University defeated Parramatta 52-17 last Saturday at University Oval. However Parramatta showed that the hard times over the years are a mere afterthought as they showed real enterprise in their play on the day.
It was the discipline of University which caused Parramatta the headaches, through a dynamic pack and real speed amongst the backs. It was behind one of the driving University scrums that half back Jake Gordon scored the Students' first try as he took advantage of an unmarked side of the scrum. Gordon's try was the catalyst igniting the University backline and the next try has continued a recent trend.
Receiving the ball from the kickoff, outside centre Chris Ingate straightened the attack and drew the defenders for the reintroduction of one Henry Clunies-Ross.
Last week Clunies-Ross was quicker than an overseas leader's name. His try on Saturday was tantamount to a vapour trail down the western touchline after receiving the ball from Ingate.
Parramatta was able to hit back when a loosely marked Students blindside saw their fullback Woods glide through and score.
However, the set piece discipline of University was beginning to tell on Parramatta and two consecutive tries were attributed to University's scrum dominance leading up to half time. At the break the score was 28-5 and a further spectacular forty minutes of rugby was in store.
Parramatta was actually the first to score after the break but this early hiatus was short lived. Once again Clunies-Ross crossed over the line after Parramatta left their blindside short.
There was a swag of more tries scored to University, but breakaway James Nonu-Carling's effort was noteworthy as it involved a seasoned campaigner and the determination one of University's young guns.
Receiving the ball well inside his half, centre Tom Carter busted through the Parramatta defensive line and was headed towards the grandstand corner. The defence was closing in and Carter, realising the red boots would not get him to the line, timed a pass to a supporting Nonu-Carling. The young breakaway put his head back said a quick hello to SUFC Committee Member Conn Droulias on the sideline, and ran for his life along the eastern touchline towards the grandstand corner. You could practically hear Vangelis's 1981 theme for Chariots of Fire trailing in the background as the doggedness was etched on Nonu-Carlings face as he scored this try.
Parramatta was outgunned but did not throw in the towel. Their final try was scored in the hill corner through fast hands by the likeable former University player, winger Larry Hermens.
University completed their eight try haul when replacement fullback Stuart Dunbar commenced a break which went through sets of hands. When Clunies-Ross secured the ball one would have thought he was going to score his hat trick. But rather than be the megalomaniac of five pointers, Clunies-Ross unselfishly offloaded to Ingate who finished off the movement for the eighth and final try.
An impressive win to conclude the first half of the season.