Sydney University vs West Harbour  
By Bruce’China’ Lin

Those West Harbour Pirates once again thwarted University last Saturday at the SUFG. Their 40-31 victory saw them retain the White Ribbon Cup and become the Students ultimate party crashers for 2017.

Bolstered by some returning Waratahs the University side had a solid feel to it. Returning prop Paddy Ryan crashed over for an early 5-0 lead until University experienced a massive speed hump. Twelve minutes had elapsed and Wests were attacking inside the University 22 metre area. University hooker, Folau Faianga’a was red carded for a dangerous tackle and the remainder of the game University were going to be tested to the limit.

With a man down University were trying their utmost to repel the marauding Pirates. The numerical advantage allowed Wests to score some quick tries. Compounding this was the accurate boot of their five eighth Taylor Adams. Tom Carter at centre did score a try through a loose ruck on the Wests line late in the first half. The score-line was fluctuating more than Clive Palmers weight and Wests were ahead 23-21 at halftime.

As it was the club’s annual Services Day once again the personnel of the NSW Police & Fire & Rescue kindly donated their time and were on hand to show their hardware and mingle with the crowd. Ladies were admiring the fire fighter on duty, children were patting the two police horses. If any person caused trouble at the ground they would experience the wrath of the members of the Public Order and Riot Squad- Ouch!

The second half started brightly for the Students. The forwards were recycling possession and Paddy Ryan ran hard onto a ball 15 metres from the line. With amazing footwork akin to John Travolta’s character Tony Manero’s dance from Saturday Night Fever, big Paddy barnstormed over for a converted try. 28-23 was now the score in favour of the blue and gold hoops but somehow the Pirates could still sniff an opportunity.

Tayler potted a penalty and then the Pirates scored a try from a back pedalling University scrum. University trailed Wests 33-31 after a University penalty. Eight minutes remained on the clock and University were throwing the ball to get over the deficit.

This intent on attack ultimately proved the Students downfall. An attacking raid along the grandstand touchline saw a charge down. The Wests player causing the charge down regathered with the hint of a knock-on and sprinted downfield to plant the ball in the corner. As you can imagine once again Tayler kicked a sideline goal for the final score-line of 40-31.

Frustration and disappointment were etched on the Students faces after the full-time bell sounded. The loss makes the race even tighter for the finals.

Next week the Students face another hard game at North Sydney Oval where they do battle with Northern Suburbs once again.