19.05.2008 – Graham Croker
Sydney University won back-to-back Australian Club Championships when they accounted for Sunnybank 24-nil in very wet conditions at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane on Saturday.
Played as a curtain-raiser to the NSW Waratahs v Queensland Super 14 match, the Students never looked in doubt after establishing a 17-nil lead at the break.
Having accounted for Brisbane Wests 36-5 in 2007 and the past three Shute Shield finals in the Sydney grade competition, Sydney University can lay claim to being the dominant club in Australian rugby.
Sydney University dominated Sunnybank at the scrum and lineout early in the game and ran in tries to fullback Lachlan Mitchell, five-eighth Daniel Halangahu and Jono Jenkins and the match was as good as over at half-time.
More heavy rain in the second half didn’t help the standard of play, but the well-drilled Sydney University pack handled the conditions better than the hosts and a try to hooker Nathan Charles wrapped up the title.
The Australian Club Championship was held as an annual fixture during the 1990’s between the winners of the NSW and Queensland Club Premierships.
The annual fixture lapsed for a number of years before being reinstated in 2007 with a match between Sydney University and Wests of Brisbane as a curtain-raiser to the Reds v Sharks Super 14 match at Suncorp Stadium.
The match is now fully supported by the Queensland and New South Wales Rugby Unions, who have agreed it will be an annual fixture and that it will be the curtain-raiser to the annual Reds v Waratahs Super 14 clash.
Due to playing in the Australian Club Championship, Sydney University’s round eight Shute Shield clash with Eastwood has been deferred to Saturday, June 7.
Sydney University 24 (Lachlan Mitchell, Daniel Halangahu, Jono Jenkins, Nathan Charles tries; Daniel Halangahu 2 goals) d Sunnybank 0.