Sydney Uni have kicked more than 100 points each game to win their first 5 matches, the clubs best ever start to a NEAFL season. Sitting at the top of the ladder, the team put together another dominating performance against the Gold Coast Suns in Round 5.
Although they ended the game with a convincing 17.12 (114) to 10.7 (67) victory over the visiting Suns, the Students are yet to put together a full four quarters of football. Coach Tom Morrison had mixed feelings about the win saying, “We are yet to play a match where our effort is sustained throughout the contest. We are pleased that the group have stood up when challenged but we need to be disciplined enough to put sides away earlier in matches.”
The Students onslaught began in a powerful first half of footy. Sydney Uni gained possession off the opening bounce and kicked the first goal of the match. The Suns levelled quickly, off a free kick, but that was the only real opportunity they were allowed in the first quarter. The Students were well in control, kicking four majors and only giving up 7 points in the opening term.
The second quarter was much like the first as the Students continued their impressive form. Although the Suns capitalised off a Sydney Uni error early in the second, the Students soon answered back. This would set the tone for the remainder of the first half as they imposed their strength all over the park and executed well in front of goal. Sydney Uni held an impressive 10.6 (66) to 3.3 (21) lead going into the main break.
After a stellar first half, Sydney Uni seemed to unravel, with defensive lapses marring their third quarter efforts. The Students gave up ample possessions, allowing the visitors to get back into the game. The Suns outscored the home side by 23 points in the third, only trailing by 22 heading into the final quarter.
Sydney Uni responded well in the fourth quarter and began to take back control of the game. They were solid in defence, moved the ball well through the midfield and were able to capitalise on most of their opportunities in front of goal, extending the final lead back out to 47 points.
There were some individual performances that impressed Coach Morrison. “I was really happy with Jake Derickx and Darcy Baron-Hay’s match. It was also great to see Chapter (Tim Barrett) back from his ACL injury and he was good for periods of the match.”
With Captain Lewis Stevenson sidelined due to injury, Aaron Day stepped up into the top leadership role for Round 5. “Aaron led the team well in his first game as the Captain of the side, an opportunity that is thoroughly deserved,” he added
Although happy to win, Sydney Uni’s Darcy Baron-Hay touched on his side’s inconsistent performance. “The third quarter was obviously really disappointing. We need to find a way to play a full four quarters if we want to win a premiership.”
“It is important that we work on consistency, do the little things right, stay in contests and get better at transitioning from offense to defence when we lose the ball,” he said.
Going into the bye weekend, Coach Morrison will use the next two weeks of training to focus on his team’s full game execution and prepare for the following week’s game against Southport. “We will be working hard over the next fortnight to ensure that we execute a strong and consistent 4 quarter performance in our next match.”
Following the bye weekend, Sydney Uni will take on the Southport Sharks at Blacktown International Sportspark. Kick-off is at 1:30pm on Saturday 13th May.
Livestats for the match can be found here: http://neafl.com.au/fixturesresults/
SYDNEY UNI: 4.5 10.6 12.9 17.12 (114)
GOLD COAST: 1.1 3.3 9.5 10.7 (67)
Sydney University: J. Derickx 5, T. Barrett 3, J. Williams 2, W. Taylor, J. Potter, C. McFadden, D. Bonney, T. Ayton, L. Kilpatrick, A. Gillespie
Gold Coast: C. Loersch 4, E. Baru 2, M. Saad 2, C. Offermans, M. Willis
Sydney University: J. Derickx, D. Baron-Hay, T. Young , R. Hebron, T. Ayton
Gold Coast: W. Brodie, D. Macpherson, C. Loersch