Uni poleaxes Polecats

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Big wins for silver and bronze on golden day.

Sydney University turned on a scintillating display of rugby league for the returning old boys on Saturday at the Camperdown campus No.2 Oval in a Metro silver division 52-4 nine-try romp over TAFE Polecats.

The Lions “Dom-inated” from go to whoa with “Singapore Sling” Dom Wesbury turning in a Beetsonesque performance. It was a cocktail of powerful surges, punishing defence, and poise with the pill. The baby-faced prop brought the crowd to their feet on any number of occasions, but rugby league aficionados appreciated the deft touch of soft hands that put returning skipper “I Would Run 500” Myles Fowler in for a try.

Uni opened their account when opting for a tap instead of a “gimme” two points and crafty rake Edward Boustani snuck over. The conversion was like shelling peas for fullback Max Linden-Smith who continues his rich vein of goalkicking form. At 6-0 after six minutes, it was a great start. But Uni had been in a similar position against competition leaders Asquith the previous week only for the Magpies to eventually round them up.

It was never to be on Saturday. Some future club legends maintained control and composure in a fitting performance in front of appreciative former Uni greats and longstanding fans. The Lions were over again soon after thanks to a blockbusting Wesbury break and the support of halfback Angelo Taufa.

The third try was a peach. Uni regained possession courtesy of the Polecats fullback succumbing to the chasing pressure and mishandling a towering Angelo Taufa bomb. Two tackles into the set Wesbury set sail with a bull-like surge only to display the hands of a surgeon and pop up a short ball to a surging Fowler.

It wasn’t all attack for the home team and resolute defence held the Polecats up as they threatened to score on a rare excursion into Uni territory. But Uni sustained the performance that has threatened in the past month – their expansive game complementing the improved efforts of the pack and the new-found defensive commitment.

They spun the ball wide from a 10-metre scrum and left winger Benji Savou set sail down the Main Quad touchline, only to be thwarted thanks to a classic covering tackle on the junction with halfway. Uni continued with all-out attack and Zac Anuj scored another memorable try. Linden-Smith went four from four and they led 24-0 at oranges.

Strong performances from in-form backrower Elijah Lalakobau, and enforcer Jordan Roussety left a feeling of confidence amongst the Lions as they headed to their den to hear from coach Jason Amos.

Boustani was binned not long into the second stanza but a brilliant individual effort from flankman Lakepa Baudromo soon negated TAFE’s one-man advantage and Uni went 30-0 up.

In the absence of Boustani, fill-in dummy-half, Harry Croker was held up over the line soon after, but Wesbury responded with a well-deserved try and the campus echoed with cheers from a knowledgeable crowd. “Never Miss” Max took it to 36-0 with still more than 20 minutes on the clock. A short-side foray brought up the seventh try for a 42-0 lead before tempers boiled over and the Polecats were reduced to 11 men and Uni 12.

Then the unbelievable happened. Following replacement hooker Brandon Faddoul’s superb solo try, Linden-Smith missed the conversion. Yes, you’re reading that correctly. We may as well report pink pigs were flying above us.

Despite Uni’s numerical advantage, the Polecats scored from a scrum with five minutes to go. Uni then lost Savou to the bin to make it 11 on 11. Lalakobau picked up a deserving try under the sticks and Linden-Smith kicked his eighth goal from nine attempts to round out the scoring.

Perhaps the most pleasing sight of the day was the return of favourite son, Jake Vrahnos, who has been sidelined for some time post shoulder surgery. The pivot performed well, as expected.

Players’ Player was Dom Wesbury

 Silver: Sydney University 52 (Edward Boustani, Dom Wesbury, Angelo Taufa, Myles Fowler, Zac Anuj, Lakepa Baudromo, Brandon Faddoul, Elijah Lalakobau, tries; Max Linden-Smith 8 goals) b TAFE Polecats 4.

Uni’s bronze division side set the scene for the day with a 30-8 win. It continues their good form and there is a definite camaraderie developing under skipper Storm Burazer that should take them deep into the season.

Uni’s record at No.2 Oval is incredible and it’s a shame the club can’t secure more games at the showpiece facility. The lion sleeps contentedly at the Camperdown campus, but sage heads know that form is temporary, and class is permanent. We await the next outing with incredible anticipation.

Players’ Player was Xavier De Francesco

 Bronze: Sydney Uni 30 b TAFE Polecats 8.

 Report thanks to Halage Media