Sydney University Lions came up trumps in both divisions, for the first time this season, when they took on Cumberland Beavers in Round 7 NSW Tertiary Rugby League clashes at Ollie Webb Reserve on Saturday.
The Lions ran in seven tries to win the Division One match 36-16, while the Division Two side ran in eight tries on the way to a 38-26 result.
Williams Grooms picked up the Kobe Jones man-of-the-match points in Division One, while Krypton Tatupu collected the Division Two points.
In Division 1 the Lions started the game with plenty of energy and enthusiasm with Joe Andrews setting the tone early with a superb 50m return from a kick. He made another surge to put the Lions in great attacking position.
With the territorial advantage it allowed Sydney University to take control of the early exchanges. Adam Harber opened the scoring in the 4th minute when he received a nice offload on the end of a bustling run from Ryan Barton to race 30m to score under the sticks.
The Lions struck again in the 10th minute when Junior Taupo broke the line to find Andrews in support to race down field and link with the ever present Jake Vrahnos backing up to score under the posts and take the lead to 12-0.
The hosts hit back with a try but in the 20th minute but Taupo replied with another barnstorming run to break the defensive line and send Dean Reid in in for a try and an 18-6 lead.
The Lions continued to attack, with second-rower William Grooms causing the Beavers’ defence plenty of headaches. One of his powerful breaks resulted in an offload to Reid who powered over for his second try of the afternoon and extend the lead to 24-6.
But a lapse in concentration and an unforced error allowed Beavers to hit back just before halftime to go into the break at 24-12.
The Lions didn’t take long to get back into their rhythm scoring a superb try to Caine Trindall one minute into the second half. Some clever dummy half play by Kingston Nicholson send Vrahnos skirting wide of the ruck. His inside pass found Andrews who set up a rampaging Grooms to break clear and send Caine Trindall over in the corner.
The Lions stretched their lead to 32-16 when Morrison Mong drifted across field and found Myles Fowler who positioned Nathan Rakoia to score.
And with seven minutes left on the clock Junior Taupo crashed over for a try to top off an entertaining performance by the Lions, who controlled proceedings for most of the match.
Myles Fowler, Joe Andrews and Ryan Barton were among the standout performers. Coach Steve Freeborn was content with the performance and said the team will continue to work on improving defence, ruck play and repeat attacking sets.
In Division Two the Lions faced an undefeated Cumberland Beavers team.
However, little did we know what was about to unfold. The match started brightly with both sides trading tries before the Lions found themselves down 16-10 at halftime. But David Turner’s kicking game and Kingi Ngatai controlling the play with his passing and running kept the Lions in the hunt.
The second half saw the Lions explode out of the blocks with rampaging runs by Daniel Betham, Krypton Tatupu, Kent Straker and Moh Sharawy. That allowed dummy half Mathew Colgrave to link well with Turner, Ngatai and Jordon Sio who continued the revival.
The Lions scored 18 unanswered points in 12 minutes after the break to put themselves in a commanding position with a 28-16 lead. Tatupu led the way with his powerful running, setting a platform for the rest of the team to go forward.
The Beavers hit back with a try and reduced the deficit but the Lions soon responded with a converted try to fullback Eden Pomere.
The points didn’t end there with a great team try by the Lions in the closing stages of the match. The scheming David Turner quickly organised a short side play with Pomere slicing through the defence to find Nona Suma in support. He pushed off one defender and offloaded to Kazuki Fukushige who, streaked away to position Earl Yandall to score in the corner and seal a great victory for the Lions.
Coach Tony Farr was happy with second half performance and is hoping the team can take that form into next week’s game.
Round 8, on June 30, will see First Division take on the University of Western Sydney Ducks at Bankstown Campus Oval kicking off at 3pm, while Second Division will take on Australian Catholic University at Marrickville Oval starting at 1.15pm.
NSW Tertiary Cup competition – Round 7
Division 1: Sydney University 36 (Dean Reid 2, Adam Harber, Jake Vrahnos, Nathan Rokaia, Caine Trindall, Junior Tuapo tries; Joe Andrews 3 goals, Steve Tziotis 1 goal) defeated Cumberland Beavers 16.
Division 1 Kobe Jones Man of the Match was William Grooms.
Division 2: Sydney University 38 (Eden Pomere 2, Nick Spichopoulos, Kingi Ngatai, Kurt Lewis, Krypton Tatupu, Jordan Sio, Earl Yandall tries; David Turner 3 goals) defeated Cumberland Beavers 26.
Division 2 Kobe Jones Man of the Match was Krypton Tatupu.