Sydney University’s 10-game winning streak in the back half of the Shute Shield rugby union competition resulted in a fourth place finish at the end of the competition proper.
The Students accounted for Penrith 43-35 in their Round 22 clash at Nepean Rugby Park on Saturday to leapfrog Eastern Suburbs into fourth spot on the ladder after the Beasties suffered a surprise 32-24 loss to eighth-placed Northern Suburbs.
Eastwood took out the 2010 minor premiership on 86 points, with Southern Districts (83), Manly (83), Sydney University (75), Eastern Suburbs (74) and Randwick (61) making up the top sixth.
The elimination finals this weekend will see Sydney University taking on Eastern Suburbs at Coogee Oval on Saturday, and Manly up against Randwick at T.G. Milner Field on Sunday.
Under the format introduced last season, the winners of this weekend’s elimination finals will meet the top two teams in the preliminary finals, with one v four at Woollahra Oval on Saturday, September 25, and two v three at Sydney University No.1 Oval on Sunday, September 26. The winners of the elimination finals will meet in the grand final at Concord Oval on Saturday, October 2.
In the lower grades, Sydney University finished third in the Colin Caird Shield Second Grade competition, third in Henderson Shield Third Grade competition and fifth in Henderson Cup Fourth Grade competition.
Having finished minor premiers in the three Colts grades, Sydney University had last weekend off while the third, fourth, fifth and sixth-placed teams contested the elimination finals.
Sydney University Colts will feature in the preliminary finals at Forshaw Rugby Park on Saturday, September 18, with the grand finals to be played at Concord Oval on Saturday, September 25.
Meanwhile, backrower Ben McCalman grabbed his run-on chance with both hands in Australia’s 23-22 Bledisloe Cup loss to New Zealand at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
The no-nonsense number eight peeled off a scrum early in the first half to send winger James O’Conner over for Australia’s first try. He made several telling runs and defended with vigour. And he stood his ground when a stoush might have eventuated. He’s never needed to talk the talk.
The irony of his Test time at number eight is that he was forced to play second-row during the past two seasons at Sydney University and was contracted by the Western Force as a blindside flanker-cum-second-rower.
Sydney University’s other Wallabies, halfback Luke Burgess, five-eighth Berrick Barnes and second-rower Den Mumm, all had game time off the bench late in the Test.
Sydney Grade competition – Round 22
First Grade: Sydney University 43 (Tom Carter 2, Greg Jeloudev 2, Peter Betham 2, Mitch Inman tries; Dan Kelly 4 goals) d Penrith 35 (Stan Tuionuku 2, Toa Asa, Elvis Levi, Henry Lilomaiava tries; Gavin Duncan 5 goals) at Nepean Rugby Park.
Second Grade: Sydney University 68 (Pen try, Bernard Foley 2, Matt Schwager 2, Jeremy Atkin, Justin Bosilkovski, Alfi Mafi, Anthony Pohlen, Robert O’Reilly tries; Justin Bosilkovski 9 goals) d Penrith 5 (Matt Borg try).
Third Grade: Sydney University 60 (James McMahon 3, Dane Cole-Clarke, Harry Marples, Sam Hosking, Willie Du Plessis, Chris Chapman, Cameron Lawrence, Charlie Versi tries; Will Runciman 4 goals, Cameron Lawrence goal) d Penrith 5 (Daniel Murphy try).