Sydney University


Southern Districts

By Bruce ‘China’ Lin

06 July 2024

The Groundhog Day syndrome vanished last Saturday at University. University put together a comprehensive performance to defeat Southern Districts 56-0.

Although a significant victory it was the manner in which it was executed that put a collective smile on the faces of players, supporters and coaching staff.

One of the hallmarks of the match was the steadfast defence of the Students. In a period where they were a man down due to a yellow card, the Students dug deep and repelled wave after wave of Rebels raids on their line.

The scoreline was tighter than Clive Palmers waist belt until the twentieth minute when a loose backline pass by Souths was exploited by the Students. That man who should be on the red carpet at the Academy Awards aspiring actor and hand model winger James Kane toed the ball through. The soccer like toeing was repeated by rugby’s immortal centre Henry Clunies-Ross. Clunies-Ross regathered back to Kane who then offloaded to his support fullback Jack Matthews. Matthews sporting a fresh sleek number#1 on the sides and back tapered haircut styled by his mother Ruth dived in the corner to score a spectacular converted try.

University was recycling constantly which exhausted the back pedaling Rebels. Further tries were scored by breakaway Angus Allen and centre Eddie Poolman to ensure University led by 21-0 at the break.

But after the break Souths had no luck. Compounding their hurt was the plethora of mistakes which University thrived on. Four minutes into the second half winger George Poolman regathered another loose Rebels pass to dart downfield for an easy converted try to lead 28-0.

But the next try was the highlight of the game. The ball was spread wide and an unlikely recipient was tight head prop big Brad Amituanai. Amituanai decided to liberate himself by unleashing his inner ursine* running roughshod through the middle of the Souths defenders. The rampaging prop was bouncing off players until he reached the goal line. Realising his momentum was about to end big Brad offloaded to his support the tiny lad from the Welsh valleys second rower Ilan Evans who scored under the posts for a lead of 35-0.

Souths never stopped trying but they were visibly exhausted and gaps were appearing more prominently. Further tries were scored and the penultimate try was scored by Narrabri’s five eighth Joey Fowler for a final scoreline of 56-0.

The first round loss was reversed and it was pleasing from a morale point of view that the team recorded a win after a string of sometimes narrow losses.

Head coach Todd Louden echoed the positive effects of a victory after the game.”The whole squad played well today. The defence was incredible and it was Elijah Leota’s first grade debut today.”

Elijah Leota the prop and all round nice guy was beaming in the dressing room after his first grade debut.” It was five years in the making and you never give up on your dreams. You just go for it!”

Next week there is an M1 road trip up to Newcastle to tackle the abrasive Hunter Wildfires.

*Ursine – like a bear.