University continued where they left off last week with white hot play at the SUFG against the Pirates of West Harbour. Intense targeting of the blind side in only the third minute gave bullocking Hooker Declan Moore, a converted try after receiving a delicate popped ball. Moore soon after continued his rampage through a lethal rolling maul following a lineout. University were ahead 14-3 after ten minutes.
The Students were clearly playing a rapid brand of rugby. The ball was being spread across the width of the ground while simultaneously the defence was moving up shutting down the opposition. Fluid hands through the backline saw fullback Tim Clements inject himself like a Covid-19 jab skewering the cover defence to score.
The intensity never diminished with five-eighth Ben Hughes, backing up halfback, Banjo Travers inside the Pirates quarter to score and increase the score to 28-3. The first half ended with that man Moore again. To the encouragement of his teammates who were calling him by his trinomial nom de guerre Athabascae* by notching his hat-trick after an intense phase or rucking near the goal line. 33-3 was the halftime score line as the University players adjourned to the dressing rooms to plot their game plan for the second half.
University and West Harbour once again contested for the White Ribbon Cup, which was established in 2011. Both clubs are steadfast in their disdain towards domestic violence and mysoginistic behaviour towards women which unfortunately still pervades in society today.
Following a refreshing rehydration of Cottees lime coolade with a twist of lemon, University resumed the second half focused on maintaining continuity and shutting down the Pirates. Winger, Eddy King executed a deft chip over the top. The regathering was instead left to a shadowing Tim Clements who at speed raced downfield for another converted try. The lead was 40-3. Down but not done the swashbuckling Pirates persevered also spreading the ball wide for two good tries. Scoreline was 40-15 but for University Captain, Jack McCalman Molong’s favourite whip cracker, another converted try through sustained picking and driving was required. Two rolling maul try’s one an audacious 22 metre variety and another by replacement hooker who has a photo of the Blarney Stone on his bedside table, Pat O’Doherty, ended the days play.
Round two had been acquitted and its clear University play a fast style in attack and defence. Veteran defence coach Phil Blake is finetuning the team perfectly to shut down oppositions time and space.
There was a hive of activity in the dressing rooms afterwards. An impromptu speech and recognition of a club stalwart by Jack McCalman brought laughter and tears of joy. However, there was a serious aspect focused on the road trip to Mudgee next Saturday against arch-rivals Eastwood.
Outside centre, Henry Clunies-Ross an aspiring standup comic featuring in pubs along King Street, Newtown delivered a lighthearted synopsis of the day’s play. ‘The rugby today gave us a good win. But it was also hard as it did stop Eddie Poolman’s modelling career after he got a smack in his snoz.’
*Athabascae– American bison