This match was the last in a relatively disappointing season for the Two Blues, and the last in a 10 year career in first Grade for Andrew Cox.
The team, although trying hard, seemed a little flat in the first half. As the half progressed, lack of ball control presented Uni with many attacking opportunities which they grabbed hold of with glee. Uni scored six tries, only one unconverted, with Parramatta’s only score coming from a now characteristic slashing 1 metre try from Andrew Cox in the 35th minute. The half time score was Uni 40, Parramatta 5.
The half time talk by the coaches seemed to have some positive effect on the Parramatta play. The two Blues started out with somewhat better ball control, but a turnover eventually stopped some good attacking play. After about 5 minutes Andrew Cox scored another characteristic 1 metre try after good work by the forwards. This was converted by Hayden Cole to take the score to Uni 40 – Parramatta 12.
From the restart there was some really good work by Hayden Cole and replacement hooker Sefo Setefano, but as so frequently happens, this was nullified by a turnover.
Uni scored another length of the field try from two toed-through kicks and this was converted from the sideline to take the score to Uni 47 – Parramatta 12.
Two parramatta penalties and the binning of a Uni player for a high tackle, then led to a Robert Duff try in the corner after a terrific pass by David Lolohea. This was converted by Hayden Cole to bring the score to Uni 47 Parramatta 19.
Halfway through the half Uni again scored a converted try after a Parramatta turnover. Uni 54 – Parramatta 19.
An attacking raid saw Parramatta knock on over the Uni line, but the referee was playing a penalty advantage , and from the restart Sefo Setefano scored a good try which was converted by Hayden Cole Uni 54 – Parramatta 26.
Four more Uni tries were scored after scrappy Parramatta play to take the score to Uni 82 – Parramatta 26 on the verge of full time.
In one last hurrah by Parramatta, Hayden Cole scored a fine try in the corner after the bell to take the score to Parramatta 31 Uni 82. The conversion attempt by that well known kicker, Andrew Cox, saw the ball just shave the posts (that’s Andrew’s story, and he is sticking to it !).
The results for the day saw Uni retain the Club Championship, which was well deserved. The only Parramatta winner was the young Third Grade Colts team who managed to knock off the front running Uni team to make it into the playoffs (vs Uni again) next week at Foreshaw Rugby Park. Parramatta supporters should turn up in droves to support this team which will hopefully provide many players in Parramatta’s future successes.
I am sure Andrew would have liked to go out with a better result, but can look back with some satisfaction at a ten year career in First Grade, and a total 21 year career with Parramatta in juniors colts and grade.
Report by The Thommo Phantom.