Sydney University Lions overcame a spirited University of Western Sydney to register their second win against the Ducks in consecutive rounds at Bankstown Campus Oval in Round 7 of the NSW Tertiary Cup competition clash on Saturday.

The Lions opened the scoring in the 5th minute when Jake Vrahnos scooted from dummy half to cut through the Ducks defence and race 40m to be bought down just short of the line.

A quick play the ball allowed Jeremy Smith to set up a swift backline movement for Ruaan Du Preez to score in the corner and convert the extras for an early 6-0 lead.

Vrahnos was at it again three minutes later when he sliced through the Ducks defence on halfway and showed great evasive skills to get around the four defenders to streak away and score a brilliant individual try under the posts. Du Preez added the extras for a 12-0 lead going into the half-time break.

The resumption of play started like the first half with both pack of forwards trying to lay a solid platform for their teams.

The Lions forwards led by Dwayne Botma, Scott Bunch and Myles Fowler showed plenty of energy and enthusiasm in defence. Michael Ambados, Kurt Lewis and Kingston Nicholson were causing headaches for the Ducks defence with their powerful running and setting up great field position.

With the territorial advantage it was the Lions who struck first with halves Kingi Ngatai and Smith instrumental in setting up a  backline attack for Jay Parker to score in the corner and extend the lead to 16-0.

On the back of some unforced error by the Lions, the Ducks took advantage and hit back with a well-constructed try to give them a glimmer of hope but the remaining 10 minutes saw the Lions play smart football grinding out the Ducks and putting the result to bed as Smith put the exclamation mark on a classy performance to setup a great backline play with a bullet cut-out pass to Man of Match Anthony Jury who ran a great line to penetrate the Ducks defence and offload to a flying Parker to score his second try of the game and seal the 26-0 win.

Coach Brian Greige was happy with the overall effort and praised Jeremy Smith on his outstanding debut for the club and also Anthony Jury, Myles Fowler and Michael Ambados for their great games. But he wants his team to concentrate on improving support play, ruck play and ball security.

In Division 2, the trip down to Canberra to play the Grizzles has been a tough one on both occasions this season with players unavailable due to injuries.

As with the first game, the Lions remained competitive up to half time, trailing 18-6 and throughout patches of the contest. The second half started poorly conceding too many penalties and dropped balls allowing the Grizzlies to take advantage of field position and repeated sets in the Lions red zone. The Grizzles ran in five second half tries to run away with a comfortable win and further extend their position at the top of the competition table.

“The boys have shown when they can hold onto the ball, play smart possession football and control the ruck, they can compete against any team. This needs to be the focus going forward,” coach Grant Sciberras said.

He made a special mention of Man of Match Will Thorpe who had an impressive debut and a welcome addition to the club, and also praised the efforts of Kazuki Fukushige and Kelvin Quinn on their performances.

Round 8 of the Tertiary Cup competition, on May 28, will see Sydney University Lions take on Australian Catholic University at Marrickville Oval, with First Division kicking off at 3pm and Second Division starting at 1.15pm.


NSW Tertiary Cup competition – Round 7

Division 1: Sydney University 20 (Jay Parker 2, Ruaan Du Preez tries; Du Preez 2 goals) defeated University of Western Sydney 6.

Division 2: UC Grizzles 48 defeated Sydney University 6 (Kelvin Quinn try; David Turner goal).