Double for Lions over the Predators

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Sydney University went on the road last weekend and came away with two important victories against the Northwestern Predators.

Sydney Uni Cubs, the U19 team fielded in the Gridiron NSW Colts competition, started the day with a 28-0 victory on the back of a committed performance across the whole roster.

The game had started as a defensive arm wrestle, with the teams exchanging a couple of possessions without scoring, before Ben Shariat (#13) broke a long run down the sideline to position the Cubs in the red zone. From there, Australian Outback representative, Kaelum Madera (#12), scampered into the end zone behind some good blocking from Daniel Liang (#77), Matt Le Guay (#85) and Josh Zucchiatti (#75) to score.

The Cubs then doubled their lead before halftime when Madera, now playing free safety, picked off an attempted pass and took it back all the way for a touchdown. After the break, Madera could have had a hat trick of touchdowns but for a long run for an apparent score being called back on a holding penalty.

The Cubs defence, led by some key quarterback sacks by Sebastian Ladonga (#65) and Daniel Liang (#77) and relentless pursuit and tackling by the linebackers and secondary, kept the opposition at bay, and quarterback Kade Dawson (#16) showed good accuracy and a quick release to fire touchdown strikes to Ben Shariat and Michael Galanos (#88) to round out the scoring at 28-0.

In the evening game, Sydney Uni Lions overcome the Northwestern Predators in an early season test to record a 13-8 win and remain unbeaten.

Both teams took a while to get their offences in gear, the ball being turned over on the first five possessions of the game. After Lions’ linebacker Steve Dabin (#45) had recovered a fumble to snuff out a dangerous Predators’ drive, the Lions drove the length of the field to score on a 24 yard run to Alex Watson (#40) and take a 7-0 lead.

The Lions then wasted their next few scoring chances and were made to pay when Predators’ quarterback, Mark Shoebridge, operating out of a five-wide empty set, threw a long touchdown. Shoebridge then ran into the end zone untouched on the 2pt conversion attempt to give the Predators the lead at 8-7.

With under two minutes on the clock, the Lions raced up the field on the back of some key completions from quarterback Matt Hilley (#14) to Zac Smith-Bubbins (#32) and scored to take back the lead before half-time on a one yard plunge by running back Charles Adams (#2). The Lions failed on their two-point attempt to leave the score at 13-8.

And that was how the game ended. In the second half, the Lions controlled the ball to run off time and drove a number of times down to the goal line, including ending the game on the Predators’ two-yard line, but did not add to the score. The Lions’ offensive line of Aaron Carbury (#60), Alex Perdios (#66), James Gifford (#72), Victor Teixeria (#61) and David Wilson (#76) had their best outing of the season, driving the running game for over 200 yards and not giving up a quarterback sack.

On defence, the Predators were prevented from establishing a run game and the secondary did enough to dampen the Predator’s dangerous aerial attack.

Sydney Uni are on the road again next Saturday at Forrestville Oval (Cubs kick-off at 12.30pm, Lions kick-off at 2.30pm) against the Northern Sydney Rebels and will be looking for another double victory for the club.

This is the closest Sydney Uni will get to a home game this season, so we encourage our supporters to get out to the game this weekend to see our teams in action.