University Hold Second On Table

MatchReportIt was a game of two halves at Saunders Oval as the University Bulls prevailed 43- 31 over Tech Waratahs to maintain second spot on the IDRU Builders Club Premiership. In a first half in which seven tries were scored both sides showed poor execution in defense as tries came too easy.

With the Bulls trailing by seven at the break the match was in the balance with both sides needing to improve their execution in attack but more importantly in defense if they were to take the much needed two competition points. University came out after the break with a much improved attitude to their defensive effort and reaped the rewards. The students put on four second half tries while shutting the Tech Tahs attack down with a much more committed defensive performance.

The Bulls Country Representative center Sam Latu was very busy early crossing for the opening try of the match from an inside run off Fly Half Tom Baker after just two minutes. Moments later he was on his way to the Bin after knocking down a Tahs pass from an offside position.     

Soon after the send-off with Tech Tahs lifting the attacking tempo No.8 Paula  Vakaruru strolled through some sloppy Uni defense to score the first of his three tries for the day. With the score equal at 7 – 7, minutes later, Uni were reduced to thirteen with winger Lachlan Conyers also sent to the bin for a similar infringement to Latu. Tech took full advantage of the numbers scoring twice before Latu rejoined the match.

Vakaruru scored his second try showing all his pace and power to cross beside the posts from twenty out. Three minutes later Tech was in again through Wingman David Wood who scored in the corner after a great forty meter run from center Nevan Bergen. All of a sudden Tech were out to a 19 – 7 lead after twenty minutes.

With both sides finding it hard to come up with effective one on one defensive efforts the tries kept coming. Uni winger Simon Douch pushed off a feeble attempted tackle to run away down the right to score wide out. In response Tech Tahs fullback Aisake Tuevu showed all his pace in a sharp twenty meter run to score before Tom Baker intercepted a pass on halfway to race away to score and bring up the halftime margin to Tech of 24 – 17.

Tech lost their inspirational center Vincent Wise with a calf injury at the break and with the Bulls showing a much stronger defensive resolve from the start of the second stanza the match quickly swung the Students way. The Uni defense put a halt to the Tahs go forward and with Wise missing from the attack Tech Waratahs looked less potent with the ball.

The Students put on four tries in the second half with Jamie Mason scoring on the left from an orthodox overlap before Latu got his second after working a run around play with Baker. Baker converted both tries and Uni were in front 31 – 24 after just nine minutes of the half.  Center Jonathon Lally put on two tries of his own for Uni, the first coming when he toed through a Tahs dropped ball to regather at the line and score. He then took an intercept with the Tahs struggling to clear their line to score for Baker to convert and Uni were out 43 – 24 with thirteen left on the clock.

After a sustained period attacking the Uni line Tech completed the scoring with Vakaruru getting his third for the day from close range and with Ethan Maker’s conversion the scoring was complete as the final whistle sounded.

Both clubs coaching staff would not have been satisfied with the defensive effort from their players in the first half which lacked the required commitment and effort. Uni’s much improved effort after the break allowed them to retain their second place on the points table while the loss sees Tech drop one place to sixth spot.

Player of the Match honors went to Uni hooker Wayne Ngatai who regularly performs to a high standard for the Bulls. Skipper Will Wood was also a standout especially in the much improved second half effort from the Bulls. No. 8 Ben Cheetham continued his strong form while Sam Latu continues to impress each week.

Tech Waratahs No.8 Paula Vakaruru was well in contention for maximum points in the Player of the Year Award with a strong all round game. Hooker Taniela Tuipulotu worked solidly while centers Vincent Wise and Nevan Bergan along with Fullback Aisake Tuevu asked plenty of questions of the University defense.    

University 43 (Sam Latu 2 tries, Jonathon Lally 2 tries, Simon Douch 1 try, Jamie Mason 1 try, Tom Baker 1 try, 4 goals)

Def Tech Waratahs 31 (Paula Vakaruru 3 tries, David Wood 1 try, Aisake Tuevu 1 try, Ethan Maker 3 goals)

Other Match Results

Camden 22 Def Campbelltown 12

Shoalhaven 22 Drew with Bowral 22

Vikings 47 Def Kiama 24

Avondale 44 Def Shamrocks 8

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