The return to The Birthplace of the Penrith Emus last Saturday was played fortunately minus a forecast deluge. This would have been the last thing needed where the game and our everyday lives are being affected by the global constipation of the Coronavirus.
University defeated the Emus 41-3 but there were moments throughout the game where the Emus were orchestrating good play only to see it break down. One thing that stood out was the physicality of the Emus with some ferocious hits applied.
University’s tried and trusted game plan of fast recycling was well applied. After only two minutes a sequence of rapid passing to the left saw winger James Kane score a converted try. Penrith soon after kicked a penalty goal but unfortunately that was their only points for the afternoon.
Some further tries were scored by winger James Armstrong set up by The Equalizer of the Shute Shield, breakaway Nick Champion de Crespigny. When debut hooker young Tim Lilomaiava scored from a rolling maul his proud mother Juliana could be heard from Camperdown to Samoa with her elation!
Score line was 17-3 at halftime and University went into the sheds at the break focused to not let their foot off the accelerator for the second half.
Running towards Parramatta Road University were up in the Penrith line fast disrupting any flow. Penrith were throwing 50/50 passes and one such speculative pass was gladly intercepted by inside centre Will McDonnell. Just like those days running to the Maitland Street Narrabri IGA to get his mother Maria’s bread, milk and eggs, Willo pinned his ears back and darted like a northern tablelands ferret downfield.
McDonnell was stopped inside the twenty two area where some hot potato recycling resulted in winger James Armstrong scoring another try. Scores were 24-3 and University were now escalating their control over the game.
University were pinning Penrith inside their quarter and a penalty was capitalised by that calculating scheming half back Banjo Travers. With a blink of an eye Travers tapped the ball and darted through some loose defence to score alongside the posts. The James Kane conversion brought the winger the achievement of notching 500 1st Grade points.
Penrith were bruised and battered but never gave up and were unlucky not to score. Their big hits never abated and Will McDonnell was testament to a jaw rattling front on hit. Some further tries by Nick Champion De Crespigny and the match ended at 41-3.
Penrith will undoubtedly improve and they are warmly welcomed back to the Shute Shield.
Next week the Students will once again lock horns with their abrasive nemesis the Southern District Rebels at University.