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Sydney University moved to within striking distance of the Shute Shield top six with a nail-biting 28-23 win over Warringah in their Round 10 clash at No.1 Oval on Saturday.

The Students came from a 13-10 halftime deficit to grab the lead with 10 minutes on the clock. They then defended stoutly as Warringah threw everything at them in the closing stages and only a dropped ball in the final play of the match prevented the visitors from levelling the scores.

Eastwood still head the Shute Shield ladder on 43 points, with Manly (41), Southern Districts (32), Warringah (30), Randwick (30) and Northern Suburbs (27) making up the top six ahead of Sydney University on 26 points.

Both sides played it cautiously in the opening forays of Saturday’s encounter, with Warringah five-eighth Hamish Angus landing two  penalty goals and Sydney University second-rower Byron Hodge landing one for a 6-3 scoreline after 10 minutes.

But the Students made the basic mistake of letting the ball bounce from the restart after Angus’s second penalty and Warringah flanker Sam Crompton collected the spoils to run away and score untouched.

Embarrassed by the basic mistake, Sydney University’s forwards committed to providing some quality possession which turned into some sustained attack. Second-rower Liam Winton was on hand to claim the host’s first try and an 11-10 lead.

But Roberts responded with a penalty goal to give the Rats a halftime lead.

The second half started with the Students’ pack dominating at scrum time, resulting in halfback Jake Gordon scoring up the short side. Hodge missed the conversion but landed two more penalty goals to Angus’s one to edge Sydney University to a 21-13 lead.

The hosts continued their enterprising attack with some exciting multiple-phase play. And they were rewarded when winger Henry Clunies-Ross split the defence with a long, angled run to score. Hodge added the extras for a 29-16 lead.

But it wasn’t to be a pipe and slippers final quarter hour for the Students. Sloppy goal-line defence saw Crompton crash over for his second try and Angus’s conversion put the visitors in striking distance. But despite their best efforts in the closing stages, it wasn’t to be.  

The win saw Sydney University complete a clean sweep of the grade and Colts matches on the day.

The action returns to Sydney University No.1 Oval this Saturday when the Students hosts Parramatta.

Scoreboard 

NSW Men’s Premier Rugby Union competition – Round 10

First Grade – Shute Shield: Sydney University 28 (Liam Winton, Jake Gordon, Henry Clunies-Ross tries; Byron Hodge 2 goals, 3 pen goals) d Warringah 23 (Sam Crompton 2 tries; Hamish Angus 2 goals, 3 pen goals) at Sydney University No.1 Oval on Saturday. Points: Sydney University 4, Warringah 1.

Second Grade – Colin Caird Shield: Sydney University 37 (Benn Melrose, Matthew Narracoot, James Swan, Matthew Hood, Mark O’Dare tries; Jock Merriman 3 goals, 2 pen goals) d Warringah 25 (Tom McMillan 2, Daniel Saggus tries; Louis Anderson goal, pen goal, Tristan Stanley pen goal).  Points: Sydney University 5, Warringah 0.

Third Grade – J.R. Henderson Shield: Sydney University 38 (Jonny Loseli 2, Bilal Elbatoory, Dane McCarthy, Mesake Tagituimua, Connor Foley tries; William Macklin 4 goals) d Warringah 17 (Zac Jones, B. Marshall, Sean Davies tries; Tristan Stanley goal). Points: Sydney University 5, Warringah 0.

Fourth Grade – J.R. Henderson Cup: Sydney University 19 (J Ball 2, Josh Friend tries; Thomas Wilson 2 goals) d Warringah 5. Points: Sydney University 4, West Harbour 0.

Colts

First Grade – W. McMahon Memorial Shield: Sydney University 85 (Christian Yassmin 3; Christian Kagiassis 2; Declan Moore 2, Siaosi Halaifonua, Jackson McCalman, Cillian Burke, James Kane, Joshua Schwager, Aidan Brown  tries; Christian Kagiassis 10 goals) d Warringah 19. Points: Sydney University 5, Warringah 0. 

Second Grade – Shell Trophy: Sydney University 31 (Aidan Brown, Dylan Oldfield, Daniel Calavassy, Samuel Harris, Justin Fourie tries; Justin Fish 3 goals) d Warringah 9. Points: Sydney University 5, Warringah 0.

Third Grade: Bill Simpson Shield: Sydney University 36 (Patrick Muller 2, Ben Halmarick, Sean Cross, Thomas Pavitt, Jacob Miller tries; Ben Halmarick 3 goals) d Warringah 0. Points: Sydney University 5, Warringah 0.

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