Sydney University vs Manly
By Bruce ‘China’ Lin 

Sydney University’s good start to the season last week was dismantled when they were well beaten by Manly at Manly Oval. The big fast Manly Marlins racked up a 36-10 victory to show University that this season was wide open.

The opening 20 minutes saw both teams trying to bustle each other. But a lineout five metres from the University line saw Manly use their weight advantage to execute a driving maul for the first converted try.

It appeared Manly were playing a fast band of rugby shifting the ball to the wings where there was abundant speed. The Marlins scored two more tries. Their potent tomahawk missile attack quickly increased the scoreline to 19-0. University had no luck in breaching the Manly defences. Scoring tries against Manly was more difficult than finding an unrestricted car space along Sydney Road! 19-0 remained the half time score. The 10 minute break would allow the University coaches to retune the team’s performance.

An expectation not to bleed any more points was premature after half time. Again the lethal Manly attack spear headed by their five eighth Lane set up the second half’s early try. Lane executed a chip & chase for their bonus point try. University were playing a massive catch up but the Manly fortress was difficult to breach.

Some strategic replacements were made in the second half to get the University attack moving. Matthew Hood was introduced to the wing. The Manly hill were raucous lubricated by the amber fluid. A bizarre reference that Hood’s mothers cooking was forgettable failed to put off the young winger. Hood made a break and set up a try for James Kane in the Sydney Road corner.

Some further good luck to Manly in lucky bounces increased their scoreline to 36- 5 with the clock winding down. The final minute saw University attack down the grandstand side causing hooker Folau to crash over in the corner to end the game.

Disappointment would be an understatement to describe University’s performance today. However, the character of the side will come out in the following weeks against tough opposition in the form of Randwick and Northern Suburbs.