University’s recent run of good form came back to reality last Saturday. University suffered a disappointing and frustrating loss to the Western Sydney Two Blues by 27-19.
Like a roly poly kid with the keys to the lolly shop, the Two Blues savoured every opportunity to frustrate and stifle the University attack. It worked with constant stoppages before set pieces characterising the first half.
Regardless, the Two Blues took their opportunities and the Students could not counter their tactics effectively.
The Two Blues after six minutes engineered their first try under the posts when a lineout ball was spread wide allowing a crash ball through the middle for a converted try.
University took another five minutes to settle down until their trademark twenty-two metre area rucking started to flow. A scrum was later set at five metres and a dominant Students scrum forced a penalty try to be awarded. The parity in scorelines was short lived. The Two Blues were bustling University into errors. A loose ball was fumbled inside University territory and regathered by the Two Blues to score under the posts. University were under no illusions that the men from the West were hell bent in taking up the challenge.
Right-on half-time University came back to level 14-14 with try from a five metre lineout. Going into halftime there was not the same vibe in University’s play of previous weeks. Western Sydney were stifling the Students play and University could not mount any meaningful continuity.
Western Sydney took points at any opportunity. Fifteen minutes into the second half they took three points for a penalty. Then in the sixtieth minute they produced a set move off a five metre lineout down the short side which bamboozled University. The conversion laid a nice buffer of 24-14
University for the remainder of the half were playing catchup. Passes were dropped, tackles missed and penalties given. The remainder of the half was like being locked in a room listening to Barry Manilow’s 1974 song Mandy. Frustrating beyond belief!
Another rolling maul try scored by hooker Ciaran Loh late in the half gave the Students a glimmer of hope. But Western Sydney took their opportunities and enjoyed another penalty to increase their lead to 27-19 making it that much harder for University to bridge the gap.
University attempted to play some adlib rugby after the bell to achieve a bonus point but to no avail. The men from the west outmuscled and outfoxed the Students. Their first win against University in forty two occasions since 1998. Congratulations to the Two Blues may you continue your renaissance.
Next week another battle looms when we take on The Shoremen at North Sydney Oval.
Tries: Penalty Try, Ciaran Loh, Mitch Whiteley
Conversions: Jude Gibb