Sydney University Lions produced an excellent defensive display to defeat the University of Western Sydney 40-20 in their Round 5 NSW Tertiary Cup competition clash on Saturday.
The Ducks dominated possession in the opening exchanges but the Lions weathered the storm and produced some great team tries.
Ruaan Du Preez showed good evasive skills to step around his defender with speed to score two first half tries, while the golden Greek Adam Vrahnos, ran a superb line to grab a four-pointer next to the posts. Du Preez converted the three tries to help the Lions to an 18-14 lead at the break.
The second half started with plenty of energy and enthusiasm from both teams. Trading set for set, aggressive defending and some enterprising attacking play had the small crowd in full voice.
The Lions eventually took control of the match with Myles Fowler, Scott Bunch, Michael Ambados, Dwayne Botma and light ’n’ easy Kurt Lewis causing the Ducks plenty of headaches with their aggressive defending, while the Vrahnos brothers Adam and Jake directed the team around the park and added the polish to the attacking sets. The Lions ran out comfortable winners.
“It was a good, solid performance, especially in the second half,” Lions coach Brian Greige said. “The key to success is plan, deliver and execute and we did all.”
Greige wants his team to work on their side defence and communication. He praised the efforts of Ruaan Du Preez, Myles Fowler and Anthony Jury. Du Preez picked up the man-of-the-match points in Division One, while Daniel Rowe collected the Division Two points.
In Division 2, the Lions faced an undefeated UC Grizzles outfit sitting in first place on the competition table and despite the 54-12 loss, the effort and attitude throughout the game was outstanding.
Coach Grant Sciberras laced up the boot to give his team the full complement of players and he didn’t disappoint showing great leadership on the field and pulling off some courageous defending against much bigger opponents.
With no bench due to injuries the Lions stepped up and matched the Grizzlies set for set and were very unlucky not to score again on the stoke of half time but the Lions were upbeat going into the break 18-6 down.
Unfortunately not having any replacements took its toll and the Grizzles ran in six second half tries to run away with a comfortable win and consolidate their position at the top of the table.
Sciberras praised the efforts of all his players for their commitment. “The team has a long way to go to be serious contenders but good signs are there,” he said. Sciberras made special mention of Daniel Rowe, Kelvin Quin and Dave Turner for their performances.
Round 6 of the Tertiary Cup competition, on May 7, will see Sydney University Lions take on Cumberland Beavers at Marrickville Oval, with First Division kicking off at 3pm and Second Division starting at 1.15pm.
NSW Tertiary Cup competition – Round 5
Division 1: Sydney University 40 (Ruaan Du Preez 2, Anthony Jury 2, Tom McCarthy, Adam Vrahnos, Kingston Nicholson; Ruaan Du Preez 6 goals) defeated University of Western Sydney 20.
Division 2: Sydney University 12 (Nona Suma, Daniel Rowe; David Turner 2goals) defeated by UC Grizzles 54.