Sydney University


Southern Districts

By Bruce ‘China’ Lin

18 May 2024

Inclement weather conditions once again cursed University last Saturday at Forshaw Park. Southern Districts played to the conditions and outsmarted the Students with a 22-17 victory.

An almost near perfect kickoff could have delivered the fastest try in Shute shield history. But University waited till five minutes for a rolling maul try for a 7-0 lead.

But the Rebels hit back with two quick tries during a period where they camped inside the University quarter to lead 12-5.

However University had other ideas and once they had secured passage they decided to give the ball some width resulting in winger Tom Morrison scorching down the western flank to touch down. The conversion was successful and scores were now on par 12-12 at halftime.

The entire half oscillated from torrential rain, a brief moment of sunshine, wind, an icy breeze. It was literally a scene from Christopher Nolan’s epic Oppenheimer where the nuclear detonation causes significant atmospheric changes. A cameo from  Hobart’s Neil the Seal * was expected to emerge from the adjacent canal with the amount of water that was being dumped.

The utilitarian* Forshaw park gave those in attendance a sense of clinomania* rather than Singin in the Rain.

The second half had the ideal start for University after a deft chip downfield by inside centre Eddie Poolman. With the ball dribbling towards the eastern touchline supporting winger George Clark toed through and received the ideal bounce to score in the northern corner to lead 17-12 .

But for some reasons only a coach could understand University switched off and allowed Souths chunky centre Lua Lua to bash downfield for a try in the corner. The Lua Lua show continued with a dominant scrum allowing him to crash ball for a hatrick to lead 22-17.

From then on it was catch up for University. A disallowed try due to an off the ball incident incurring red card left the Students a man short. University failed to capitalize at every opportunity that was before them. The Rebels held out for a 22-17 victory on this dreary day.

Next week another tough assignment awaits University away at Concord Oval against the West Harbour Pirates.


*Neil the Seal – 600kg elephant seal a celebrity of Hobart Tasmania.

*Utilitarian – Designed for practical rather than attractive.

*Clinomania- Obsessive desire to stay in bed.