West Harbour rattled up their fourth win on the trot with a 23-17 result over Sydney University in their Round 9 Shute Shield encounter at Concord Oval on Saturday.
The win edged the hosts ahead of Sydney University on the competition ladder, on percentages, although the Students have a game in hand.
Eastwood head the table on 38 points, with Manly-Warringah (37), Southern Districts (30), Warringah (29), Randwick (29) and Northern Suburbs (23) making up the top six. West Harbour and Sydney University are one point adrift on 22.
While Sydney University scored three tries to two, held territorial sway for long periods and had the best of the scrum, Pirates led for the 80 minutes thanks to a solid defensive line and the boot of fullback Angus Le Lievre, who contributed 13 points from two conversions and three penalty goals.
Running with a decent wind at their backs in the first half, the Pirates ran up a 17-nil lead in almost even time, with an early rolling maul try to flanker Cohen Mason and another from winger Joel Brooks. Le Lievre converted both and landed a penalty to provide a tough ask of the Students.
They replied late in the half when inside-centre Tom Carter scored an inspirational try to reduce the deficit to 17-5.
But Le Lievre’s two penalty goals in the first 20 minutes of the second stanza left the Students adrift 23-5 and nothing to show from strong set pieces, particularly the scrum.
That was until a five-metre scrum on West Harbour’s line resulted in a try to number eight Mitchell Whitely, who scored off a perfectly executed push-over.
The Students continued their assault in the latter stages, resulting in a well-taken try to outside-centre Angus Roberts on the back of a Carter break. Second-rower Byron Hodge’s conversion closed the gap to 23-17, but the hosts held on for the final six minutes to take the points.
They also won Second Grade 24-17, while the Students held sway in Third and Fourth grades and the three Colts divisions.
Sydney University will host Warringah at No.1 Oval this Saturday, with the ‘must win’ term entering the language on campus.
NSW Men’s Premier Rugby Union competition – Round 9
First Grade – Shute Shield: West Harbour 23 (Cohen Mason, Joel Brooks tries; Angus Le Lievre 2 goals, 3 pen goals) d Sydney University 17 (Mitchell Whiteley, Angus Roberts, Mark O’Dare tries; Byron Hodge 1 goal) at Concord Oval on Saturday. Points: West Harbour 4, Sydney University 1.
Second Grade – Colin Caird Shield: West Harbour 24 (Christopher Simons, Alfred Pinomi, Max Beer tries; Kiwi Kapene-Belcher 3 goals, pen goal) d Sydney University 17 (James McMahon, Matthew Hood tries; Jock Merriman 2 goals, pen goal). Points: West Harbour 4, Sydney University 1.
Third Grade – J.R. Henderson Shield: Sydney University 29 (William Macklin 2, Samuel Barclay, Richard Draper tries; William Macklin 3 goals, pen goal) d West Harbour 3 (Stuart Raines pen goal). Points: Sydney University 5, West Harbour 0.
Fourth Grade – J.R. Henderson Cup: Sydney University 21 (Byron Wicken 2, Josh Kroops tries; Tom Wilson 3 goals) d West Harbour 7 (Tommy Sawden try; Sairus Vakarau goal). Points: Sydney University 4, West Harbour 0.
First Grade – W. McMahon Memorial Shield: Sydney University 52 (Jack McCalman 2, Jack Redden 2, Christian Yassmin 2, Cillian Burke, Christian Kagiassis tries; Christian Kagiassis 6 goals) d West Harbour 14 (Amanakiola Moala, Danny Wilson tries; Travis Dombroski 2 goals) at St Luke’s Oval. Points: Sydney University 5, West Harbour 0.
Second Grade – Shell Trophy: Sydney University 47 (James Kane 3, Nathan Pickering, Alexander Masima, Alexander Jackman, Tim McCutcheon tries; James Kane 6 goals) d West Harbour 5 (Josh Tupuola try). Points: Sydney University 5, West Harbour 0.
Third Grade: Bill Simpson Shield: Sydney University 35 (Dylan Oldfield 2, Jaydon Eli-Faavae, Thomas Del Vecchio, Declan Moore tries; Samuel Renton 5 goals) d West Harbour 15 (John-Wesley Boath-Moananu 2, Villiami Tupou tries). Points: Sydney University 5, West Harbour 0.