Randwick def Sydney University 23-19
(3.00pm, Sydney University Football Ground) 

The TV Match of the Day proved to be an absolute nail-biter as the two competition leaders went head-to-head to stake a claim on top of the leaderboard.  Randwick were very strong from the start and took an early lead that held for the duration of the game.  A dominant set piece and quick work at the breakdown proved crucial while the work of Andrew Deegan saw him controlling territory well for the Wicks and adding 13 points to the board for the Galloping Greens.  

The Students stepped up the tempo of their game and managed to rein the Wicks in off the back of some excellent work by Jake Gordon and Jim Stewart.  A card looked to derail the Wicks but they proved gallant in defence on their own line and showed patience in the final 15 minutes to fend off a resurgent Uni attack.  For Uni, standouts included Jake Gordon, Folau Fainga’a  while Siaosi Halaifonua impressed on debut.  For the Wicks, Deegan was again exceptional while the work of Andre Kellaway and Sonny Satuala to put points on the board can’t be overlooked.

Randwick’s victory gives them the top berth on the table, a single point ahead of Southern Districts, with Sydney University falling to fourth.

Randwick 23 (Tries: Andrew Kellaway, Sonny Satuala.  Conv: Andrew Deegan 2. Pen: Andrew Deegan 3) def Sydney University 19  (Tries: Jake Gordon, Jim Stewart.  Pen: Angus Roberts 3.) 

Referee: Richard Goswell, Assistant Referees: Greg Johnstone and Daniel Taylor.

China’s 1st Grade Review

By Bruce ‘China’ Lin

University’s run of bonus point victories stopped last Saturday when they were narrowly defeated by Randwick 23-19 at Sydney University Football Ground.

The first half was a dour affair against the old green foe. A lucky try and some kicks at goal had Randwick ahead 13-3 at halftime. University failed to build any continuity or momentum. Randwick on the otherhand minimised any mistakes and were driving University back through the boot of their five eighth Deegan.

The healthy crowd in University’s boutique stadium were expecting some more action for the second half. This came from the kick off. University received a bonus when Randwick immediately knocked on. Following the ensuing scrum University were able to receive a penalty. Randwick quickly replied from a University mistake to camp themselves inside the five metre area. Some intense picking and driving led Randwick to score next to the uprights through prop Goodbody . University were behind 23-9 and needed to bounce back as half the game had elapsed.

University broke the drought soon after. Inside the green quarter the ball was shifted to the left. Outside centre Jim Stewart was able to glide through and bust over the line in the north east corner.  Not a particularly spectacular try by big Jim’s standards but enough to peg back the deficit to 23-14.

University received some extra profit when Randwick were sin binned for slowing down University ball. Randwick were then subjected to a period of protracted University attack. University half back Jake Gordon later elevated University supporters  normothermia  above 97.7 F. Gordon was able to pilfer a loose ball from the back of the lineout. Collecting the loose ball at speed a dash was made to the eastern corner. Gordon ran 45 metres to score a try untouched.  The scored had narrowed to 23-19 giving some hope for the blue and gold but time was running out.  

The last few minutes saw the Students pressing the Randwick line which was holding firm. The clock was winding down and Randwick took advantage of this to shut down the game for the ball to be booted dead at the full time bell.

Although it would hardly warrant an indication of who will enjoy bragging rights come August, a good lesson was delivered to the Students that there are no easy games in 2016.  

Next week University are again in battle against those rather large Manly Marlins at Manly Oval.