The eleventh hour rescheduling of last Saturdays trial was welcomed. A fast finishing University defeated an aggressive Southern Districts 26-17 at Forshaw Rugby Park.
Souths came out focused to bustle University with aggressive running and defence from the opening whistle. Soon they were ahead through tries from a rolling maul and general play. Their scrum was dominating University and the Students could not establish any meaningful continuity. University did score a try but at halftime the Rebels were ahead 17-7.
University’s play lacked fluid movement. It was frustrating to watch. The University coaches could sense this and the half time talk was aimed at resetting their purpose.
If Bunnings sells Poystrippa Paint Stripper retailing at $15.35 no need to go there for your DIY. Perhaps University assistant coach Mark Bakewell can patent his paint stripping halftime address for University handymen such was the effectiveness to reignite a slow moving University fifteen.
From the kickoff there was a definite fresh vibe in University’s play. The scrum was solid and University’s backline was making inroads into South’s territory. University commenced to back pedal Souths towards the Sylvania Waters stormwater canal. Two quick tries were scored from sustained rucking inside the Rebels quarter. With the accurate boot of five eighth Jude Gibbs, University were ahead 19-17. Souths were now being bustled and mistakes were appearing.
The last try was the highlight when a counterattack was made by University deep inside their half following a Souths kick. The backs split Souths with centre Eddie Poolman scoring a runaway try. The converted try saw out the match 26-17.
Typical of trials It was not the prettiest of victories but a number of lower grade players had strong cameos such as prop Elijah Leota and young second rower Clem Halaholo straight out of school the son of former University player and character Bill Suave. A strong finish was welcomed with the opening round of the Shute Shield next Saturday.
A particularly hard opening round beckons next Saturday when University battle the Warringah Rats at Warriewood.