Sydney Uni retain Australian Club Championship - Green and Gold Rugby
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Sydney Uni retain Australian Club Championship

Sydney Uni retain Australian Club Championship

A second half try from stand out winger James Dargaville put Sydney Uni in front and they were able to sustain pressure in the dying seconds of a match of finals-like intensity to retain the Australian Club Championship.

Dargaville busts a tackle

Dargaville busts a tackle, credit to Sportography/QRU for the photos

Despite the heart-breaking last minute loss, Easts head coach Pat Richards was pleased with his teams performance without some top players, away with Queensland Reds and Reds A’s duties, signifying the depth of the club and a promising season ahead.

“I think [the result] is excellent for the depth of the club, it shows what we’re about at the club which is building depth”

“The guys that came in really put their hands up and that shows we’re in good hands.”

Sydney Uni opened the scoring not long into the game when flanker Tom Boidin pounced on a loose ball that popped out of a dismantled Easts scrum from five metres out.

However a yellow card to Uni lock Liam Winton gave Easts a man advantage and during his sin-binning Easts number eight Johnny Kalavata barged his way over after receiving a pop pass from lock Greg Riley.

Easts scored another after a piece of brilliance from fly-half Matt Brandon, chipping through and pilfering the ball back from Uni fullback Jack Macklin and ended with centre EJ Fa’aofa beating two front rowers out wide to score.

The loud and at times hostile Easts crowd provided a sensational atmosphere to the match and caused numerous players lifted themselves.

Easts continued to build on their momentum with linebreaks by centre Toby White, Kalavata, Fa’aofa and support from flanker Joshua Parry but were unable to capitalise.

EJ Fa'aofa finds space(1)

EJ Fa’aofa finds space, credit to Sportography/QRU for the photos

Uni then hit back with an opportunistic attack outwide which saw winger Sam English run 40 metres to score.

The second half started much like the first with Uni opening the scoring with centre Chris Ingate spinning a great pass to lethal finisher Dargaville who crossed in the corner and retook the lead.

Uni were then given a further advantage after Easts replacement backrower Manasa Rokosuka was given yellow after tempers flared in the intensely fast and physical encounter.

They then looked to capitalise on the man advantage and Easts looked in trouble defending four men out wide with only two defenders but White saved the Tigers intercepting a pass and shortly after were deep in Uni’s 22.

Easts had the opportunity to win in the last minute but strong defence from Uni and a dropped ball out wide metres from the tryline ended the match in Uni’s favour.

Sydney University 19 (tries: Boidin, English, Dargaville, cons: Hodge 2), Easts Tigers 14 (tries: Kalavata, Fa’aofa, cons: Brandon)

  • Bruce Ross

    Thanks for the article, Jordan.

  • nmpcart

    A good game, unfortunately as an Easts supporter we couldn’t quite get over the line at the end but Sydney Uni deserved the win. A bit strange having both teams in the same colours – odd that no-one had an alternative jersey they could wear – Easts were in thick yellow and blue stripes, SU in thin yellow and blue stripes. The Easts juniors formed a tunnel for the Easts players to run through onto the field and had a lot of fun on the field after the game – community rugby, getting the kids involved and engaged with the senior teams. A great atmosphere – it would be good to get more interaction between the Brisbane and Sydney teams to give them a chance to test themselves against players that they are not familiar with.

  • Dane

    Thanks for the article, Jordan. Easts were really competitive especially in the set piece and the backline. They seemed to have the match won in the 1st half and were right in the contest until the final whistle. Sydney uni seemed shocked at times with Easts ability and were soundly beaten in a number of one on one contests. Sydney Uni only gained ascendancy when Easts began to tire in the last 10 minutes of the 1st half and the last 20 of the 2nd half.

    Interesting to note that EJ Fa’aofo moved from Cairns only a few months ago and was playing his 1 match in premier grade. It was a big step up in intensity and pace compared to the CDRU and Qld Country matches and he was one of Easts’ strongest. He scored a nice try under the posts.

  • RugbyStu

    I went along great game, great atmosphere two very contrasting clubs Easts are the ultimate family and grass roots community club nothing plastic about the.

    I count myself lucky playing for them for so many years and made a heap friends in the crowd swapping war stories. I’ve played with other clubs but they are a club that stays with you for life and becomes part of your DNA and who you are.

    Shame Easts went down but they had some exiting patches hopes its another big year for them Carn Tigers!!!!

  • Lee Grant

    Quality article Jordan: it was just like being there. Thank you for posting it.

    I look forward to reading anything else you write.

    More please.

Club Rugby

Starting out journalist covering Brisbane schoolboy rugby.

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