The year may be 2018 but last Saturdays fixture against Parramatta was back to a bygone era played at that old suburban rugby league battle ground Lidcombe Oval. A ground steeped in rugby league history where legendary players such as Raudonikis, Dorahy ,Donnelly and then innovator coach Roy Masters had almighty battles spilling blood and Raudonikis’ case his teeth on the turf.
But on this cold but sunny Saturday, University overcame a stubborn Two Blues to emerge victors by 29-8.
The game was particularly dour. It had the excitement of watching a YouTube video of how to milk a Himalayan Yak. Sweeping ball movements were limited. When they did arrive two tries were scored to University’s winger Eddy King and hooker Tom Horton in the south western corner for a 10-0 scoreline. That was the entire points scored for the first half.
University were dominating the set pieces and were recycling consistently. But somehow a knock on, forward pass, crooked throw or a good tackle stopped continuity. A frustrating half to say the least.
The afternoon was becoming cold. The setting western sun was bathing the playing field in a glow. You could notice construction cranes with the Mehager name draping the horizon signifying the former Deputy Mayor of Auburn Salim Mehager who now makes number plates in a Corrections institution.
The second half was back to the drawing board for University. Parramatta was not gaining field position but they were also thwarting the Students to mount anything meaningful. A lucky five metre scrum did allow University to unleash their set piece for a penalty try. 17-0 was the score and a further try through some clever backing up aroused the crowds attention that just maybe University were about to unleash.
But this wish failed to materialise. The match was extremely stop start with little flowing passages. Parramatta kicked a penalty and scored a try to reflect a 22-8 score. This probably would have been the final score but five eighth Stuart Dunbar anticipated a ball thrown in the Parramatta quarter to intercept and score under the posts for a final score of 29-8.
A valuable bonus point victory to say the least but not ranked as one of the classic battles.
A bye next week and the week after University trek to the Shire for a battle with those abrasive Southern District Rebels at Forshaw Park Sylvania Waters.
Try’s: T. Horton (1), T. Strang (1), S. Dunbar (1), E. King (1)
Conversions: S. Dunbar (1)