A penalty goal in the 80th minute gave Manly a 31-29 win over Sydney University in their Round 2 Shute Shield Sydney Premier rugby clash at the University on Saturday.

It was a cruel end for the hosts who had fought their way back to a 29-28 lead after trailing 21-12 at the half-time break. Both sides scored four tries apiece, with the result coming down to the final goal.

The Students opened the scoring in the 10th minute when flanker Sam Allsopp scooted down the eastern touchline to score in the corner. But Manly responded soon after with a driving maul resulting in a try to flanker Hunter Ward. Five-eighth Robbie McIntosh landed the first of four conversion to give the visitors a 7-5 lead. He increased that to 14-5 soon after when he converted Ryan du Plooy’s try after the halfback scooted over from close range.

Sydney University replied with a try to reserve winger Joshua Calvert, who showed his wares down the western touchline. Winger Jack Matthews landed the first of three conversions to reduce the score to 14-12.

But the visitors were not finished and just before the break fullback Wilson Dulieu pounced on a loose ball to dive over. McIntosh converted for a 21-12 advantage. They took that to a 28-12 advantage soon after the restart when Du Ploy ended a sweeping backline move for his second try.

The hosts then took control for an extended period resulting in a rolling maul try to hooker Ciaran Loh and a five-pointer to winger Ronan Leahy. Matthews’s two conversions and penalty goal gave the Students a 29-28 advantage which they clung to until the final minute when Manly earned a penalty near the posts and McIntosh stepped up to break many hearts.

It had been a winning day for Sydney University until that last minute goal. The Students won Second, Third and Fourth grades and the three Colts grades.

Second Grade defeated Manly 29-24 in their Colin Caird Shield encounter. Sydney University’s tries came from hooker Samuel Cantwell, halfback Hwi Sharples, outside centre Henry Clunies-Ross and winger Joshua Calvert, with five-eight Joey Fowler landing three conversions and a penalty goal. Manly’s tries came from hooker Rex Collins, winger Addison Hawke, fullback Ollie Cummins and reserve back Jack Stafford, while centre Riaihe Jacobs landed two conversions.

Sydney University’s Third Grade won the Henderson Shield match 35-20, with flanker Jack Sproats collecting three tries and hooker Joseph Hasegawa and lock Ted Pearson also scoring five pointers; with fullback Jack Martin landing five conversions. Manly’s points came from two tries to winger Oscar Gilding and another from prop Harry Herbert, while halfback Liam O’Sullivan landed two conversions and a penalty goal.

And Sydney University Fourths won their Henderson Cup match 35-33, with five-eighth Jason Inglezos (2), hooker Jordan Moucas and fullback Harrison Johansen scoring tries, and a penalty try, and Johansen landing four conversions. Manly lock Jack Murdoch, winger Alexis Lesaint and flankers Rintaro Matsumura and Jahmin Gernhoefer scored tries, with fullback Samson Nicholl landing four conversions.

In Colts matches, Sydney University Firsts won their W. McMahon Shield match 55- 24, Seconds accounted for Manly 38-3 in their Shell Trophy clash, and Thirds defeated Manly 40-5 in their Bill Simpson Shield match.

Sydney University will play Randwick in Round 3 matches at Coogee Oval.