Sydney University vs Gordon
By Bruce’China’ Lin

The smiles were back on the faces of the University players and supporters last Saturday at the SUFG (No.2 Oval). After a hard last three weeks the Students defeated a stubborn Gordon 47-21.

The theme of the day on a glorious sun bathed afternoon was Family Day. However perhaps it should have been renamed ‘lentem intercipias’ as three tries were scored through the dreaded intercept – two to Gordon and one to the Students.

Two minutes had only elapsed when the ball was spread open inside the Gordon half. That wily old fox centre Tom Carter saw a gap and made a midfield bust. Shuffling the ball to his support breakaway Hamish Dunbar, Dunbar motored towards the tryline but unselfishly said, “Ah Greggie the wee try’s yours”and passed to the fast finishing winger Greg Jeloudev who scored next to  the posts. With the conversion a 7-0 lead was accrued so early in the game.

University’s backline looked cohesive and the scrum was strong. Just when you thought these elements were the hallmarks for a great afternoon, a speedy Gordon winger anticipated a pass and raced downfield for an easy try. Scores oscillated  as University hit back. Showing his dangerous running skills honed through international sevens rugby,  Greg Jeloudev scored again. From a quick lineout  the ball was spread to the open. Jeloudev used great acceleration through a gap to score a runaway try in the corner to have University just trailing 14-12.

When their dominant scrum secured a penalty try, the perfect ending was set before the half time break with a lead of 19-14. But like a late night commercial, there was more…!

Right on the half time bell there was a version of world championship wrestling  between both teams. Things had settled down when a rush of blood reached the Gordon number seven. The breakaways brinkmanship caused the melee to reignite. The subsequent sin binning of the player ended the first half. A much better performance by the Students but plenty of room to raise their effort for the second half battle.

On such a sparkling Saturday afternoon there was a nice feeling around the ground. A craft beer tent was operating. A jumping castle occupied the minors while in the grandstand the queue was four deep for Luke Mitchell’s hot tasty food. Who could resist the smells of Sydney rugby’s best chicken schnitzel rolls. There are whispers that Luke will soon introduce his version of paddock to plate food his kokoretsi (lamb and goat  seasoned offal) scrumptious!

The second half started with a penalty touch finder owing to the late first half sin binning.  Some phases later saw Tom Carter also extract the second intercept to race down field for a try. Following the conversion by winger Kagiassis, University had a 26-14 lead which quickly changed to 33-14 through another runaway Jeloudev try ensuring his hat trick for the day. University were well and truly looking sharper than the dear leader Kim Jong-un’s haircut! Gordon soon after scored the third and final intercept by the same winger in the first half.

University were in control and you could see the big Gordon side were tiring through the strong University defence shutting them down. University were keeping the ball alive and the next try was a gem. Targeting a narrow channel down the blind side University backs were short passing and backing each other. Speedy winger Matt Narracott scooted down the touchline and later gave a homecoming pass to cameo halfback Jake Gordon back from the Waratahs who scored a converted try.

University refused to cruise for the remainder of the game and ended the 80 minutes with a classic rolling maul try from a lineout scored by returning backrower Rohan O’Regan for the final score of 47-21.

Within the post game huddle everyone was focused on the positives which were achieved today.  Coach Tim Davidson was particularly pleased with the sides defence, “We showed ability under pressure and came back,” said Davidson.

Next week University will trek to the foot of the Blue Mountains when we play those tough guys from the Penrith Emus.