Western Sydney Two Blues.
8 July 2023
By Bruce ‘China’ Lin
The heartache continued for University with a converted try after a disastrous turnover at virtually fulltime last Saturday at University. The Two Blues defeated University 38-31 to maintain their mantle as giant killers of the Shute Shield.
The game was only two minutes old when an attack in the quarter of University allowed a deep incursion by the Two Blues. Some suspect defence saw their winger Vikena bounce spin and plant the ball over the line for a converted try.
University recomposed themselves and were mounting some continuity when disaster struck again. From a lineout the ball was shunted to the open but anticipating the ball was their halfback Seu Seu who scored the easiest of try’s. University were stung now down 14-0 and needed to recalibrate their mission quick smart.
It took twenty five minutes for University to restore some faith into their supporters. Pounding the Two Blues line the ball was shifted to the grandstand touch . Five eighth Theo Strang dummied and was able to muscle his way over for a converted try. Five minutes before the break the Two Blues once again proceeded to inch their way towards the University line. A ruck indiscretion gave Parramatta an extended lead with a penalty. At halftime University received their own penalty in front of the posts . With the penalty and all points so far accrued by Theo Strang University were chasing the Two Blues 17-10.
The wind was prodigious and playing havoc with handling. If University were to mount a decent second half campaign they would need to take advantage of this succinctly .
University had the perfect advantage during the second half to clobber the Two Blues into the Veterinary School stables. Three Two Blues players were sin binned for ruck and maul infringements. With a deficit in players their captain the *ursine giant centre Nemani Nadolo joined their scrum to establish some resemblance of a platform. But alas the efficient University eight were steamrolling the Two Blues causing a penalty try to be awarded. Scores were now even at 17-17.
But the unorthodox play of the Two Blues once again came to the surface after a ruck infringement inside the University quarter. Their halfback Seu Seu this time took a quick tap and hoodwinked the Students and bounced over for a try.
University never showed the white flag and a charge down of a kick by half back Henry Robertson once again gave University parity with scores now 24-24.
In years gone by the old Parramatta would have difficulty mounting a comeback. But the rejuvenated Two Blues just kept plugging away. Some rucking into the University line saw a somewhat easy barge over try scored. Again the scoreline was a converted try difference at 31-24.
University needed to stage a backs to the wall comeback . That glimmer of hope came when the talismanic icon outside centre Henry Clunies-Ross received a ball out to the open and split the defence to score a converted try.
31-31 was the score and both sides continued to hammer each other till the death. University were awarded a penalty with less than two minutes left on the game clock. The ensuing lineout to University was inexplicably mistimed allowing the Two Blues to mount an attack just out from the University line. A dart down the blindside coupled with some loose tackling saw a nightmare unfold with a try by the Two Blues. Instead of realistically settling on a draw University were facing defeat at 38-31. Some surprising extra time may have delivered University the Hollywood miracle ending. But catchup always has a high incidence of mistakes and the ball came spewing out of a ruck to once again see University defeated by the unorthodox Two Blues.
Next week is a road trip to the steel city of Newcastle versus the Hunter Wildfires. Again a hard game but vital for University’s chances to gain a semi final berth.
*Ursine- like a bear