There is nothing better than playing at the historic North Sydney Oval on a crisp sunny winter Saturday. It is equally pleasing when the game is coupled with a University victory of 39-19 over a stoic Northern Suburbs.
Norths actually led at various stages of the first half through some clever tries. However the relentless high tempo play of the Students produced dividends. Once again when the ball was passed to speedster winger Henry Clunies-Ross University’s first try was scored. University were trailing 14-5 but the dyke was about to burst.
Receiving a ball from a North’s clearing kick Clunies-Ross commenced to burst from the blocks. This week you could say Englebert Humperdinck and Clunies-Ross would still score before the last syllable. You would expect the young winger to just run hard and score but the ball was passed back inside to a supporting breakaway in James Nonu-Carling scoring near the Moreton Bay fig tree. Those countless hours at mid week training saw that coach Nobby Malone’s set move code named ‘two dad’s’ was executed to perfection!
University’s power plays continued with tries on either side of half time to the other speedster James Dargaville. North’s were unable to thwart the discipline shown by the Students forwards. Possession was secured and the ball was recycled immaculately for the backs to use. The return of Waratah players McCutheon, Latu and Dave Dennis from their Super15 sabbaticals to be alongside their mates was clearly evident.
Playing well above his weight fullback Jack Macklin scored two tries through supporting his teammates. The last try was his best as he was the final recipient of a series of classic catch and passes through the backline.
The final quarter of the game was somewhat dour as there was limited free flowing passages detracting from the previous enterprise shown at this picturesque ground. The final score was 39-19 but the trademark of University was about to continue across the Harbour bridge at Moore Park.
The third test against the touring French team at the Sydney Football Stadium was of significance to the University club. Up to seven University players at various stages received Wallaby caps in the 39-13 victory.
The best debut was undoubtedly from big Will Skelton on his test debut when he applied his Thee Thy Tho Thumb to trample and smash his way through a French defence for a try. Congratulations to Will and all the other University players most of whom cut their teeth in colts for this victory.