A dominant Sydney University has returned to the top six after a commanding win over Gold Coast at Blacktown on Saturday.
With their season on the line, the Students set the tone early and led from start to finish for the important 14.6 (90) to 6.4 (40) victory.
It took until the eight-minute mark of the first term for the opening goal to be kicked via a set shot to Students young gun Josh Stern, but it kicked the Students into gear as they booted the first five goals of the game.
A 50m penalty to academy member Matthew Conroy set up the SUNS’ first major late in the quarter, but at the first break Gold Coast were staring down a 27-point deficit.
The scoring dried up slightly in the second as a Connor Nutting major reduced the margin to 23 points after 10 minutes, but back-to-back goals from Students spearhead Tristan Davies saw the home side march into half-time with a 35-point lead.
From there, the Students continued to apply scoreboard pressure and capped off a four-quarter performance with 4.0 to 2.1 in the last to put an exclamation mark on a great victory off the back of a draw against Canberra last week.
The Students’ small forwards were tough to contain with Harry Morrison leading the charge with four goals, with Stern chipping in with three.
Ned Reinhard played an excellent game in defence with 26 disposals, 11 marks and eight rebound 50s, and the midfield charge was led by Jake Bartholomaeus (29 disposals, eight clearances) Lewis Stevenson (35 disposals, six clearances) and Bailey Stewart (30 disposals, 11 clearances).
Overall, Sydney University was superb in the clinches, leading the clearances 56-34 and contested possessions 156-137.
Gold Coast had their opportunities but struggled to convert, having four more inside 50s that Sydney Uni but produced just 10 scoring shots to 20.
Highly-rated SUNS academy member Connor Budarick led the disposals with a team-high 22, and Corey Ellis (17 disposals), Michael Selsby (18), Jez McLennan (17) and George Horlin Smith (18 plus two goals) among their best players.
Sydney University has the bye next week and Gold Coast’s fight for the top six intensifies as they head to the Gabba to take on the undefeated Brisbane.
Sydney University v Gold Coast SUNS at Blacktown International Sportspark
SYDNEY UNI 5.3 7.5 10.6 14.6 (90)
GOLD COAST 1.0 2.0 4.3 6.4 (40)
GOALS – Sydney Uni: H Morrison 4 J Stern 3 T Davies 2
N Foster J Hiscox A Lucy J Bartholomaeus W Sierakowski. Gold Coast: G Horlin-Smith
2 P Wright 2 M Conroy C Nutting.
BEST – Sydney Uni: N Reinhard J Bartholomaeus L Stevenson B Stewart J Stern H Morrison. Gold Coast: C Ellis M Selsby C Budarick J McLennan G Horlin-Smith.
Don’t forget to download our free NEAFL App, featuring live Champion Data stats, player bios and more! Available now from the Google Play and Apple stores.
Have your say! Follow the NEAFL on Twitter (@neaflofficial), Instagram (@neaflofficial) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/neaflofficial).
The Official NEAFL App contains all the latest news and videos from the League and around the clubs. Keep up to date with live scores and live streaming, plus team and player stats as they happen throughout the game.