Sydney University squared off against our nearest geographic neighbours the West Harbour Pirates last Saturday at Camperdown. Besides a brief moment in the first half where the Pirates led University, University went into overdrive during the second half to record a 50-29 victory.

The Students dominated from the whistle with inside Ben Hughes mesmerising the Pirates defence with deceptive pace and deft footwork. University were unlucky not to score from the start but soon found their mojo with a deliberate blind side rush shocking Wests to go on the backfoot. Winger James Armstrong scored in the corner for a converted try.

Soon after debutant winger Angus Bell crossed over again as a result of rapid fire passing to the flanks. University were leading 14-0 but the tide changed with a blink of the eye when a penalty and tries from capitalising on University mistakes had the Pirates leading 17-14.

Redemption was achieved when a five metre rolling maul that moving force of hands and arms gripping upon epidermis and lycra. This mass confronting another moving force inching towards the tryline would make physicists Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein if their lives ever crossed throw a barbecue in awe of the phenomenon. Hooker Pat O’Doherty burrowing through the maul just like foraging for Derry peat back in the Emerald Isle saw the Students back in the lead at 21-17 with a converted try.

University were starting to look dominant. The Students moment of tintinnabulation* with the bonus point fourth try scored in the corner. That fleet footed open side breakaway from the plains of the Central West- Jack McCalman crashed over. 26-17 was the halftime score. Hardly a margin to be chuffed about but enough to be optimistic for the second stanza.

The initial period of the second half was a contrast from the first as play was of a stop start nature.  But this momentary leave without pay was erased when outside centre Henry Clunies-Ross burst through a gap. Linking with Angus Bell the winger literally tip toed down a minute passage along the grandstand touchline to score an excellent try.

Wests responded with a penalty but University continued with another try by the deceptive fullback Tim Clements. Wests again scored a quick try down a loosely marked blindside but University continued with the points. Breakaway Hamish Dunbar was the last person to pick and drive for a try. Another try ended the day’s play and University came out victors on the annual White Ribbon Day.

Next week University travel to Woollahra Oval against Eastern Suburbs.


*Tintinnabulation a ringing or tinkling of bells