Sydney Uni defeated Penrith Phoenix 43-7 with a dominant display of rugby at St John’s Oval on Saturday.
Heading into the final round of the Sydney Women’s Competition currently undefeated, Sydney Uni played a physical game that showed why they are top of the ladder.
Dominating early, Sydney Uni put themselves on the line at each breakdown by good simple rugby skills and clearing out with the forward pack.
The Students made points early in the game with fullback Kelly Ducker scoring in the second minute.
Penrith made sure to play their tough game despite the results going to Sydney Uni, and with the advantage to Penrith in their forward size
However line breaks by forwards Danni Cormican, Michelle Bailey and Sheridan Gho helped with Sydney Uni’s attack in the game.
The First half saw Sydney Uni’s scrum as a dominant feature and became a winner for the ball at each scrum.
In the 25th minute Wallaroos Flanker Alex Hargreaves ran in with her first try of the season after missing most of this season with a back injury.
Alex fended off 5 players to run 60 metres for what could only be described as Try of the Year.
Handling errors and scrappy technique was a major issue on both sides and made for several tries to be disallowed by The Students.
The Second half became quite a dominant display from Penrith maintaining their defence to keep the try scoring to a minimum until the final minutes.
Phoenix ladies kept their physical and sizable game by constantly driving forward in attack and defence.
Penrith then evened out their scrummaging woes which made the difference in their game, as they focused on teamwork and communication
Penrith got some points on the board at the 55th minute with a try to Outside Centre Mahalia Murphy and was quickly converted by Ariana Kaiwai.
A standout performance by Sydney Uni’s props, Samantha McBurney and Michelle O’Brien earning themselves player of the round. Samantha and Michelle stayed on the field for the 80 minutes due to depleted stocks and stepping up in the match.
With the Wet Weather rounds to be played next weekend Sydney Uni look forward to having a weekend off to focus on the finals, with the Grand Final to be played at Warringah Rugby Park (confirmation needed) on August 27.
Penrith players Janelle Shepherd and Ariana Kaiwai said they were very impressed with both teams performance and look forward to the challenge of playing Sydney Uni.
“Penrith worked to getting to the ball and working on offloads,” Janelle said.
“At halftime the girls regrouped and focused on teamwork, which made the difference in the second half,” she said.
Janelle also praised the tireless efforts of the forwards and how communication in the team was the key to their success in defence.
Janelle is a former Olympic Judo champion who represented Australia in the Beijing Olympics, in her first year playing rugby she wanted to get more involved with another contact sport.