Sydney University Rugby League Club’s return to the NSW Tertiary Cup competition this year continued apace at Blackmore Oval on Saturday, with wins in both grades over UTS Tigers ensuring semi-final berths in Division One and Division Two.
Division One rattled up seven tries in their 40-18 win over UTS, while Division Two posted a well-deserved 24-14 result over the Tigers.
With one round of the competition proper to be played this Saturday, Sydney Trains head the Division One ladder on 48 points, with the minor premiership in their keeping.
UTS Tigers (43), Sydney University (42) and Cumberland Beavers (36) make up the top four, with Norwest Polecats (34) still an outside chance of securing a semi-final berth.
The Second Division ladder is headed by UWS Ducks on 44 points, with ANU Grizzlies (40), Sydney University (38) and Sydney Trains (38) making up the top four.
Sydney University will host Sydney Trains in both grades in the final round to be played at St John’s College Oval on Saturday. Division Two will kick off at 1.15pm, with Division One scheduled for a 3pm start.
Jay Parker bagged a double in Division One’s big win last Saturday, with Tom Williams, Kingston Nicholson, William Grooms, Dominic Dagher and Jake Vrahos also crossing the stripe.
Nicholson earned the players’ player three points, with Dagher (2) and Grooms (1) collecting the minor points.
The win, probably the best of the season, was a perfect build-up for the final round against the competition leaders and for the semi-finals.
Vince Appleton, Darby Judd, Matty Makk, Rob Manchester, Myles Fowler, Kent Straker and Mohamad Sherawy played full games in the Division Two win before backing up to play a starring roles in the Division One victory.
Add the efforts of Andrew Kelapeo and the return of Sione Toli in the front-row and playmakers of the ilk of Brendan Lee and Tom Williams were given time and space to weave their magic.
And the work of Harris, Nicholson, Grooms and Dagher was busy, professional and physical, allowing Steve Tziotis, Dean Reid, Jake Vrahos and Jay Parker to capitalise with numerous line breaks. The result was Sydney University’s first win over UTS this season.
Division Two crafted a 24-14 result over UTS on the back of tries from Vaiola Mahe, Matt Makk, Marcus McCarthy and Lasalo Matapule.
Players’ player points went to Makk (3), Nathan Rokia (2) and Darby Judd (1).
It was the pressure game of the season for Division Two, with a semi-final berth on the line, and the Lions responded accordingly. They led 24-nil at half-time and kept UTS in check during the closing stages.
A guest appearance from Lasa Matapule gave the team plenty of confidence and the forwards dominated. The Mahe brothers – Lewis, Judd and Irvine – laid the platform for some excellent tries, with Marcus McCarthy’s length-of-the-field try being the best of the day.
The second half turned into a slog and the Lions out-muscled the opposition even though they had very little possession. It was a great result for the team who were well-prepared by coach Tim Payne.
NSW Tertiary Cup competition – Round 18
Division One: Sydney University 40 (Jay Parker 2, Tom Williams, Kingston Nicholson, William Grooms, Dominic Dagher, Jake Vrahos tries; 6 goals) d UTS 18 at Blackmore Oval on Saturday.
Division Two: Sydney University 24 (Vaiola Mahe, Matt Makk, Marcus McCarthy, Lasalo Matapule tries; 4 goals) d UTS 14.