Sydney Uni 15.19 (109) bt Queanbeyan 5.7 (37)
NEAFL: Queanbeyan vs Sydney Uni
Tim Barrett of Sydney Uni during the game at Dairy Farmers Park against Queanbeyan. Photo: Jay Cronan
Three former AFL players and a host of West Australian recruits had everyone expecting Sydney Uni to turn a few heads in the NEAFL this season.
They did that and more with a 72-point thumping of Queanbeyan on Sunday and Tigers co-coach Josh Bryce felt the students were the team to beat of the six Canberra and Sydney clubs.
Uni started better in the sodden conditions at Queanbeyan and never really stopped as they held the home side goalless for the first half on the way to a 15.19 (109) to 5.7 (37) victory.
Finally the home fans had something to cheer about when Matthew Bernasconi soccered through the Tigers' first goal in the 26th minute of the third quarter.
Until then it had been one-way traffic.
The Uni midfield was dominant, starting with former Eastlake ruckman Max Wilson, as they seemed to have time and space to pinpoint their forwards.
Another Eastlake old boy, Ryan Brabazon, seemed to spend most of the day unmanned in attack and Tim Barrett (three goals) enjoyed laces out service.
"With those add ins, and they're a lot more structured with a new coach [Daniel Gilmore] as well, there's a lot to like from Sydney Uni," Bryce said.
"From what I've seen today I think they'll be the one from the old eastern conference to beat."
Bryce felt it was too early for predictions but Queanbeyan was in for a tough season and he thought they needed some time for their new players to gel.
He praised Alex Lawder's tagging job on former North Melbourne defender Will Sierakowski and said Tigers defenders Andrew Swan and Jake Hiep were solid despite the torrent of Uni attacks.
Will Griggs was his usual busy self in the midfield in the absence of Kaine Stevens, who debuted for West Adelaide in the SANFL on Saturday night.
"It's a really good sign there for [Lawder] to stop Sierakowski coming off the half-back line and pretty much have no impact at all," Bryce said.
"Obviously [Lawder] is a new guy at the club, but he brings a lot of experience with him where he might not have to get 40 touches in a game to do his job."
Queanbeyan's next task is even harder, travelling to Sydney to play the Swans reserves, while Belconnen will host the Greater Western Sydney reserves – if their ground is reopened.
Eastlake will play their first game of the season against Ainslie, who have already played twice.
NEAFL ROUND TWO
Queanbeyan 0.1 0.6 2.6 5.7 (37)
Sydney Uni 2.4 6.9 11.14 15.19 (109)
Goals - Queanbeyan: B. Fruend 2, R. Quade, M. Bernasconi, W. Griggs; Sydney Uni: T. Barrett 3, K. Barnes 2, M. Thompson, T. Morrison, R. Brabazon, G. Orr, T. Ayton, T. Barton, M. O'Dwyer, J. Derickx, R. Bottin-Noonan, M. Rawlinson.
Best - Queanbeyan: K. Klemke, L. Greenwell, A. Lawder, T. Conroy, W. Griggs, N. Kerlin; Sydney Uni: T. Ayton, W. Sierakowski, K. Barnes, T. Morrison, M. Thompson, R. Bottin-Noonan.