Sydney University got back to singing the victory song last Saturday at University No:1 Oval. But the 28-23 victory was not without a tension filled ending.
That player with the name from the Scottish Highlands five eighth Hamish Angus, kicked an early penalty to start the days points. Angus’ kick was replied shortly after by University’s Byron Hodge with two shots which had the Students ahead of Warringah 6-3 after 10 minutes.
In one of the easiest tries of the season, a kick off to University was allowed to bounce. A trailing Warringah breakaway scooped up the loose ball to score without a hand being laid on him. Once University steadied themselves their efforts delivered the bounty when the ball was spread to the right hill area. Second rower Liam Winton standing like an Eiffel tower, received the last pass to bust over the line to have University ahead 11-10.
Rohan O’Regan made his 1st Grade debut in the win over the Rats last weekend
Another Angus penalty had the green Rats narrowly ahead at 13-11 going in to the break. There was enough enterprise shown in the first 40 minutes to indicate the second half would showcase University’s arsenal of attacking plays.
The game had a sentimental touch to it with the return to University of two popular personalities now aligned with the green rodentia. That man with the George Clooney swagger Warringah coach Greg Marr and natural body builder big winger Jack Sullivan.
University’s momentum continued after the break with a cheeky try to half Jake Gordon. Taking advantage of a dominant scrum led up front by loose head prop Ally Ryan sporting the Hagrid facial camouflage suppressing his rugged good looks, Gordon saw a loosely marked open side for a dash to plant the ball untouched over the line. Further penalty kicks to Hodge and Angus saw the score creep up to 21-16 still favouring the Students.
The tide appeared to be favouring the Students as some excellent continuity in play was happening. University were making inroads into Rats territory with their phases of play. Winger Henry Clunies –Ross was back to his best with a slashing diagonal run from his flank splitting the defence for a try. Everything seemed to favour University at 29- 16 even with a man in the sin bin.
The speed of Henry Clunies-Ross was on full show against Warringah
But never underestimate a wounded Rat . Still with a one man advantage a converted try was scored courtesy of some loose University tackling off their line. There was less than 10 minutes left and University were still breathing.
The final 2 minutes was a heart pounding period as Warringah were attempting to smash over the University line with the clock winding down. Repeated line outs rucks and mauls were repelled by the Students as a menacing Warringah were proving a handful. The ball was spread wide and Warringah appeared to have an overlap. The whole grandstand were on the edge of their seats, even Guy Sebastian in Vienna took a break from Eurovision 2015 rehearsals to watch the twitter feed. The rat plague was coming and University had used up their rodenticide. But luck fell on the lap of the Students when a backline move was knocked on by Warringah as full time sounded. The game was over and University breathed a big sigh of relief!
Next week University are once again at home against the unpredictable Parramatta.