Three current UCT first team players – flyhalf Ross Jones Davies, lock James Kilroe and wing Lihleli Xoli were selected for a World University Barbarians side comprising of players ferom 13 Universities from 6 countries, to play Sidney University as a curtain raiser to the deciding British and Irish Lions vs Wallabies test in Sydney on the weekend.
The match was part of Sydney University’s 150 year celebrations and the home side won the entertaining encounter by 34:20, with Jones Davies contributing points with his boot. There was also a fourth Ikey old boy in the mix, fullback James Richards who went on to captain Cambridge University Blues was also a starter for the Babas side.
read the full match report below:
Since its inception, the Sydney University Football Club (SUFC) has produced many 1st Grade players. Legends of the game such as Dick Tooth, Phil Waugh, Dan Vickerman and World Cup winning captain Nick Farr-Jones have pulled on the blue & gold hoops, however only a select few have had the privilege to walk down the players tunnel of ANZ Stadium (as it is known today), the home of the Sydney Olympic Games, to play a game of rugby before a series deciding Wallabies and British & Irish Lions test. For the 23 SUFC players and a select 22 representing a World University Barbarians team, this was made possible on a unique Saturday evening on 6 July 2013.
Playing a curtain-raiser match on such a historic occasion was a fitting way to further celebrate SUFC’s millstone year and its unique place in the Australian sporting landscape. “In the overall context of our season, the result tonight may not be of the greatest importance. This match is about celebrating the game of rugby and the players enjoying rugby in its purest form”, said SUFC Head Coach Chris Malone.
Led out by skipper Tom Boidin, the Students were on the big stage, however it would be the World University Barbarians team celebrating first. In the 7th minute of play, a break down the right hand flank by University of Cape Town flying winger Lihleli Xoli saw Oxford University lock Will Rowlands finish off numerous phases of play to cross the line in the northern end of the ground. And with fly-half Ross Jones-Davies, another product from the University of Cape Town converting a penalty as a result of a Will Skelton shoulder charge, the Barbarians would find themselves up by 8 points in the opening 10 minutes. However for the remainder of the half, it would be the Greg Jeloudev show. A former Australian 7’s representative, the Sydney University winger would showcase his evasive skills and blistering speed to score a hat-trick of tries, all in the southern end of the ground in front of the Sydney University faithful.
At the 20 minute mark, a scrum win 5 metres out saw the ball spread to Jeloudev joining a backline move in midfield. Picking a gapping hole, Jeloudev easily sliced through to plant the ball down under the posts. Not long after, and with the Students starting to throw the ball around and entertain, Jeloudev stepped back inside off his left foot to beat the covering defence and register his second. On the stroke of half time, a loose Barbarians ball enabled outside centre Tom Kingston to scoot downfield, finding replacement backrower Benn Melrose in space. An adventurous Melrose lobbed the ball basketball style over the last line of defence for a flying Jeloudev to cross for his hat-trick and take the score to 19-8 at the main break.
Both teams should be commended for their willingness to play open expansive rugby throughout the contest. Attempts at penalty goal where almost non existent. Quick taps to restart play often overrode the option of a scrum reset. This adventurous play would contribute to 5 second half tries, 3 of which would be scored by Sydney University.
From 11 points down, the Barbarians would soon take an early second half lead, courtesy of tries to Oxford University’s Sean Morris and Auckland University’s Wyatt McKay. However three tries to the Students over the last 15 minutes of the second stanza pushed the score out to 34 to 20. Each try would be scored on the left hand edge. 2012 Colts players James Dargaville and Tolu Latu (a powerful loose-head prop in the Kevin Mealamu mould) continued to show glimpses of their future potential throughout the game, with Dargaville creating the opportunity for newly signed Melbourne Rebel Tom Kingston to score in the corner. Latu himself would be in the thick of the try scoring action soon after, proving unstoppable from close range. With Sydney University dominating field positing and territory as the match went on, replacement fly-half Stefano Hunt, having played a significant portion of the match following an earlier injury to starting No.10 Stuart Dunbar, sealed the win with the final try of the match as the full-time siren sounded.
For the visiting Barbarians team, which comprised of players from thirteen (13) Universities and six (6) countries, Auckland University scrum half David Ormrod would be busy all game while replacement prop Tau Kooloamatangi, representing the University of Waikato, provided some punch off the bench. Sydney University were once more well served by stand-in captain and No.8 Tom Boidin, who continued his good form for season 2013. Back up No.9 Richard Draper showed some promise of a bright future, centre come fullback Tom Kingston looked dangerous with every touch, while out wide Dargaville was elusive and a constant threat to the defence. As for Jeloudev, he would prove outstanding all game, benefiting from a solid platform laid in the forwards by the likes of Aldy King, Sam Talakai, Tolu Latu, NSW Waratah locks Oli Atkins and Will Skelton, Liam Winton and Trent Dyer.
Despite the final 6 tries to 3 result, there is no doubt the true victor on the night was University Rugby. All those involved in creating this spectacle should be applauded. This includes the likes of Marc Avery, Steve Anthony, Sydney University Head Coach Chris Malone and his coaching assistants, World University Barbarians Coaches Steve Surridge and Simon Forrest as well as the entire administration of the Sydney University Football Club.
One feels many of the players involved on the evening of 6 July 2013 will be returning to ANZ Stadium some time in the future in higher honours.
Happy 150th birthday Sydney University.
Sydney University 34 (Greg Jeloudev 3, Tom Kingston, Tolu Latu, Stephano Hunt tries; Stuart Dunbar, Alex Rokobaro cons) d World University Barbarians 20 (Will Rowlands. Seam Morris, Wyatt McKay tries; Ross Jones-Davies con, pen).
See more at: http://www.sydneyunirugby.com.au/_blog/Club_News/post/match-report-students-continue-150th-anniversary-celebrations-with-a-solid-win-over-barbarians/#sthash.gvYswA7E.dpuf