University reversed their early hiccup start to the season with a controlled dismantling of Warringah last Saturday at Camperdown. The 36-25 victory cemented University’s position at the top of the Shute Shield.
From the outset the University forwards were controlling and grinding down the Warringah pack. Sustained pressure in the form of rapid picking and driving inside the Warringah quarter saw University eventually camp themselves out from the Rats try line. University smashed over with a converted try by loosehead prop the Master of Ceremonies for formal balls, and Tupperware parties Charlie Hancock.
The Students could identify chinks in the green rodent armour and proceeded to escalate the play with continued rapid ball movements . The ball was being kept alive at all costs. Attacking outside the Warringah quarter again a long looping cut out pass was despatched to outside centre Sione Taufui who touched down in the corner. There was no respite for Warringah as University centre Eddie Poolman scored again for a 17-3 lead.
However, Warringah snuck one under University’s guard from the kickoff. A misjudged kickoff take down was collected by Warringah and their winger Tyson Davis non chalantly tip toed through the tulips down the grandstand touchline to score an easy try in the corner.
The gap soon changed to 17-11 still favouring University as Davis kicked a penalty goal to keep the Rats within striking distance of University at the half time break.
As an old Newtown soothsayer once said, “never count your organic free range chickens before they hatch!” This was so true when an episode of scrappy play saw a wicked bounce received by Warringah who scored an easy runaway try. The conversion had Warringah momentarily leading University despite the majority of play so far favouring the Students.
But set piece discipline emerged again with a University try from a five metre lineout scored by the University Captain, Jack McCalman. A 22-18 score line was momentary as University decided enough was enough and then gave their impact player - winger Sepesa Loga-Tarogi the green light to unleash! Blessed with speed and footwork that would make Ricky Martin ask for lessons, Sepesa scored a spectacular try diving into the Parramatta Road corner after the ball was passed through multiple sets of hands. But this was only an appetiser as Sepesa who has that innate sense of bailiwick * repeated his feat by scoring an equally spectacular five pointer try in the same corner. 36-18 with the conversion now favoured University.
Perhaps University may have been slightly too confident as full time was about to sound and a gaping hole off a ruck let Warringah score an easy converted try to end the game 36-25.
Smiles were copious amongst the coaching staff after the game. Forwards Coach, Mark Bakewell sporting a sharp Derek Zoolander haircut from Joh Bailey of Double Bay had a smile bigger than a HECS debt.
Head Coach, Sean Hedger was pleased with the side’s performance, “1st Grade were clinical and played really well. Warringah are a dangerous running team and tested our defence. Our kick and chase went well and we attacked in the right parts of the field.”
The confidence was reinforced by Captain, Jack McCalman who today was supported by his mobile cheer squad his little cousins Lola and Poppy from Labrador on the Gold Coast. “The Rat’s are a robust and mobile side. We did well in the second half. We have an electric backline and a good kick and chase. Today was especially good with the return of Tom English back to the Club at breakaway during the second half.”
Next week University head out to T.G Millner field for a square off against Eastwood.
*Bailiwick – a person’s skill knowledge, authority or work.
Tries: Charlie Hancock, Jack McCalman, Sione Taufui, Eddie Poolman, Sepesa Loga-Tarogi (2)
Conversions: Will Goddard (3)