Map reference 432 E 15 may be unfamiliar to the average Sydneysider. But the rugby fraternity will immediately recognise this to be Forshaw Park – Southern Districts fortress. A visa is almost required when venturing into The Shire, Gods Country or for those outside of post code 2232.…Middle Earth!
The Students came away with a valuable win in first grade by 40-24. This was a game where the colour yellow was brought out of the referees pocket on more than one occasion with some misdemeanours displayed by personnel from both teams.
The early stages of the first half was a penalty duel between South’s five eighth Volavola and University’s second rower Byron Hodge. Hodge was able to squeeze 6 points after 12 minutes of the half before returning halfback Jake Gordon took advantage of a Rebels mistake.
The Rebels backs were attacking towards the southern end when a wayward no look pass was thrown over a shoulder. The ball was gleefully received by Gordon who darted through a gap. Gordon dashed downfield in a 45 metre run being pursued by the desperate South’s cover defence before scoring. The conversion was unsuccessful but University were in double figures by 11-3. Hodge’s kicking prowess came to the fore again with two further penalties.
University were growing in confidence and the backline were commencing to throw the ball about. Five eighth Stuart Dunbar was getting the backline moving for centres the two Jim’s – McMahon & Stewart to cut inroads into South’s territory. University worked for field position inside the South’s quarter and shifted the ball quickly to the right after a line out. Winger big Mark O’Dare received the final pass to gallop over in the corner to increase the University lead to 24-3 at half time.
University brings out the colourful crowds at Sydney rugby grounds and Forshaw Park was no exception. A ladies day was in full swing along the western corner and there was bling everywhere! Off duty Police Sergeant Cheryl and her friend Kerrie were taking in the atmosphere while under the marquee a new reality show The Real Housewives of Lilli Pilli was being filmed.
However the marquee acoustics made the vocalists singers lyrics incoherent. If only we could hear those tunes from yesteryear such as Englebert Humperdinck’s – Quando,Quando,Quando or Wayne Newton’s classic tearjerker Danke Schoen.
Stung by their flat first half display, South’s drew first blood in the second half. Attacking inside the University 22 metre area. The Rebels were rucking and mauling towards the Students tryline. Exploiting a loosely marked University ruck, halfback Roos dummied and darted to the side of a ruck to score a converted try for a 27-10 scoreline.
A long range penalty shot from Hodge increased University’s lead to 30-10. University continued to attack and in his best performance to date, whippet like fullback Jack Macklin scored next. Toeing through a loose South’s ball, Macklin ran shoulder to shoulder with a pod of South’ defenders. Receiving one of those lucky ball bounces Macklin scooted away to score. Scores were 37-10 but South’s mounted a mini comeback with two quick tries whilst University had a player sin binned. Hodge’s radar like boot increased the score to 40-24 before the referee blew the final whistle.
A solid win by University but with substantial improvement still to come.
In another first for the University club, across the Tasman the Waratahs recorded a 29-24 victory over the previously unbeaten Hurricanes. All points were scored by University players!