The Students got off to the perfect start, dominating possession in the Marlins half in front of a good crowd who were soaking up the sun at Manly Oval. The first points of the afternoon came when fly half Stu Dunbar placed a lovely grubber kick out wide for his winger Eddy King who was perfectly positioned to catch the ball and dive over for five points.
The majority of the first half was played in the Marlins half and Uni’s second try came after the Marlins tried to chip the ball over the top of the Uni defence, instead it landed sweetly in the hands of prop Chris Talakai who charged up field with Lachlan Swinton in pursuit, the forwards had done their bit, we were 5 metres out and Eddy King filling in at scrum half got the ball out to Stu Dunbar who passed a lovely long ball to Guy Porter to run under the posts. The ever impressive left boot of James Kane added the extras. 0-12 after 22 minutes.
The Marlins first real opportunity came in the 31st minute from a scrum on their own 22m, they passed the ball wide to find winger, Alex Northam who ran 60m downfield to score in the corner.
The Students hit back straight away with a series of phases in the Marlins 22m, resulting in a Uni scrum in front of the posts. It was clear to see the University scrum was dominating again and after a number of collapses and resets referee Ed Martin had no choice but to award the Students a penalty try. The 7 pointer gave Uni a 5-19 lead at half time, it was looking like a repeat of round 6 could be on the cards.
Although that wasn’t meant to be, Manly scored two tries in the third quarter to narrow the gap to just 2 points and set up a tense final 20 minutes.
The Students only answer to the Manly second half resurgence was a penalty in front of the posts, the decision to take the 3 points extended Uni’s lead to 5 with 15 left to play. However it wasn’t enough, Manly hit back again scoring their 4th try of the afternoon in the 75th minute to level the scores at 22-22. The boot of Sam Lane put the nail in the coffin for Uni and secured the win for the home team. FT 24-22. In the end a loosing bonus point is all the Students could muster at the Village Green.
None the less, congratulations must go to skipper, Rohan O’Regan for making his 50th appearance in 1st Grade and Stu Dunbar for playing in his 100th Grade game.
Next up we return to the SUFG under lights for Friday Night Footy as we host the Beasts from the East. KO 6.35pm. 1st Colts will play the curtain raiser at 5pm with all other grades playing at normal times on Saturday.
Trys: E. King (1), G. Porter (1), J. Kane (1)
Conversions: J. Kane (1)
Penalty kick: J. Kane (1)