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Sydney University claimed Sydney’s Premier Rugby trophy, the Shute Shield, with a comprehensive 45-12 win over defending premiers Warringah at North Sydney Oval on Saturday.

The Students broke a five-year title drought with the six try to two result in front of a bumper 15,500 crowd at the historic suburban venue.

With a dominant pack, headed by hooker Tolu Latu, the Students set up a 17-7 half-time lead and took control of the match with two early second-half tries, including a penalty try from the scrum.

Winger James Kane opened the scoring for the afternoon with a penalty goal for Sydney University. Halfback Jake Gordon appreciated working behind a solid pack to score the first of a pair. Kane converted for a 10-0 scoreline.

Not to be outdone, the Rats hit back through a length of the field effort from fullback Dave Feltscheer, who scored under the posts for Hamish Angus to convert and reduced the margin to 10-7.

Minutes before the break Gordon posted his second try on the back of a dominate scrum on the Rats’ goal line. Kane’s conversion saw the Students go to the break 17-7 up.

And when the Rats failed to field the kick restart, the Students struck through a try to winger Harry Potter off the back of a lineout steal. The Sydney University pack backed up the lineout effort with a penalty try off a dominant scrum and Kane’s trusty boot had them 31-7 up.

Another length of the field effort from the Rats resulting in  a try to Sen Wileman took them to 31-12, but Students replied by introducing Wallaby halfback Nick Phipps from the bench.

He soon made his mark with a bullet-like cut-out pass to Wallaby teammate Latu, who scored in the corner. Kane added to his points tally with a 69th minute try to seal the deal for the Students.

Along with Latu, halfback Gordon turned in a solid performance for the winners before making way for Phipps. Gordon was in the losing side in the 2016 decider and savoured this win.

“Unbelievable,” he said. “I came into Sydney Uni about a month ago (from Waratahs duties) and to see how hard the guys were working, especially our captain Rohan O’Regan, to see the effort they’ve put in is really pleasing.

“There were five of us who were in 2016 side that were unlucky not to get the win. To go through it with the same five and win it and also with the other guys (was great).”

Sydney University coach Rob Taylor said the win was surreal in his first season at the helm.

“So much work goes into this and the boys just delivered today,” he said. “It was nice not to have a one point type game there at the end so probably have those nerves early on in the second half but to finish like that we were able to enjoy it, watch it like spectators and just be really happy for the team and this is amazing.”

While SUFC might savour the Shute Shield, the three lower grades and three Colts teams failed to make grand final berths.

Scoreboard

Sydney Premier Men’s competition – Grand Final

First Grade – Shute Shield: Sydney University 45 (Pen try, Jake Gordon 2, Silatolu Latu, James Kane, Harry Potter tries; James Kane 6 goals, pen goal) defeated Warringah 12 (Sebastian Wileman, David Feltscheer tries; Hamish Angus goal) at North Sydney Oval.

Second Grade: Eastern Suburbs 36 defeated Eastwood 17.

Third Grade: Northern Suburbs 20 defeated Eastern Suburbs 17.

Fourth Grade: Warringah 15 defeated Northern Suburbs 12.

Colts

First Grade: Randwick 36 defeated Gordon 20.

Second Grade: Randwick 50 defeated Gordon 24.

Third Grade: Eastern Suburbs 27 defeated Gordon 24.

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