Those inspiring lyrics – Grads and undergrads and fellows gaudy profs in reds and yellows were belting out of the change rooms again last Saturday at SUFG. A valuable bonus point 28-10 victory over rivals Randwick kept University at the head of the Shute Shield table.
The first half was an exhibition of ruthless forward play as University’s pack proceeded to shred the Randwick eight with their rucking.
Three tries were scored in this fashion to outstanding breakaway, the auburn maned Brad Wilkin, to his russet coloured brother in arms, prop Harry Johnson – Holmes and that cunning half back Theo Strang. Randwick scored a converted try and a penalty for their total days points. The Randwick pack were sturdy in the set pieces but it was the potent New Zealand style rucking which was virtually unstoppable.
There were moments during the half where some tighter play could have been applied during over exuberant phases. Randwick were attempting to minimise University’s attack with long kicks for field position. But a 21-10 lead at halftime was handy going into the break.
The second half on the other hand was a dour affair. Virtually forty minutes of no point scoring was witnessed. Both sides were trying to attack but a mistimed pass, knock on and the sin binning of Tom Horton for a late tackle, saw University down a man during the latter stages of the half.
The clock was winding down and it seemed a foregone conclusion that University and Randwick were going to end the game without a single point being scored in the second half. However, there was a moment of pure synergy where three crucial elements came together. A penalty, line out and scrum saw University camped five metres out from the Randwick try line. The full time bell having already sounded, the crowd were urging the Students to promote the famous Nike line Just do It.
The penultimate phase saw Banjo Travers shuffle the ball from the back of the scrum to that winger James Kane. Running a classic crash ball, Jim surged over the line with bodies dangling off him to score that golden bonus point try. Not an easy victory but at least a good ending to the day.
Things don’t get any easier next week where University cross the Spit bridge where we do battle with Manly at Manly Oval.
Trys: Harry Johnston- Holmes (1), Brad Wilkin (1), James Kane (1), Theo Strang (1)
Conversions: James Kane (4)