Despite numerous forced changes, a University team with a cross section of experienced and young players were able to defeat the Penrith Emus 61-21 at University Oval last Saturday. A range of skills were showcased by the Students in their ten try haul.
Leading the charge for the new brigade was dashing winger James Dargaville who was unstoppable with a four try tally. The backline rushes were something to behold as Dan Kelly at fly half was letting the ball to spin through the hands.
Penrith had no answer to University's rapid recycling and momentum generated by the forward pack. That old fox, Tom Carter at inside centre, was likened to a Ricky Martin - having all the right moves, as he drew players and offloaded to his supports who would finish off the attacking raids.
Four tries and a bonus point had already been scored by University before halftime until Penrith overcame their stage fright and scored two rapid converted tries just before the break. Soon a handy 22-0 lead had eroded to 22-14.
University opted to remain on the field for the halftime break and there was no need to lip read coach Nobby Malone's instructions to not let Penrith back into the game with cheap tries for the next 40 minutes. The Students were about to run towards their favourite grandstand corner in the second half determined to show the blue and gold faithful that they meant business.
Baby faced Jack Macklin at fullback was growing in confidence as he took on bigger opponents in many dashes from the backs. Replacement hooker Tim Reid would have no trouble sleeping on Saturday night considering he had played a full second grade game earlier. A great effort by the young hooker who shows the same level of supreme fitness like his father Dave who graced the fields of suburban rugby three decades ago.
Again that man named after a town somewhere not on google maps –Dargaville, continued his try fest with two more. His last try was a gem when a shift along the backline was turned back inside by Tom Carter. At full speed and running on an acute angle, Dargaville received the inside ball and spilt the Penrith defensive line in a blazing run to score.
All up 6 second half tries were scored by the Students in their demolition of the Emus. But as if there was a case of Groundhog Day, right on the stroke of fulltime again Penrith scored a well backed up try to finish the day.
The game also heralded the 100th grade game for centre and graduate medical student James McMahon, who is continuing another stalwart's footsteps Nathan Trist, as a consultant for HECS. Great effort James!
A big week lies ahead where University will clash with traditional rivals Eastwood at the T.G. Millner field next Saturday. An event not to be missed!