that kind of commitment in next week’s semi-final against fourth-placed Warringah if they are to progress to the grand final. Second-place Parramatta will meet third-placed Rockdale in the other semi-final.
Having won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012 before losing the 2013 grand final after being minor premiers, Sydney University are hungry for another premiership.