The Sydney University finely tuned fifteen continued its winning ways with a dominant 43-12 victory over old rivals Eastern Suburbs last Saturday at Woollahra Oval.
As if the whole ground was being played on the set of Frozen the musical, University from the outset played a rapid brand of rugby recycling the ball, coupled with crunching defence. University were disadvantaged from the outset with an injury to five eighth Connor O’Shea. O’Shea’s boot went one way while his leg went the other on the recycled artificial turf.
But the backline reshuffle proved inconsequential as some efficient mauling from a five-metre lineout led to breakaway and Captain, Jack McCalman scoring.
Easts traditionally lift whenever they play the Camperdown intelligentsia and soon they were pressing the Students goal line with a barrage of picks and drives. Ultimately the pressure could not be repelled, and the tricolours bashed their way over. The conversion was missed so parity in the score line was momentarily showing on the scoreboard.
University were not about to let this score line settle and soon commenced to expand their play. Territory was attained inside the Easts half and the ball was spun through the backline. The rapid passing saw nuggety flying winger, Matthew Hood run hard with the ball. Hood a former Australian sevens representative was jinking and bouncing off defenders. Like a Central West mouse, no defender wanted to catch him, allowing Hood to scoot over for an excellent try. Scores reflected 10-5 but it soon changed to 17-5. Instead of hooker Declan Moore attempting to assert dominance over global rugby, Jack McCalman received a ball from a five-metre lineout. With the assistance of players latching onto him, McCalman showed tremendous leg drive to score his second try adjacent to the posts. Easts persevered and spread the ball wide inside the University quarter scoring a converted try on the eve of halftime.
It was so cold in Sydney town, you would almost be inclined to make a quick dash down the road to Rose Bay for some haute cuisine . Catalina’s menu prices would cause a quick detour to nearby Plumer Road. Who could go past the picture book patisserie La Bretagne with their pies and treats on display to feed a hungry and cold horde.
Whatever instructions were imparted at halftime by the University brains trust must be patented. The Students completely shut down Easts, denying them any increase to their halftime score.
Outside centre, Henry Clunies-Ross commenced his moment in the limelight where his powerful running gave him a try at the end of another backline raid. Matt Hood was more prominent today then his namesake Little Red of the Brothers Grimm folk tale with a set move from a scrum crashing over. This rush of points gave University a buffer of 29-12.
Easts had to chance their arm and go for all-out attack. But the slogan- always gamble responsibly did not come to fruition. An Easts backline movement broke down with a wayward pass. University’s speedster, Eddy King intercepted the loose ball racing untouched downfield causing some Easts blatherskite* supporters along the clubhouse touchline to become shy.
University were rotating players but this did not stem their potency. The University forwards were repelling the Easts attack. Amongst these exchanges when Easts took umbrage was the Students breakaway Nick Champion de Crespigny. Big Nick in pig latin promptly informed Easts players to glance at the scoreboard.
A five-metre scrum was packed, and Easts were stifling the University scrum pressure. Referee Mr Tonks saw deliberate interference by Easts in University’s surging scrum forcing him to award a penalty try. An easy seven points to end the game 43-12 to the Students.
The Brockhoff Cup was once again back at its Camperdown display cabinet presented after the game to victorious Captain, Jack McCalman. The University Skipper could not hide his elation. “Six wins we’ve so far reached and beating Easts is a good result,” said McCalman. An architect of University’s game plan to deny Easts any score after halftime Defence Coach, Phil Blake was also satisfied with the teams achievements. “It was a clinical performance for the first time this year. After halftime we kept them scoreless and piled on the points,” said Blake.
Next week it’s back at home versus the Warringah Rats to coincide with our delayed Ladies Day.
*Blatherskite - a person who talks at great length without making much sense.