Camperdown was bathed in sunshine last Saturday. The perfect conditions for University to host the Warringah Rats on the annual Ladies Day. Before a bumper crowd, the Students came away with a 45 -12 victory to still remain undefeated after seven rounds.
University had the better of the initial period camped inside the Warringah quarter. The Students persistence paid off with two tries scored by five-eighth Ben Hughes and the other by Captain breakaway Jack Mc Calman sweating on a loose ball from a turnover. Warringah had limited opportunities to mount any decent attacking options.
Winger, Eddy King increased the lead to 19-0 with lightning speed down the flank late in the half after the ball was spread wide. Warringah to their credit persevered and had a rare moment inside the Students five metre zone before half time. Their fullback and Captain Ben Marr made the extra man and glided through scoring near the posts. Ben Marr incidentally has links to the University club, he was a former ball kid many decades ago and the son of Warringah’s 2nd Grade coach former University first grade coach Greg Mars Bar Marr. Both sides ran into the dressing sheds with University looking comfortable leading 19-7.
Ladies Day always attracts a sea of colour for the Club as young ladies descend socialising, sipping bubbly, conversing with the players. Today the ladies would distance themselves from the 3rd Grade players, a group of them made an abhorrent fashion statement with their collection of dubious turtle neck sweaters and gold chains that would not be an item at Australian Fashion Week.
There was also an added drawcard included in the cost of the ticket. Watching and possibly meeting the new Chris Hemsworth of Sydney rugby centre and up and emerging male model Eddie Poolman. Ticket sales went off the richter scale!
University’s mantra of continued high speed play was quite evident from the onset of the second half. Play was spread along the backline at every opportunity. Outside centre Henry Clunies-Ross clapped on the pace. Clunies zigged and Ross zagged splintering the Warringah defensive line. The ball was passed to Poolman who continued the speed to score. This try illustrated that the Students rather than being fifteen lipskittle* robots continue to practice a free flowing brand of rugby. The scoreline had increased to 26-7.
Shortly after, as if there was an audible drum roll coming from the ground speakers was none other than the Shute Shields try scoring phenomenon, Declan Moore after a few weeks hiatus. In 1968 there was a hit movie/musical, Oliver. A line etched in our memory was “Please Sir may I have some more?” “MORE!” Declan Moore certainly provided more from a five-metre lineout with his twelfth try to date.
The Rats were being punished further with a sprinkle of rodent bait after halfback, Henry Robertson exploited an exposed blindside off a scrum for a scoreline of 38-7. Replacement prop, Charlie Hancock compounded Warringah’s woes with a try through sustained picks and drives.
University players were rested and rotated. 1st Grade debuts were received by Waratah second rower Sam Caird and Colts Prop Daniel Botha.
Warringah’s Ben Marr continued where he left off with another try on fulltime to reflect a final scoreline of 45-12.
Former SUFC President, David Mortimer AO was impressed praising the players at fulltime. “It was like watching Jonas Kaufmann * performing Nessun Dorma. Outstanding!” said the Club icon.
Another Ladies Day ended on a positive for the Students. Next week is a welcomed bye and then regroup for a clash with traditional rivals Randwick at Coogee Oval on 5 June.
*Lipskittle – someone who reveres authority.
*Jonas Kaufmann – World renowned German operatic tenor.