University’s trilogy of nightmares unfortunately continued over the weekend at Chatswood Oval last Saturday. A strong Gordon defeated University 34-24.
University’s mistakes again made it that much harder to defend their title. The Students supporters were left in a bumfuzzle* state wondering how this game was lost.
University started the game on the front foot and after five minutes the Students struck. An extended rolling maul set an attacking scrum. A series of powerful shunts saw the referee James Quinn award University a penalty try. The seven nil score line later extended to 12-0 as a five metre rolling maul allowed hooker Declan Moore to latch on and stampede like a wild bison to touch down. 12-0 extended to 19-0 after second rower Ratu Rotuisolia crashed through a concerted phase of picks and drives. Gordon only had a penalty to stack up against University.
But from the kickoff cheap points were gifted when a pass was fumbled midfield, scooped up and scored by Gordon adjacent to the posts. University were once again not focusing when another easy seven points saw the first half finish with University slightly ahead 19-17.
A ten minute break to grab a quick bargain across the road in Westfields? There was a quirkier option! The ground announcer inviting spectators to help sprinkle some Shirley’s No:#17 so that future generations remember what actually grass looked like at this ground.
Gordon ran with the wind during the second half and they made no mistake to exploit this advantage. Gordon followed University’s first half formula with continued recycling eventually scoring another converted try in the corner to lead 24-19. This was the incident which University did not need. Momentum is a valuable commodity in rugby and embraced it.
Strategic replacements were being introduced by Gordon with one being Waratah and former Wallaby breakaway Jack Dempsey. Gordon were hammering the blindside and an overlap gave Gordon a gift try by Dempsey once again converted to now lead 31-19.
University were once again showing signs of frustration as attacking raids stalled through dropped passes crooked throws and penalties. Any reciprocal momentum by the Students were rare.
But University salvaged a fourth try bonus point. The ball was being passed inside the Gordon quarter. Inside centre Will McDonnell set play and the ball was later channeled to outside centre Henry Clunies-Ross who crashed over. 31-24 was soon 34-24 with a penalty awarded to Gordon.
Gordon were riding high and with the assistance of the prodigious breeze escaping this dilemma would be likened to escaping from Alcatraz.
University could not whittle away the deficit and Gordon came away victors. Again after a promising start the second half was the downfall for the Students.
Things do not get any easier with our last home game next week against a strong Northern Suburbs. University will be focused to cement a berth for the upcoming semi finals.
*bumfuzzle- to confuse or fluster