Sydney University vs Penrith
By Bruce’China’ Lin
Travelling to the foot of the mountains University defeated Penrith, by 52-21. But the minnows of the west never threw in the towel and scored a particularly well engineered try in the second half.
The game was no more than three minutes old when the Students scored their first try. Pressing the Emus inside their five metre area a clearing kick was charged down by second rower Callum McIntosh who forced the ball over the line.
With this entrée the main courses soon arrived. In his dangerous position of right wing, Greg Jeloudev asserted his presence. Attacking down the eastern blind side Jeloudev received the last pass and applied his explosive speed down the touchline to score in the corner.
With barely a moment to blow dry his hair, Matthew Hood was on the field to replace five eighth Ben Hughes who succumbed to a hamstring twinge early in the half. With a reshuffle of the backline Hood also blessed with explosive speed, scored along with hooker Folau Fainga’a after backing up new five eighth Christian Kagiassis’s splitting of the defences.
Just short of the break University were up 26-0 but the Emus persevered and it soon paid off. Camped inside the University 22 metre zone the Emus were applying a new version of an emu bob with ferocious picks and drives.
This disciplined play a legacy of their captain/coach Liam Winton’s stint at University, resulted in a converted try under the posts. University continued to attack right to the half time break. Kagiassis, University’s Mr Versatility- whether winger, fullback or five eighth, backed himself and ran through for a try right on halftime for a scoreline of 33-7. The referee blew half time and both teams formed on field huddles to debrief and regroup for the next forty minutes.
The Students could not rest on their laurels and continued their all out attack after the break. Winger Matt Narracott scored the first try of the second half through his persistence. Receiving a ball the pocket rocket grubbered ahead, regathered whilst crawling and off balanced, took off again to score. The scoreboard was in overdrive as soon after University’s talisman centre Tom Carter scored his 100th first Grade try when he took a crash ball through the centres. Scoreline was 45-7 and the small crowd were anticipating an avalanche of tries to come.
But this did not eventuate. Penrith countered with an excellent try through a set move. Using the winger to run at an angle, the Students defensive line was split . With the conversion 45-14 was showing on the scoreboard. University then lapsed into a phase where they were not asserting themselves. Their final try was scored by the now exhausted Matthew Hood after good lead up by replacement winger James Kane.
Kane’s supporting play was all the more significant considering circumstances beforehand. The fullback saw an opportunity to fast track his post match rehabilitation and made the short trek to the nearby Wet n Wild’s wave pool at Eastern Creek. Before he could put his rashie top on Kane received the call from the University coaches to make a U turn along the M4 and return.
University allowed Penrith to score another converted try late in the game for the final scoreline of 52-21.
University coaches could be satisfied with the first half effort. But a relaxed second half performance would be ill advised next week against the bruising Warringah Rats. Next week’s home game will be a Super Saturday featuring all club teams at University before the clubs legendary annual ladies day.