Despite a remarkable effort from the Redland Bombers, Sydney University left Henson Park 57-point winners in their Round 3 NEAFL battle on Saturday.
The match started like a house on fire, with the teams wrestling for possession and territory in the opening moments, but the students pulled away in the second half to claim a 19.9 (123) to 10.6 (66) victory.
Plenty of tackling pressure from both sides early on set the tone for what would prove to be a spiteful match.
As the game opened up, Sydney University hogged both ball and territory, not allowing Redland an inside 50 for the first 15 minutes of the match.
Some nice on ball pressure from the Bombers meant that the students were unable to capitalise. Jack Goodall’s extraordinary repeat efforts around goal, for two goals, kept Redland in the hunt at quarter-time.
Sydney University kept the scoreboard ticking over, but it seemed that the Queenslanders had an answer every time. A goal from Matt Thomson right on quarter time saw the period end with the hosts leading 33-18.
Despite overwhelming opportunity inside their own forward 50 in the second quarter, an inaccurate Uni were unable to make the Bombers pay, as the visitors crept back into the match in the second quarter.
They hit the front for the first time with Jackson Paine’s third goal, only for the students to respond through Zac O’Brien to restore their lead by three points at half-time.
However, it was the second half where the Bombers’ composure and skill deficits began to appear.
As the match wore on, Redlands’ fitness was tested, and all it took was a few occasions of the visitors falling off their men for the students to suddenly open up a four goal lead halfway through the third quarter.
A goal from Sydney University’s backline, coordinated by Callum McFadden, put them up by five goals halfway through the last quarter, and effectively put the match out of reach for the valiant Queenslanders.
Redland Bombers head coach Leigh Harding lamented his side’s inability to play to their game plan for the full stretch.
“We’re trying a completely new game plan, trying different things, and at this moment we’re just not able to get it right for the full match,” he said. “It’s a learning process.”
Redland play host to NT Thunder next week.
Sydney University v Redland Bombers
SYDNEY UNI 5.3 8.5 12.7 19.9 (123). REDLAND 3.0 8.2 9.4 10.6 (66)
GOALS – Sydney University: J Derickx 3 D Bonney 3 T Young 2 J Williams 2 M Rawlinson 2 N Reinhard L Kilpatrick C McFadden J Hiscox L Stevenson A Gillespie Z O’Brien. Redland: P Yagmoor 3 J Paine 3 J Goodall 2 H Bertoli-Simmonds M Thomson.
BEST – Sydney University: D Bonney C McFadden T Young J Williams N Reinhard. Redland: C Malone B Bailey K Walsh S Michael S Miller.