Sydney University vs Parramatta
By Bruce’China’ Lin
The postponed fixture against Parramatta was eventually played last Tuesday evening under cool clear conditions. The SUFG was bathed in floodlights as players finished their lectures, work commitments and family duties to don their jerseys.
Only four minutes had elapsed when University flanker Siaosi Halaifonua scored in the northern corner following rapid passing along the backline for a 7-0 score!
University were spreading the ball and a solid scrum was the next to accrue points at the half way mark. A five metre scrum to the Students was repeatedly thwarted by the Two Blues until the referee was committed to raising his arm under the uprights for a penalty try. 14-0 was quickly increased to 21-0 when flanker Rohan O’Regan was pushed over the line like a keg of O’Hara’s Irish Wheat.
University appeared confident and this was further reinforced in the next try which raised the body temperatures of the small but vocal crowd.
The ball was punted into the University half and was received by the dashing winger Tom Kingston. Kingston then applied some bewildering pace and changes in line completely bamboozling the Parramatta defenders. The defence was splintered and Kingston drew the defence for a try by halfback Theo Strang. University were now 28-0 but Parramatta were pugnacious enough to draw a try right on halftime. 28-5 was the score and it was hoped that University in the second half would continue their positive attack.
Unfortunately the second half was not one of the Students most scintillating 40 minutes. Parramatta half back Wessels scored an early try through a loose line out. Scores were 28-12 and this remained for the next 34 minutes. Watching grass grow or watching paint dry are traditional clichés. But Like Watching Days of our Lives could be added to Wikipedia. University were uncharacteristically dropping ball and turning over possession as the Two Blues bustled the Students . Frustration was etched into the faces of the University players and the crowd.
Captain Jake Wainwright was the dambuster when attacking inside the five metre area allowed him to crash over for a converted try. In the final minute Parramatta were desperately trying to attack from outside their goal line. In their desperation a wild radical pass was thrown to the far flanks. The ball failed to reach its recipient and was regathered by looming breakaway Hamish Dunbar. Dunbar graciously regathered the ball to score with the Parramatta coach in the stand tearing the remaining follicles out of his scalp. A somewhat flattering ending but a win of 42-15 is always welcome.
With an upcoming bye this weekend the club will regroup for 24 June. We once again do battle with the West Harbour Pirates on Services Day where a few surprises for the crowd will be at the SUFG.