Defending NSW Tertiary Cup premiers Western Sydney Polecats proved too strong for Sydney University Lions in both Divisions in wet and windy Round 4 rugby league clashes at Kellyville Park on Saturday.
The Division One game was always going to be a challenge with the 2015 premiers looking to make it four from four to start the season.
And that’s how it panned out with the Polecats being too good on the day running out 22-0 winners against a gallant Lions side who fought hard to stay in the contest.
Both sides started well going set for set with aggressive defenders looking to force turnovers in good attacking positions.
The Lions managed to keep the Polecats scoreless until two minutes before the break when a cross-field kick resulted in a Polecats try which was converted for a 6-0 lead at half time.
Some poor options and errors crept into the Lion’s game in the second half with dropped ball at crucial moments allowing the Polecats to build pressure. They took full advantage to score three tries in a 15-minutes blitz to take their lead to 22-0 and consolidate their place at the top of the competition table.
Lions coach Brian Greige was happy with the overall effort, praising Tom McCarthy, Jake Dudley and Kingston Nicholson for their strong games. But he wants the team to concentrate on improving support play, ruck play, ball security and attacking sets in the opposition red zone.
In Division 2, despite the 16-10 loss, the effort by the Lions was nothing short of 100 per cent against a strong Polecats side.
The Lions muscled up against a much bigger Polecats forward pack while the backs produced some silky skills to keep the side in the contest.
The Mahe brothers, Vaiola and Elisi, produced great games, being aggressive in attack and defence and causing the Polecats plenty of headaches all afternoon.
Coach Grant Sciberras was happy with the overall effort and praised his team for their commitment.
Sciberras made special mention of Tuariki Matapuku on his debut for the club after having been away from the game for five years.
“Tua epitomises what we look for in a player,” he said, “someone who will do whatever job is asked and do the little things that might not get noticed but make a big differences in the long run.”
Thomas McCarthy picked up the man-of-the-match points in Division One, while debutant Matapuku collected the Division Two points.
Round 5, on April 30, will see First Division take on University of Western Sydney at Bankstown Campus Oval, with at 3pm start, while Second Division head down to Canberra to tackle the Grizzles at The Meadows, with a 2pm start.
NSW Tertiary Cup competition – Round 4
Division 1: Sydney University 0 defeated by Western Sydney Polecats 22.
Division 2: Sydney University 10 (Connor Karagiannis, Vaiola Mahe; David Turner goal) defeated by Western Sydney Polecats 16.