Sydney University are one game away from a Grand Final appearance in the 2019 NSW Tertiary Rugby League Championship after a stunning win over UWS Ducks in their minor semi-final at Blackmore Oval on Saturday.
The Lions ran in seven tries to five to post a convincing 40-28 result over the Ducks to earn a berth in the final against the UTS Wanderers.
Christian Maini and Peter Ta’auso each scored doubles for the Students on Saturday, while Jake Vrahnos, Harry Croker and Owen Anderson also crossed for tries. Max Linden-Smith rewarded their efforts with seven conversions.
UTS Wanderers won the 2019 minor premiership with an undefeated run through the 10 rounds of the competition proper.
But second-placed TAFE NSW Polecats sprang an upset in the major semi-final when they posted a 26-6 result over the Wanderers at Blackmore Oval on Saturday to book themselves a berth in the 2019 Grand Final at Belmore Sportsground on 10 August.
The Wanderers will now meet Sydney University in the final, to be played at Blackmore Oval this Saturday, with a 3pm kick-off.
Sydney University opened the 2019 Tertiary Rugby League Championship with a 28-6 loss to the Wanderers, but bounced back to account for Macquarie University Warriors 30-6 and Western Sydney University Ducks 36-20.
The Lions had a mid-season slump, losing 50-20 to Cumberland Beavers, 30-24 to TAFE NSW and 42-12 to UTS Wanderers in Round 6 before climbing off the canvas with a 58-6 disposal of Macquarie University Ducks.
They backed that up with a 32-26 win over Western Sydney University in Round 8 and a 36-6 over the Beavers before falling 28-18 in the final round of the competition proper.
The Lions will be looking to carry their semi-final form through to Saturday’s crucial encounter.
Meanwhile, Sydney University posted a big result in the Sydney Shield competition, with a 62-22 result over Brothers at the Terry Lamb Complex on Saturday.
Neenan Simpson crossed for four of Sydney University’s 11 tries, while John Paul Hannawe bagged a brace. Anthony Overton, Braeden Stewart-Thomas, Deighton Ierko, Mutu Stanley and Anthony Tsangarides also crossed for tries, while Reuben Taylor landed six conversions and Braeden Stewart-Thomas landed three.
Sydney will meet East Campbelltown Eagles in Round 20 action at Leichhardt Oval this Saturday, with a 1pm kick-off.
Tertiary Premiership – Semi-Finals
Sydney University 40 defeated UWS Ducks 28 at Blackmore Oval on Saturday.
TAFE NSW Polecats 26 defeated UTS Wanderers 6 at Blackmore Oval on Saturday.
Final: Sydney University versus UTS Wanderers at Blackmore Oval from 3pm, Saturday, 3 August.
Grand Final: TAFE NSW Polecats versus winner of Final, at Belmore Sportsground, from 2.30pm on Saturday, 10 August.
Sydney Shield competition – Round 19
Sydney University 62 (Neenan Simpson 4, John Paul Hannawe 2, Anthony Overton, Braeden Stewart-Thomas, Deighton Ierko, Mutu Stanley, Anthony Tsangarides tries; Reuben Taylor 6, Braeden Stewart-Thomas 3 goals) defeated Brothers 22 (Taku Simon, Blake McCaffery, Brad Nolland, Bailey Hughes tries; Cody Smith 3 goals) at Terry Lamb Complex on Sunday.