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Students snatch late win

Date

Michael Carayannis

Southern Districts 14 Sydney University 15

Sydney University Angus Roberts is tackled by Souths players.

Sydney University Angus Roberts is tackled by Souths players. Photo: Mick Tsikas

A CONTROVERSIAL pass in the lead-up to the match-winning try overshadowed Sydney University's brave comeback from an 11-point deficit to dash Southern Districts' hopes of an inaugural Shute Shield premiership at Concord Oval this afternoon.

Southern Districts led for most of the game but a late try – from a suspect pass – and conversion to University fullback Angus Roberts gave the Students an unlikely one-point victory.

The St Ignatius' College, Riverview, graduate who stormed on to a pass from teammate Tom Carter to surge past the Rebels right-hand-side defence, said the final pass was legal. "It was fine by me," Roberts, 21, said. "It looked two metres backwards from where I was."

Sydney University players celebrate after scoring a try against Souths. Click for more photos

Uni claim Shute Shield

Sydney University win their seventh Shute Shield title in eight years with narrow win over Southern Districts. Photo: Mick Tsikas

Southern Districts coach Cameron Blades wasn't so sure. "It looked like it was borderline," Blades said.

"There's nothing much I can do about that but it is obviously something I'll look at and if [the officials] have got it horribly wrong, I'll put it in my match review report. But at the end of the day, University have just held the Shute Shield."

It was in the second half that University stamped their class. In their eighth consecutive grand final, University started the match as heavy favourites but were met by a spirited Southern Districts side not awed by the occasion.

Sydney University payers celebrate after scoring a try.

Sydney University payers celebrate after scoring a try. Photo: Mick Tsikas

The grand final marked a significant turnaround for the club which formed as a joint venture of StGeorge and Port Hacking in 1989, and was handed a wooden spoon just seven season ago.

University bumbled their way through an uncharacteristic first half plagued by a lack of ball control with handling errors and errant kicking – highlighted by two out-on-the-full kicks – handing over easy possessions.

Roberts opened the scoring with a penalty goal before Wallabies hopeful Nick Cummins scored the only try of the first half for the Rebels to take an 11-3 lead into the break.

"We knew in the first half we went away from what we should have done," Roberts said. "In the second half, we came out firing and just played tight footy and we grinded and grinded and eventually it came off for us. Our aim was to control possession and bash them in attack and defence and we did that in the second half."

A missed conversion from Souths fullback Ben Volavola cost his side a chance to build its lead but he didn't miss on his next attempt five minutes later to extend his team's lead to 11. This is where the joy ended for the Rebels as University dominated the remaining 30 minutes of the match.

University went close to scoring on a number of occasions only for a desperate Rebels defence to snuff out the scoring plays. A no-try awarded to Ollie Atkins by the television match official again left University unable to register a try but they kept their composure.

A landslide of possession eventually took its toll on a tiring Rebels side when University hooker Nathan Charles powered across the line to bring the scores to 14-8.

Blades said the experience of University showed. "To be so close yet so far is gut-wrenching," he said. "There were some moments in the game when we could have closed it out but it was a good life lesson for these young men.'

SYDNEY UNIVERSITY 15 (T Carter A Roberts tries A Roberts goal pen goal) bt SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 14 (N Cummins try B Volavola 3 pen goals) at Concord Oval.

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Round 1
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CRU 10 vs REB 20 Report Stats
BRU 47 vs RED 3 Stats
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
LIO 8 vs HUR 22 Stats
BLU 18 vs CHF 23 Report Stats
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
SHA 29 vs CHT 35 Stats
BUL 17 vs STO 29 Stats
WAR 13 vs FOR 25 Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHF 19 vs BRU 17 Stats
REB 28 vs WAR 38 Stats
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
BUL 13 vs HUR 17 Stats
HIG 20 vs CRU 26 Stats
RED 18 vs FOR 6 Stats
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
STO 27 vs BLU 16 Stats
SHA 29 vs LIO 12 Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
HIG 20 vs RED 13 Stats
FOR 13 vs HUR 42 Stats
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHT 25 vs BLU 24 Stats
CHF 40 vs CRU 16 Stats
REB 15 vs BRU 20 Stats
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 43 vs SHA 35 Stats
LIO 19 vs STO 22 Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF vs HIG 17:35WS
BRU vs FOR 19:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
BLU vs LIO 17:35QBE Stadium
RED vs WAR 19:40SS
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
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Round 5
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR vs BLU 17:35FMG Stadium
FOR vs REB 22:00nib Stadium
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU vs LIO 14:30AMI
HIG vs WAR 17:35FBS
RED vs BRU 19:40SS
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STO vs CHF 00:00DHL Newlands
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Round 6
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
HIG vs HUR 17:35FBS
REB vs LIO 19:40AAMI
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU vs CHT 17:35AMI
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
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SHA vs CHF 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
WAR vs BRU 16:05AS
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Round 7
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR vs REB 17:35WS
RED vs LIO 20:00SS
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CHF vs CHT 14:30WS
HIG vs STO 17:35FBS
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Round 8
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
HUR vs STO 18:35WS
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Round 9
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
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Round 10
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU vs CHF 18:35AMI
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
HUR vs WAR 15:30WS
HIG vs BLU 18:35FBS
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Round 11
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CHF vs FOR 18:35WS
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Round 12
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
HIG vs SHA 18:35FBS
BRU vs WAR 20:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
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Round 13
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
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Round 14
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
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Round 15
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
CHF vs BUL 18:35Rotorua International Stadium
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Round 16
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
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Round 17
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
HUR vs HIG 18:35McLean Park
FOR vs BRU 22:00nib Stadium
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
REB vs BUL 16:30AAMI
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Round 18
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
BLU vs HIG 18:35EP
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BRU vs CRU 16:30GIO Stadium
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WAR vs RED 20:40AS
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BUL vs CHT 02:05Loftus Versfeld
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Round 19
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
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Round 20
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Round 21
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Hurricanes 3 3 0 0 47 13
Stormers 3 3 0 0 26 12
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