Sydney University’s push for a grand final berth in the NSW Tertiary Rugby League Championship came to a halt at the hands of UTS Wanderers in the Final at Belmore Sports Ground on Saturday.
The minor premiers accounted for Sydney University 52-12 to move into a season decider against TAFE NSW Polecats at Belmore Sports Ground this Saturday.
The Wanderers had gone through the 10-round competition proper undefeated before losing 26-6 to the Polecats in their major semi-final.
Having finished third on the ladder, Sydney University earned their berth in the final with a 40-28 win over UWS Ducks in their minor semi-final at Blackmore Oval.
But the Wanderers returned to form on Saturday in a dominant display. Indeed, Sydney University started and finished the 2019 season against the Wanderers who secured a 28-6 result over the Students in Round 1.
Sydney University then posted back-to-back wins over Macquarie University Warriors (30-6) and Western Sydney University Ducks (36-20).
They then lost 50-20 to Cumberland Beavers and 42-12 to UTS Wanderers before accounting for Macquarie University 58-6, Western Sydney University 32-26 and Cumberland Beavers 36-6 to secure a finals berth. A last round 28-18 loss to TAFE NSW was resurrected by the minor semi-final win.
Meanwhile, Sydney University chances of finals football in the Sydney Shield competition came to a halt with an 82-6 loss to East Campbelltown Eagles at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday.
With three rounds of the 2019 Shield to be played Cabramatta Two Blues are on target to win the minor premiership, with 15 wins from their 17 outings. They head the table on 36 points, with St Marys (33), East Campbelltown Eagles (30), Ryde Eastwood Hawks (30), Guilford Owls (28) and Moorebank Rams ((24) making up the top six.
Sydney University are 10th on the 12-team ladder in their first season in the Sydney Shield competition, with four wins and a draw.
After a first round bye, the Students opened the season with a 28-26 win over Moorebank Rams and close losses to Asquith Magpies (30-20), Wentworthville United (24-22) and Ryde Eastwood Hawks (22-18) before playing a 30-all Round 6 draw with Penrith Brothers.
They then lost 32-20 to East Campbelltown Eagles before posting their second win with a 24-20 result over Hills District Bulls before having a week off with a bye round.
Guildford Owls accounted for Sydney University 52-10, but they were still competitive with a 24-17 loss to St Marys and a 34-16 loss to Belrose Eagles interspersed with a 44-4 loss to Cabramatta Two Blues
Sydney University defeated Moorebank Rams 40-26 in their Round 15 encounter but followed up with a 62-0 loss to Asquith Magpies, a 48-16 loss to Wentworthville United and a 50-10 loss to Ryde Eastwood Hawks.
The Students then accounted for Penrith Brothers 62-22 before suffering their biggest loss of the season – 82-6 – against East Campbelltown Eagles.
All clubs have a bye weekend this Saturday before Sydney University rounds out the season with games against Guildford Owls at Wentworth Park on Sunday, 18 August; St Marys at Henson Park on Saturday, 24 August; and Cabramatta Two Blues at New Era Stadium on Saturday, 31 August.
Sydney Shield competition – Round 20
East Campbelltown Eagles 82 (Edwin Connor 3, Va’enuku Vatuvei 2, Dwayne Lemafa 2, Amanono Tovio 2 Thomas Morrison, Shannon Gallant, Mason Talolua, Alapati Potifara, Theo Leato tries; Edwin Connor 13 goals) defeated Sydney University 6 (John Paul Hannawe try; Braeden Stewart-Thomas goal) at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday.
Tertiary Premiership – Final
UTS Wanderers 52 defeated Sydney University 12 at Blackmore Oval on Saturday.
Grand Final: TAFE NSW Polecats versus UTS Wanderers at Belmore Sportsground on Saturday with a 2.30pm kick-off.