Sydney University vs West Harbour   

Round 3 of the 2018 Shute Shield saw Sydney University square off against the unpredictable West Harbour Pirates at the SUFG (No.2 Oval). The day also marked the annual White Ribbon Cup recognising the abhorrence towards domestic violence against women. This year the Students won back the cup with a dramatic 42-30 victory.

University’s lightning fast backline continued where they left off with an incredible five pointer after five minutes. Fullback, Tim Clements regathered his own Garryowen kick down the Western Avenue touchline and burst downfield running hard like a Subaru WRX. Clements drew the defence and passed inside to his supporting winger, Guy Porter who cruised like a Porsche 911 to touch down.

But the big sweaty forwards were just as dominant. Protein enriched by consuming club sponsor Vic’s Meats sirloin steak with added carbs from Ralph’s Cafe, the dominant Students pack splintered the Pirates pack and were awarded a penalty try.

Momentum favoured The Students. Ball movements were being executed fast and furiously. Another try was scored after a chip and chase by outside centre, Harry Potter who ran in under the posts. Soon the Students were enjoying a lead of 21-3.

To their credit, Wests did not duck for cover and scored a cheeky try from a loose lineout. A later penalty kick saw both sides go to the halftime break with University leading 21-13.

A half time with University starting at a bullet like pace but with a grafting comeback by the Pirates, an intriguing battle lay ahead for the second half.   

The White Ribbon Cup also coincided with Services Day and as usual the boys and girls in blue were in the ground. The Public Order and Riot Squad plus the Mounted Unit were extolling the virtues of good behaviour, respect to elders and eating vegetables to the many children approaching them.

University started the second half with further woes towards the Pirates. A turnover saw the ginger nugget inside centre, Will McDonnell combine with his partner Potter to score another converted try. Scores were 28-13.

But University then slipped into a phase of anti-social behaviour which was audacious considering the police personnel on hand. At various stages three University players were relegated to the sin bin for indiscretions. The numerical advantage to Wests eventually saw them score cheap easy points. When University hooker, Tolu Latu was sin binned for the second time which was later converted to a red card, University were in the most precarious of situations. There was only five points difference in scores and Wests were giving the ball plenty of air to land the killer blow.

Attacking just inside their half the ball was swung wide by the Pirates with a minute to go. Repel boarders was the cry from Students Captain, Rohan O’Regan to rally his team. However, anticipating the Pirates attack was Will McDonnell fresh from his ten minutes of community service. As the ball was passed through the Pirates midfield McDonnell intercepted a wide ball. This came second nature to young Will likening  to his days on the family farm when his father Peter would request him to catch a frisky lamb from the paddock for the Sunday roast.  McDonnell dashed towards the line untouched whilst fifteen Pirates and their bevy of supporters muttered ‘Oh fiddlesticks…!’ as the bell sounded with final scores of 42-30. A dramatic ending to a game that featured peaks and troughs. University had secured the White Ribbon Cup on Services’ Day.  

Next week University supporters are reminded to buff their R.M.Williams boots as we do battle with the Norths Shoremen at Eridge Park Bowral for our annual Country Round.

Try – Will McDonnell (2), Guy Porter, Harry Potter, Penalty Try (2)
Conversion – James Kane (4)