University continued its stellar start to the season with a powerful 48-13 victory over the Manly Marlins at Camperdown last Saturday.
Although Manly were pressuring University from the outset this was short lived. Showing immense foresight, University five eighth Connor O’Shea saw the Manly defence right up exposing a barren last line of defence. Saying a quick Go raibh maith agat in his second language Gaelic, O’Shea chipped over the top for it to be regathered. The ball was then passed through the hands to the supporting speedster winger, Eddy King scoring in the corner.
With the cobwebs now dusted off, University commenced to flex their dominance. Fullback Tim Clements, a lovely young fellow asserted his silken running skills busting Manly through the middle. Some intense recycling by University ended in returning number eight, Mitch Whiteley back up and score. University were ahead 12-0. Manly posted two penalties through their sharpshooting five eighth Harley Attwater to trail 12-6 mid way through the half.
But University were not content in coasting, spreading the ball wide at every opportunity allowing the speed of their backs to punish Manly. Winger, King was prominent and right on halftime half-back Banjo Travers accelerated from a scrum to outrun the defence to score. Half time scores were 22-6, a solid first half effort by the Students.
Manly must have felt they had watched Bill Murray’s 1993 movie Groundhog Day as after only two minutes into the second half hooker, Declan Moore scored following a five-metre lineout. Moore is continuing his domination of world rugby record books.
There was no stopping of the Students points despite Manly scoring. Soon the scoreboard was showing 34-13 including another try to Moore. Manly valiantly attempted to attack only to see their efforts subside with a loose pass pounced on by fullback Clements who ran sixty metres to score untouched.
Connor O’Shea applied a touch of Riverdance jig to dance around a tired Marlins defence to score down the Parramatta road end to round out the game. Manly’s pain ended with the final score of 48-13.
The astro turf will be set alight next week when University play Eastern Suburbs away at Bellevue Hill.