Stubborn is an adjective apt to describe the West Harbour Pirates in their battles over the years with University, This was the same case last Saturday at University as the Students fought hard to gain a 29-10 victory.
Buoyed by their performance last week University was giving the ball plenty of width in the opening half. Three minutes had only elapsed when University drew first points with a neat combination down a short blindside channel. Outside centre James Armstrong exuding confidence with each week mimicked Rudolf Nureyev by tip toeing down a narrow channel. A looping ball to his support inside centre Will McDonnell continued the movement. McDonnell showing foresight looped another ball back around for the speedster Armstrong who darted to the corner to score a James Kane converted try.
With this ice breaker University commenced to really grind the Pirates in the set piece. Scrums drew penalties with a superior pack and these penalties were converted into field position with touch finders. It was after one of these five metre lineouts which saw the Students next try. The maul was rolling forward to the rythym of the Texas Longhorn cry of Nick Champion de Crespigny’s mother Lesley. A mountain of players were flipping and flopping everywhere until there emerged signs of life. Off the turf was a hand carrying the match ball with a tattoo on the forearm of the name Hermione. Yes it was University’s winger with the wizard like skills Harry Potter who had scored. Kane that fullback with the Derek Zoolander looks converts and the Students were up 14-0.
University were forcing the Pirates back towards Parramatta road. A ball was flung wide from a lineout inside the West Harbor quarter. A phase of pick and drives took place . Tight head prop Wayne Borsak appeared to be over but was swamped by the Wests defenders. The ball was kept alive and around the open Captain for the day second rower Dave McDuling surged over for a try. The game was momentarily held up as the referee James Quinn consulted with his assistant referee the former Manly stalwart Dylan Sigg. The infield conference had all the hallmarks of a mini caucus meeting until Mr Quinn summoned a guilty Pirate to be spoken to. The Pirate was then consigned to walk the plank when a red card was shown. A swining arm to the head of Wayne Borsak was the offence and West Harbour would play the entire second half a man down. University were leading 19-0 going into the break.
The general election coincided on match day. On this important day for our nation the ten minute half time break was sufficient to go to Forest Lodge public school and vote. More importantly voting allows a unique Australian pastime of democracy sausage to be practiced by constituents as we buy a P & C snag and onion sandwich and support our local schools.
The game resumed and University were in a paramount position with a one man advantage. Wests five eighth Swanepoel kicked a half way penalty and Kane reciprocated. 22-3 was the scoreline. However the game did not have the flowing passages of play characterising University and Pirates games. This half more showed the resilience of West Harbour when in dire straits . Armstrong did score an intercept try whilst the Pirates scored a converted try from out wide late in the game. The White Ribbon Cup was retained by the Students and a valuable bonus point win was in the bag.
New loose head prop and match program feature powerful loose head prop Tom Osborne was ecstatic with his second start in 1st Grade. The match program was remiss to mention young Tom’s impressive language skills as he is fluent in Mandarin. Sucking in the oxygen after the game Osborne elated and speaking a hybrid form of Anglo-Mandarin which would rival Kevin Rudd said, “It’s an absolute privilege playing in this team, 王明：这是什么 李红. These are the best players I’ve ever played with! 姑娘叫姜嫄.
Next week University do battle with the Shire men the Southern District Rebels at home.