Sydney University vs Manly    

Sydney’s recent run of magnificent weather soon ended last Saturday. Icy, windy and sometimes wet conditions were the elements facing University and Manly at the SUFG.

Despite the bleek afternoon, University’s performance was a shining light with their eight try defeat of the Manly Marlins.

Manly actually started strongly pressuring University during the opening minutes. A penalty was awarded to Manly for them to enjoy a brief 3-0 lead. However this moment was quickly extinguished. University once again commenced to apply their high speed brand of rugby. Relentless recycling saw the Marlins pinned inside their quarter. The Marlins could not stem the blue and gold pressure as five eighth Daniel Poletto later dived over for a converted try lead of 7-3.

From then on it was basically all University. The young University fifteen were giving the ball ample width. Performing death defying acts of spreading the ball from any position on the field, tries were coming thick and fast.   Flanker Brad Wilkin scored the next try after outside centre Guy Porter regathered, surged downfield for the ball to be spread wide for the try. Soon after winger James Kane continued his good form with a dart down an exposed blind side for another five points. 19-6 was the halftime score and University were looking particularly strong going into the break.

Despite the arctic weather it was a grand day for the club. The visiting ladies were having a good time sipping bubbly and listening to the tunes from the pink 1969 Lincoln Continental. The grandstand crowd were treated to an amazing feat. Will Ridley the club’s third grade prop resembled yesteryears World Championship wrestler attired in a pair of striped speedos ten sizes too small for him. As a potential Boost Juice franchisee Ridley crushed and mulched a whole watermelon between his prodigious vastus medialis and upside down! You could hear the collective “Ooh and ahh and I hope he showered’ coming from the Ladies Day marquee after they witnessed this act warranting a PG rating.

Following the half time entertainment the business of rugby continued. Manly had no answer to the suffocation of their play by University. As an added bonus to the Ladies Day cover charge, University exhibited their lethal set piece scrum. Repeated scrums were set and reset by University in the scoreboard corner.  Like being subjected to repeats of listening to Barry Manilow’s Oh Mandy, the Marlin pack were being exhausted. Another backpedalling scrum saw the ball passed across the backline for fullback Tim Clements to break free and score.

Zig zagging ball movement sequences were now commonplace. One flurry of passes culminated in that point scoring machine, that artist of the 52” inch Samsung android screen James Kane scoring in the scoreboard corner.

Further tries were scored where the lead up was done by the forwards. Flanker Nick Champion de Crespigny XX busted downfield having his nose rearranged for hooker Tolu Latu to score. The final try was reserved for returning Waratah prop Paddy Ryan.  Ryan collected a ball in the open and there was minimal defence facing him. Deciding to test the water Ryan thundered downfield legs pumping to the roar of the crowd. You could practically see the Manly defender about to tackle him mutter “Oh me…oh my”.  Big Paddy was brought down but the clockwork recycling saw Tim Clements score the final try for the day and a good 45-13 victory.

Head coach Rob Taylor was quietly pleased with his sides performance. “ It was a good win . With a young side we are starting to beat the bigger teams,” said Taylor.

On a more serious note the club wishes players Matt Dowsett, Declan Moore and the Manly player speedy recoveries after all were stretchered off with serious injuries in second grade. 

Next Week University has another tough test against a resurgent Easts at Woollahra Oval.

Trys: S.Latu (1), B. Wilkin (1), D. Poletto (1), J. Kane (1), H. Clunies Ross (1), T. Clements (2)

Conversions: J. Kane (5)