Sydney University made a huge statement of intent in the Shute Shield on Saturday, ensuring they’ll enter the finals with wind in their sails after thrashing fellow contenders Northern Suburbs by 49 points.

It was a match that was never much of a contest as the Students ran in 10 tries  in the 66-17 win, however Norths still remain on course for the finals despite the heavy defeat.

It was a painful result for Norths who were celebrating a milestone of one of their favourite sons, experienced prop forward Lawrence Hunting running out for his 100th game for the club. By the full-time siren, University was the only side celebrating as they cruised to their fifth successive win.

The Students got off to a dream start and after several phases deep inside Norths’ territory they eventually broke through when forward Angus Bell burrowed his way over the line to score between the posts.

It got even better for the hosts four minutes later when five-eighth Ben Hughes pounced for their second try. An up and under from halfback Jake Gordon caught Norths’ backs napping and clumsy handling allowed Hughes to score one of the easiest tries of his career. A second successful conversion from James Kane extended the lead to 14-0.

The visitors hit back in the 18th minute when winger Nathan Russell finished a slick passing move down the right flank, scoring in the corner.

But it failed to shift the momentum. University reasserted their dominance as Harry Potter scored beneath the posts after a clean line break to extend the lead to 21-5, ensuring a tight grip on the contest heading into the break.

They continued their onslaught in the second half and were rewarded through quick phases-play. Tom Horton inflicted more damage to Norths just two minutes after the restart with a quick dart over the line from the ruck.

It got even better for the hosts minutes later when Hughes scored a scintillating try that began with a brilliant line break from Tim Clements. The fullback burst through Norths’ defence from a kick return, leaving his tacklers in his wake before setting up Hughes to score beneath the posts.

Hughes turned provider for the Students for their sixth try of the evening, setting-up a line break that lead to Horton’s second as the hosts stormed to a 42-5 lead. The visitors gave up a penalty try from a scrum just before the hour-mark before Hughes set-up Potter with a clever cross-field kick into the corner.

Norths nabbed two late consolations but it barely made a difference to the contest, Hughes rounding out the win in style, running the length of the field with an intercept try as the siren sounded.