Last Saturday was one of Australia’s most historically significant days. The spirit of the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli landing pervaded North Sydney Oval as Sydney University defeated Northern Suburbs 31-20 on ANZAC Day.
Running towards the Moreton Bay fig tree in the first half, University continued their attacking play from last week.
Half back Jake Gordon was the first point scorer for the Students with his third minute try. Inside the Norths five metre area, University were back pedalling the North’s forward pack. Second rower Liam Winton was securing the ball through the lineouts while David Hickey as Captain was working his bully beef tough forwards in cohesion.
University packed a five metre scrum. Instead of driving over, Gordon took advantage of a loosely marked open side and scooped the ball to pierce through to score near the posts. Second rower Byron Hodge converted and slotted another penalty soon after for a 10-0 lead.
University were pressuring Norths at every opportunity. Left winger Henry Clunies-Ross took advantage of the blindside. Receiving a pass down a narrow corridor 20 metres out, Clunies- Ross showed great dexterity. There was a dance and tip toe down the western touchline finished off with a dive into the corner post with a stack of defenders on top of him. The flying hyphen bounced back to his feet with a smile to celebrate the awarding of a try.
Scores were 17-3 but the Students could not rest at all. That period before half time to demoralise an opposition was available for University. Pick and drive continuity was executed by the Students close to the North’s tryline. The fruits of their labour came when University’s agent 007 Whiteley…Mitchell Whiteley scored. Number 8 Whiteley received the final ball to score near the uprights on the half time bell to the applause of female supporters perched high in the stands. Norths had two penalties under their belts but Hodge’s conversion made scores 24-6 and a bonus point was on offer for the second half!
Over the past two weeks University have been playing before Ladies Day’s which is always a great spectacle at grounds. This week sadly there was no extravaganza as M.C.’s were unavailable. Kim Kardashian at a Paris fashion show, Ricky Martin New York concert, Kim Jong un swimming across the Pacific Ocean.
The second half for University was not at the same intensity levels as the first. North’s fought back with two quick tries through an interception and a penalty try for the Students collapsing a rolling maul. Scores were 24-20 to University and a comeback was being staged.
University had the dominant scrum during the game and their superior eight proved the decider. Camping themselves on the Norths 5 metre line, University set a series of scrums. Successive penalties and re packing of the scrum ultimately gave University a penalty try for a final score of 31-20 and the bonus point.
University are improving by the week and a tough test will be at University Oval No.1 next week against their traditional rivals Randwick for Saturday Night Football.