University were comprehensively defeated by Randwick last Saturday at home . The 42-24 defeat was characterised by a diabolical first half.
Again, the trifecta of loose passes, turnovers and missed tackles proved costly. After fifteen minutes Randwick were ahead 21-0 through easy tries. Compounding University’s lack of cohesion was a sin binning causing any momentum to disappear. If England’s classic Hammer Movie Studios was ever relaunched this first half would be a fitting premiere for a 2020 horror movie!
On the verge of halftime University set a five metre rolling maul from the Randwick line. The pack finally worked in unison and a pushover try was scored. 28-7 was the half time score. Randwick were experiencing that vicissitude* euphoria after a run of recent losses coupled with a disjointed Covid 19 season. For University the first forty minutes had to be forgotten to make amends for the second half.
The second half continued the bad mojo for the Students when Randwick scored after seven minutes with some hot potato ball play. The radar boot of five eighth Donaldson increased their lead to 35-7 and shortly after 42-7.University were well and truly being punished for their sins.
That glimmer of hope albeit a long shot materialised. Inside centre Ben Hughes trailed Rohan O’Regan who regathered from the kickoff. O’Regan made a half break and Hughes in support sprinted downfield to score an unconverted try.
The University that we know then reappeared with the next try. Regathering a clearing kick fullback Tim Clements so far quiet by his standards split the defence. Running deep inside the Randwick quarter the ball was funneled to the shadowing replacement flanker from the plains of Molong Jack McCalman. McCalman enriched the night before with an extra carbo load of his mother Claudia’s linguine di mare, stepped on the gas and outran the desperate Randwick defence to score under the posts for a converted try. A great escape to rival those Hollywood epics? Doubtful but you could never accuse the Students of not trying to the final whistle.
The clock was showing three minutes left and the deficit was too great for University to chip away. A five metre line out was the finale for a bonus point. The ball was brought down and the University pack commenced that suffocating step by step process towards the Randwick in goal. The maul was beyond the try line and returning Rebels hooker Declan Moore scored. A bonus point was achieved as some consolation to an otherwise uncharacteristic dour day for University. Full marks to Randwick on a performance which gave University the ultimate tap on the gluteus maximus.
The hard games continue next Saturday where University have a showdown with a resurgent Gordon at Chatswood.
*Vicissitude: noun - a change in circumstances affecting ones life.