A last-gasp Daniel Halangahu penalty secured a 26-23 victory for Sydney University over Northern Suburbs at North Sydney Oval on Saturday.
With both sides deadlocked at 23-all and reduced to 14 men, the Shoremen were in possession when the final siren sounded. But their decision to run the ball backfired when they conceded a penalty allowing the Waratahs fly half to kick the winner.
Elsewhere in round 13, Manly also stole a late win, grabbing victory over Southern Districts after prop Elvis Taione crashed over to complete his hat trick and seal victory with the last play of the game, securing a 24-22 win at Manly Oval.
Despite the victory, Manly coach Tim Lane was not happy with his side’s defensive effort. “We defended like school kids. If we defend like that against Eastwood next week they’ll get 50,” he said.
At Woollahra Oval, Eastwood picked up a comprehensive bonus-point win over Eastern Suburbs, their 56-16-point win avenging the round four loss to the Beasts, while Parramatta jumped two places thanks to a 38-12 bonus point win over Randwick at Merrylands RSL Rugby Park.
With Gordon defeating Warringah 23-5 at Chatswood Oval and West Harbour grabbing a 38-24 bonus point victory over Penrith at Nepean Rugby Park, West Harbour leapfrog Warringah and now occupy the last finals place, sitting in eighth spot on the Shute Shield ladder, just above the Rats.
Sydney University 26 (Daniel Halangahu, James McMahon, Tom Kingston tries; Daniel Halangahu con, 3 pens)d Northern Suburbs 23 (Dave Harvey, Corey Brown tries; Dave Harvey 2 cons, 3 pens)
The Students got out to a 12 point lead in the first half but a Dave Harvey intercept try on halftime allowed the Shoremen to take a 14-12 lead into the second period.
From there, Harvey took control of the scoreboard, kicking two penalties to keep the Students out of the match. A James McMahon try and a Halangahu penalty put Uni back in the game at 20 points apiece, however another Harvey penalty gave the Shoremen a three-point lead and looked to have set them up for a win.
Yellow cards to Norths prop Nick Lah and Sydney University prop Jeremy Tilse loosened up play in the final 10 minutes. The Students were able to capitalise, teaching the Shoremen a lesson in closing out big games.
The Uni forward pack trucked it up into the Norths’ half and applied enough attacking pressure to draw a penalty that Halangahu slotted for a gutsy 26-23 point victory. The result means Norths drop one place to seventh whilst Uni retain second spot on the ladder.
Manly 24 (3 Elvis Taione, Richard Hooper tries; Scott Daruda 2 cons) d Southern Districts 22 (Kane Douglas, Jed Holloway, Atieli Pakalani tries; Rohan Saifoloi 2 con, pen)
A try in the last play to Marlins prop Elvis Taione was just enough to give Manly the victory over a strong Southern Districts outfit. The Marlins looked to have wrapped up the match at halftime after they got out to a 19-3 lead.
However after the break the Rebels came out with all guns blazing, with a notable try to Waratahs winger Atieli Pakalani helping his team take a 22-19 point lead with just moments left to play.
But Taione had the last say, wrapping up a hat trick of tries to secure a much needed win for Manly, who are two-from-two over Southern Districts this season.
Eastwood 56 (2 Ben Batger, 2 Nick Batger, Michael McDougal, Lachlan Turner, Miles McCaffery, Tom Alexander tries; Ben Batger 8 cons) d Eastern Suburbs 16 (Brendan McKibbin try; Brendan McKibbin con, 3 pens)
A individual tally of 26 points from Eastwood fullback Ben Batger helped his side secure a comfortable 56-16 victory over Eastern Suburbs. The last time the two sides met the Beasts put on 48 points, after the Woodies suffered key injuries to fly half Pierre Hola and captain and No.8 Hugh Perrett.
Perrett featured heavily in their victory this afternoon, as did Waratah and Wallaby winger Lachie Turner, who grabbed a try of his own.
HSBC Waratah and Eastern Suburbs’ halfback Brendan McKibbin scored all of his side’s points but the 16-point tally was well short of what was required against an Eastwood side looking for back-to-back premierships.
Gordon 23 (Tim Lloyd try; Chris Burnett 6 pens) d Warringah 5 (Dylan Smouha try)
Gordon registered a hard-fought win over Warringah after flyhalf Chris Burnett booted 18 individual points to secure the win over the Rats, pushing them outside the top eight on the Shute Shield ladder.
The victory is the Highlanders’ first since round two and will come as a huge confidence boost coming into the final weeks. Warringah will now need to focus on closing out matches and rely on West Harbour stumbling before the finals series commences after round 16.
Parramatta 38 (2 Sosene Anesi, Maile Latukefu , Iese Leota, Dan Yakapo tries; Tom Woods 5 cons, pen) d Randwick 12 (George Fifita, Drew Mitchell tries; Toby Brown con)
Sosene Anesi continues to dazzle in the Shute Shield, the former All Black and Waratah grabbing a double to seal Parramatta’s bonus point win over Randwick at Merrylands RSL Rugby Park.
The win sees the Two Blues jump up two places and, at fifth on the ladder, they now look good for the finals position they have sought since the start of the season. Waratah and Wallaby Drew Mitchell featured at fullback for Randwick but could only manage the one try for the Wicks.
West Harbour 38 (Shaun Treweek, Oleni Ngungutau, Rory Sidey, Tito Mua, Vaughan Lomax tries; Henry Seavula 5 cons, pen) d Penrith 24 (Toa Asa, Cohen Masson, Mark Murray, Lelea Paea tries; Lelea Paea 2 cons)
West Harbour move up one place to eighth on the Shute Shield ladder after a great 38-24 bonus point victory over Penrith at Nepean Rugby Park. Western Force utility Rory Sidey featured with a try of his own, as did speedster Oleni Ngungutau who continues the scintillating form he has shown throughout the 2012 season.
Penrith tested the Pirates throughout the match, putting in a solid effort to take home a losing bonus point.