Sydney University Lions shook off a determined Wollongong Mustangs team in the second half to win their Homecoming game 63-14 at the Square on Saturday night.
The Varsity was playing at home for the first time this season and the conditions certainly suited the Lions’ ground attack.
All of the Lions’ running backs made big yards. Alex Watson (#40) ran for 199 yards on only 15 carries with two rushing touchdowns, while freshman Abdul Kadir (#25) took off on the season’s longest run to date – 80 yards – on his way to racking up 124 yards on seven carries with three rushing touchdowns.
Andrew Smart (#29) was rested following a hamstring twinge but still managed a 19-yard touchdown run in a cameo performance.
Paving the way for all of these rushing yards (402 yards in total) was the offensive line made up of Bradley McManus (#77), Justin Schnurstein (#61), Alex Davies (#55), Luke Dickson (#78), Elliot Mills-Connolly (#75) and Ross Thompson (#71). The line also did not give up a sack on the night, turning in its strongest performance of the season.
The Lions’ passing game was efficient, with quarterback Kiernan Dorney (#11) throwing for 166 yards and two touchdowns, with slotbacks Justin Klein (#36) and Victor Martin (#86) seeing most of the ball and split end Josh Yerrell continuing his good start to the season with a 31-yard touchdown strike.
The defence had a mixed night, giving up too many easy yards on offside penalties, broken containment and contested pass plays, but doing enough to control the Mustangs’ running game and pressure the quarterback.
The success of the Homecoming game was complete with the Sydney Uni Cubs – the Under 19 Colts division team fielded by the university – also recording a strong 56-2 win in the curtain-raiser. The future looks bright for Sydney Uni Gridiron.
The Lions are back at home on the Square this Saturday (kick-off at 7pm) in a rematch of last season’s championship game against the West Sydney Pirates. It is sure to be a great game, so get along to support your team at home.