Norwest Polecats took advantage of an under-strength Sydney University side in their Round 10 clash at Kellyville Park on Saturday, running out 50-nil victors.
The Students were missing half of their usual squad with players out due to injury, exams or representative duty.
With Elite Athlete Scholars Marcus Pappas, captain Myles Fowler and lock Adam Vrahnos, starting hooker Murray Spear and prop ‘Tractor’ Ferguson all out of the pack, the Lions found it difficult to maintain possess and the scoreline told the tale.
However, it was a valiant effort from a number of players who tried to inspire the young and inexperienced Lions filling in for multiple starters. Aristoteli Taktikos and Sydney University alumni Kurt Lewis were damaging in defence, with ‘Teli’ regularly controlling the ruck.
The young and fearless Sydney University student Christian Maini put his hand up on a number of occasions, coming off the wing to take on the big Polecats forward pack. Maini showed the effort of a Lion in chasing down players when breaks emerged, even if it was too late to stop the try.
The players voted Sydney University alumni Kazuki Fukushige as Man of the Match this week. The Japanese representative, while small in stature, put his body on the line regularly in defence, racking up a number of tackles. He also showed how dangerous he can be with the speed he brings out of dummy-half against these big packs.
Coach Luke Srama was noticeably frustrated given the history and pride of the club, but reminded the boys that hard work and working for each other will win out.
Despite the loss, it wasn’t all bad news. Captain and UNSW student, Myles Fowler, was selected to play in the Australian University side in the upcoming World Cup. Games will take place in multiple venues across Western Sydney from the July 7-16 and Lions players will be in attendance to support Myles and the Tertiary League.
Myles has been with the club since its reformation under Chris Kintis and has been a model player on and off the field.
Next up, Sydney University Lions take a few weeks off between semesters, before returning to Henson Park to take on Cumberland Beavers. Come along to Marrickville’s Coliseum to see the boys seek revenge at 1pm on Saturday, July 22.