Sydney University defeated Eastern Suburbs last Saturday, 22-3, in a grinding affair at Woollahra Oval. Although there were no length of the field tries, University's dominance in the set pieces proved significant for the day.
Easts were protecting an early lead of 3-0 through a Henry Hudson penalty, when University number eight Hugo Dessens exploited a backpedalling Easts pack at a five metre scrum. Dessens picked up the ball from the back of the scrum to burrow over the try line under the posts for a converted try.
Easts were lucky that a further series of exhausting five metre scrums on their line did not result in further points to the Students before the half time break.
The game was not a classic running rugby game, but the band of University supporters could sense that the game was being controlled by the Students.
The narrow 10-3 score line was maintained for an extended period during the second half. Easts were unable to counter University's quick recycling, and in desperation Easts breakaway Sailala Lam was penalised for killing the ball at the ruck and sin binned for ten minutes. A quick ten minute break was just enough for the big breakaway to fit in a quick Endota spa treatment down the road and return to the rucks and mauls fresh and invigorated before getting dirty again.
University eventually worked their way back into Easts five metre zone where they reapplied their dominant scrum to potent effect. With the Easts pack back pedalling, University half back Jake Gordon picked up the ball and took off on a diagonal run to score an unconverted try.
University were comfortably handling Easts but converting this to more points was proving difficult. The impetus came through Captain and breakaway Tom Boidin who sliced through the Easts defence with a bullocking run bashing over the try line.
With less than 4 minutes left and an unassailable lead of 22-3, it was time to throw the ball around to acquire the coveted bonus point.
University's last throw of the dice saw the Students pass the ball through all the hands. University managed to camp themselves inside the Easts 22 metre area and work towards the final try. Just when a half break was made and the extra point looked to be assured, a moment of white line fever caused a knock on and the final score was 22-3.
Over the years ladies day coincides with University fixtures at Woollahra Oval. A bumper crowd full of colour and glamour usually graces the ground. However, last Saturday this annual event was surprisingly not staged to the extent it has previously. Anticipating the bling inside the clubhouse at the post match speeches, the Students were disappointed that on this occasion this was not the case. Bottles of unused Brylcream and Old Spice were discarded in the dressing room before the Students returned to their spiritual home - The Nags Head Glebe.