Despite scoring 5 tries to 4 handling mistakes proved costly for University over a determined West Harbour Pirates last Saturday at the SUFG. The Pirates scoreline of 43-34 was characterised by judicious kicking and racking up fast points. These tactics caused University to play catch up football for the majority of the game.
Wests first converted try came after only 4 minutes. But University halfback Jake Gordon quickly countered with a diagonal run scoring after a 5 metre scrum. The Pirates five eighth with a name straight out of the Bold and the Beautiful – Tayler Adams, kept his teams points ticking away with kicks at goal . University winger Tanginoa scored a try after a backline rush but then came a period of anguish as two University tight forwards were sin binned for the remaining 10 minutes of the first half. University had to really dig deep and avoid an avalanche of points. It was just fortunate that Wests scored one converted try during this juncture. When the halftime bell sounded University were behind 20-15.
West Harbour maintained their momentum for the second half with a quick penalty and then a regathered cross field kick resulted in another converted try. At 30 -15 Wests effectively applied a blow torch to the Students who were trying to extinguish it. A series of dropped balls compounded University’s inability to build any momentum.
But when University regathered their full complement of players from the sin bin a mini resurgence was mounted. Jake Gordon scored his double by outsprinting the defence while winger Matt Narracott showed pure speed after receiving the final pass along the backline to outrun the Wests defence.
The gap had narrowed to 33-29 with still plenty of time left. But just when University supporters felt optimistic Wests hit back when a forward dived over a messy ruck pressed on the University tryline.
Tom Carter’s bumping run to score 90 seconds before the full time bell was in vain as Adams once again kicked a penalty for a 43-34 victory.
A frustrating defeat at home especially after last weekends solid victory over Manly. But a loss such as this will give the Students the necessary wake up call.
Next week University travel to the northern beaches to do battle with those tenacious green rats of Warringah.