Defending NSW Rugby League Tertiary Cup First Grade premiers UTS Tigers started the 2015 season where they left off last year – with a win over Sydney University.

UTS ran out 36-16 winners after leading 18-4 at half-time in the season opener at Blackmore Oval.

Sydney University Club Captain Brendan Lee led from the front after the break to help the Students get back in the match and some constructive play resulted in Adam Vrahnos scoring a try close to the posts. Brendan Lee’s conversion put the Lions within eight points and a chance of turning the tables.

But it was short-lived, and costly turnovers allowed UTS to score two more tries to secure a comfortable result.

Junior Taupo had an impressive game in the forwards for Sydney University, as did Ryan Barton, who was making his debut for the club.

With the big boys leading the charge, Adam Vrahnos was able to remain proactive with impressive support play. Adam Harber scored Sydney University’s other try, while Lee landed two goals.

Other Lions debutants Joe Andrews, Godfred Agyemang, Terrance Remeka, James Hutchinson, Dillon Johnson and Daniel Harrison all had strong games and will only get better as they grow more comfortable with their combinations.

The club also welcomed back Adam Hansen and Morrison Mong, who last played for the Lions four years ago.

With the first game behind them, the Lions can learn from their mistakes and tighten their game. There were many positive signs, particularly the way they muscled up against a much bigger UTS pack. The Lions just need to take their chances when the opportunities arrive.

First Grade Kobe Jones Player of the Match: Adam Vrahnos

UTS also proved too strong in the Second Grade confrontation, running out 38-6 winners.

With Sydney University fielding an inexperienced squad with many new players finding their rhythm and cohesion, and the Tigers running out a number of players from their 2014 First Grade premiership winning side, it was always going to be a tough day at the office for the Lions.

UTS led 16-nil at the break, on the back of a number of Lions errors. There was a glimmer of hope early in the second half when Kingi Natai scored a try that was converted by David Turner. But UTS hit back and ran out solid winners.

Special mention goes to Jamieson Walker and Kent Straker for their whole-hearted performances for the Lions for the full match.

Second Grade Kobe Jones Player of the Match: Jamison Walker

Round 2 will see both grades take on Cumberland at Henson Park next Saturday, with Second Grade kicking off at 11.15am and  First Grade at 1pm.