Sydney University


Eastern Suburbs

By Bruce ‘China’ Lin

1 June 2024

Last Saturday was the club’s annual Ladies Day. The dress code was a country twist with boots. The conditions were not conducive to this attire. Rubber overalls and gum boots more suited to working on a North Sea trawler for Alaskan king crabs would have been more appropriate.

The weather was just abominable. Relentless driving rain turned the playing surface into a Tipperary peat bog. There was no expansive backline movements. Eastern suburbs prevailed in a grinding exhausting battle to narrowly win 20-18.

Both sides took early opportunities for points and ten minutes into the half both teams were three apiece. Then University kicked another penalty through Ruth Matthews’ son winger Jack to lead 6-3.

University exploited the conditions slightly better with well placed kicks pinning Easts inside their quarter for extended periods. A five metre line out gave the students that additional impetus with a rolling maul try to lead 11-3 at halftime.

There was still a contingent of attractive ladies at the ground dressed to rusticate* in an urban environment. The lower graders were a cohort of Steve McQueen’s in black turtle neck sweaters ready to drive off in a green 1968 Ford Mustang. The von Appen brothers were at the forefront of being voted by the ladies as eligible bachelors. Who could not resist two fine young men of the club better known by their German nicknames Siegfried and Schnukki.

Easts kept kicking penalties early in the second half and soon they were only trailing 11-6 in the heavy conditions. The tide turned ten minutes into the second half with a converted rolling maul try to lead 13-11. Then disaster struck. With a tiring pack University gave away a penalty try from a five metre scrum.20-11 was the Easts lead and to peg this score back would take a monumental effort.

The Students persevered for the remainder of the half. University received their penalty try four minutes from the end with a collapsed maul from a driving five metre line out. 20-18 was the scoreline but University could not squeeze a last minute victory in the final minutes. A bonus point was achieved but not the holy grail.

Next week the club enjoys a much needed bye for the Kings long weekend holiday. Time for the players to recharge and recalibrate for the latter half of the season.

The following week of 15 June University will clash with Eastwood at their T.G.Millner base.

*Rusticate – To settle in the country and live a rural life.

*Steve McQueen- American actor referred to as The King of Cool