Sydney University slammed on eight goals to one in a stunning last quarter to overcome NT Thunder by 39 points in wet and foggy conditions at Blacktown International Sportspark on Saturday.
Both teams set the benchmark high for the contest early on with the NT Thunder leading throughout the game, but it was a late comeback from the Students which locked in their fourth win of the season, winning 16.5 (101) to 8.14 (62).
Sydney University’s Josh Stern, who was a standout with five goals, 15 disposals and five tackles, said the Students were pleased with their performance in the fourth quarter to come away with the four points.
“We’re just trying to find that consistency through four quarters – we’re such a young side so it’s not easy,” he told neafl.com.au.
“We always knew that we weren’t playing at our best so we just had to get the basics right. We had too many turn overs in the first few quarters but when we get that flow going it really helps.
“I thought that they wanted the ball in the first three quarters more than us so when out heat and intent was up we got the rewards.
“Credit to NT, they came for most of the game and in the end we had to work hard for the win.”
Both teams battled through the conditions with a tit-for-tat opening ending with NT Thunder taking a one-point lead into quarter-time.
But that is not to say that it was a lucky lead – the NT Thunder showcased some superb corridor football that key players like Adam Tipungwuti were able to turn into goal.
The goal fest continued into the second term, with the Students tapping into their strength and playing out wide to score two consecutive goals, before NT Thunder dominated the middle of the field to score two consecutive goals of their own.
A last minute behind by Tipungwuti meant NT Thunder took a three-point lead into half-time.
Both teams came out thirsty to win in the second half, but it was the Students absence at crucial points midway through the third that opened the door for NT Thunder to kick two consecutive goals and widen the margin to 15 points.
Yet, Nick Foster booted his third and Darcy Cordell kicked his second to bring the Students within a one goal reach of NT Thunder heading into the final term.
It was all or nothing in the final term and the Students didn’t disappoint, giving it everything they had.
In less than a minute, Stern booted his second, bringing the score to 58-58 and shifting the momentum in favour of the Students.
It was this six-pointer that opened the floodgates for the Students as they kicked the next eight goals in total to claim the win.
Adam Gulden and Jake Bartholomaeus were outstanding with 36 and 27 disposals respectively, Sydney University winning that statistic 360 to 304.
For NT Thunder, Ben Rioli was impressive with 23 disposals, four clearances and one goal as was Tipungwuti with 18 disposals, five clearances and two goals.
Heading into the Round 11, Sydney University will head for an away game at Voxson Oval against the Aspley Hornets at 12pm on Saturday.
Meanwhile, NT Thunder will have the bye.
Sydney University v NT Thunder
SYDNEY UNI 4.3 6.3 8.4 16.5 (101)
NT THUNDER 4.4 6.6 8.10 8.14 (62)
GOALS – Sydney Uni: J Stern 5 N Foster 3 T Banuelos 2 D Cordell 2 T Davies W Sierakowski B Stewart C Williams. NT Thunder: B Taylor 2 A Tipungwuti 2 K Delahunty B Minkulk B O’Connell B Rioli.
BEST – Sydney Uni: J Bartholomaues J Stern N Reinhard M Carroll A Sierakowski D Cordell. NT Thunder:A Ankers N Lockyer Jnr B Carroll K Parnell B Rioli J Templeton.