Sydney University



By Bruce ‘China’ Lin

16 March 2024

The 2024 season is imminent and the old T.G. Millner Field last Saturday hosted the Students against old rivals Eastwood.

With games still ensconced at Marsfield for the time being a microcosm of history lies there. A ground complete with its rusty old timber and metal stand a 1960’s style clubhouse and leaky dressing rooms the Students made a statement. A red hot victory of 40-19 was attained. It was the manner of the victory which raised eyebrows.

With a smattering of  new and returning faces the Students piled on the points. The pre season focus on quick attack was evident with the ball spun along the backline at every opportunity. The forwards were additionally focused on dominating every scrum. Big tighthead Brad Amituanai was splitting his opponent in two in addition to tackling anything resembling a blue and white jersey.

First grade debutant second rower Isaac Rumble was in the thick of every play, ruck and maul. A young lad to watch! The exhuberance of last year’s second grade colt to stand up to the big boys in first grade even consigned the Ivan Drago* clone to ten minutes in the sin bin to quell his temperament.

The backline was something to behold. Veteran halfback the cool Theo Strang combined with that sublime silky sea sparrow Samuel Bignold at five eighth to send the backline into orbit. Eddie Poolman at centre would straighten play. Then the ball was fired to the wings with overheads and cut outs allowing new winger the nuggety Kiwi Josh Calvert to rain havoc down the flanks. University were ahead three tries to one at halftime.

Halftime sounded and the Students were in a comfortable position. But there was no flibbertigibbet* address by the coaching staff. The objective was to continue attacking and running Eastwood off their little trotters. They did such an act. Eastwood could barely extricate themselves from their own quarter. University were applying a slow torture  with their rapid fire play extinguishing any attack from Eastwood.

Skipper for the day Ciaran Loh resembled a giant Panda mummy with bandages hanging off his head. Loh’s pack was shredding Eastwood of any continuity. Eastwood scored a few consolation tries to end the game 40-19. A good start for the Students with the club coaches rotating as many players as possible for experience.

Next Saturday we do battle at Bellevue Hill against Eastern Suburbs another club with a strong rivalry with University.

*Ivan Drago – Heavy weight boxing character portrayed by Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren in Rocky 3 movie.

*Flibbbertigibbet a person who talks a lot or is silly.