Sydney University


Western Sydney Two Blues

22 April 2023

By Bruce ‘China’ Lin

The idiom-it comes in three’s was true last Saturday. At the impressive Eric Tweedale stadium University was soundly defeated 33-17 by the Western Sydney Two Blues, a lower grade Assistant Referee broke down and the Australian icon Barry Humphries passed away.

However, the business of rugby was the priority that afternoon. The Two Blues on this special Anzac day fixture applied a style of Polynesian rugby in the second half. The Students could not counter this flair which saw the Two Blues pile on nineteen points in the second half.

Assisted with a big pack, the Two Blues were pressing the University line early on. Their perseverance paid off when in only the third minute a series of picks and drives saw them crash over  for a converted try. University took another three minutes to seek redemption. A five-metre maul was set and the human rumble was gathering pace to crash over for a five pointer.

Sixteen minutes into the half and University were once again in the red zone. The ball was sent open by halfback Smith. Some accurate passing saw the ball passed back inside. The ball was received by the workhorse second rower Luke Ratcliff. Reprising a scene from Hollywood hit Forrest Gump, Ratcliff ran and continued running with high knees crashing over with arms and legs enveloping him. Unfortunately, in the process the moustachioed second rower was injured and had to be replaced.

The Two Blues continued their onslaught camped inside the University twenty-two metre zone. Blessed with speedy backs with silken passing skills, the play was shifted to the open. University stood off and were short on defenders allowing a try to the Two Blues winger. University was behind 14-12 and this played out till the end of the first half.

The Two Blues continued their rampage in the second half. Once on a roll University could not come back. Playing catchup with the clock winding down causes errors and this was the case for the Students. A University sin binning also exacerbated the angst. With the Two Blues spreading the ball to exploit the overlap at every opportunity the mission ahead for University was daunting.

University could only manage a try to winger Sepesa Loga-Tarogi after the ball was spread wide. The Two Blues, however, continued their try fest. A distinctive Polynesian brand of rugby was being applied where the ball was kept alive and unstructured play was rare. University just had no counter to this ad lib play and were defeated by the Two Blues.

In years gone by the former Parramatta would be punished by opposition teams. During the height of Covid the club was lucky to survive and the future looked dour. But full marks to them as today they are proof of a metamorphis ,and undoubtedly * xerophytic.

For University things do not get any easier. Next week at home we take on our traditional nemesis Randwick.


*Xerophytic: Adapted to survive,drought