Sydney University relied on a well-drilled scrum and the boot of Byron Hodge to edge out Parramatta 28-24 in a nail-biting Round 11 Shute Shield contest at University No.1 Oval on Saturday.
Playing with passion and a belief they could cause an upset, the Two Blues rattled the hosts to lead 17-7 at the break and 24-7 soon after the resumption.
It was the Sydney University scrum that put them on the scoreboard with a first-half pushover try and eventually won the game with a penalty try when Parramatta collapsed two scrums on the line in the 78th minute.
The visitors had opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a set move crossfield kick that was collected by flanker Daniel Tamone for a try in the corner. When five-eighth Nathan Langsford strolled over soon afterwards and converted his own try, the visitors held a 12-nil advantage.
The Students replied with a pushover try, converted by Byron Hodge, but were down 17-7 when Two Blues winger Larry Hermens cruised down the left flank for a five-pointer just before the break.
The visitors started the second half with the same intent as the first and soon extended their lead to 24-7 when fullback Tom Wood planted the leather under the posts for an easy Langsford conversion.
University coach Chris Malone called on his bench to add some fresh legs to the University attack and the move paid off soon after when replacement five-eighth Conor O’Shea made a mid-field break to score. Hodge added the extras for a 24-14 scoreline.
Holding sway at the set plays, the Students maintained possession and position to edge their way back into the game. Replacement halfback Jock Merriman exploited a tired Parramatta blindside defence to send prop Tom Robertson over for the Students’ third try and Hodge’s third conversion took the scores to a tantalising 24-21 with five minutes on the clock.
Maintaining field position, the Students earned a five-metre scrum which was set twice and collapsed by the visitors, prompting referee Anthony Moyes to award Sydney University a penalty try. Hodge duly added the extras.
It was a close-run thing with four tries apiece and two conversions thwarting Parramatta from their first win at Sydney University No.1 Oval since 1998.
The action moves to Chatswood Oval this Friday night when Gordon host Sydney University under lights in a catch up Round 3 round that was washed out.
NSW Men’s Premier Rugby Union competition – Round 11
First Grade – Shute Shield: Sydney University 28 (Pen try, Tomas Robertson, Jake Wainwright, Connor O’Shea tries; Byron Hodge 2 goals, Angus Roberts goal) d Parramatta 24 (Daniel Tamone, Nathan Langsford, Larry Hermens, Tom Woods tries; Nathan Langsford 2 goals) at Sydney University No.1 Oval on Saturday. Points: Sydney University 5, Parramatta 2.
Second Grade – Colin Caird Shield: Sydney University 41 (Matthew Narracott 3, George Hudd, Thomas Heslop, Hugh Frazer, Mitchell Whiteley tries; Jock Merriman 3 goals) d Parramatta 26 (Simon Lemalu, Matt Borg, Luke Casey, Tomu Mataika tries; Tulia Muli 2 goals, T Hika goal). Points: Sydney University 5, Parramatta 1.
Third Grade – J.R. Henderson Shield: Sydney University 54 (Samuel Barclay 3, Sione Talanoa, John Mokofisi, Richard Draper, Johnny Loseli, Chris Ingate, Brendon Follington, Ben Cannon tries; Mesake Tagituimua 2 goals) d Parramatta 19 (Gerald, Dzirutwe, R Samoa, Philipp Carter tries; Tim Holliday 2 goals. Points: Sydney University 5, Parramatta 0.
Fourth Grade – J.R. Henderson Cup: Sydney University 61 (Youki Takeuchi 2, Rhys Griffiths 2, Byron Wicken, Josh Koops, Thomas Gilbert, George Lolo, Chris O’Donnell tries; Joshua Friend 8 goals) d Parramatta 0. Points: Sydney University 5, Parramatta 0.
First Grade – W. McMahon Memorial Shield: Sydney University 47 (Cillian Burke 2, Declan Moore, Richard Champion de Crespigny, Nicholas Duffy, Christian Kagiassis, Christian Yassmin tries; Christian Kagiassis 6 goals) d Parramatta 20. Points: Sydney University 5, Parramatta 0.
Second Grade – Shell Trophy: Sydney University 74 (Austin Black 2, Daniel Calavassy 2, Samuel Harris 2, Toby Cooke 2, Lincoln Whiteley, Banjo Travers, Justin Fish, Charles Friend tries; Justin Fish 7 goals) d Parramatta 0. Points: Sydney University 5, Parramatta 0.
Third Grade: Bill Simpson Shield: Sydney University 60 (Patrick Muller 4, Billy-Jacob O’Connor, Thomas Wilson, Sean O’Brien, Thomas Del Vecchio, Charles Friend, Jacob Miller tries; Ben Halmarick 5 goals) d Parramatta 7. Points: Sydney University 5, Parramatta 0.