Tom Kingston confident Students are hitting form at right time of year
Sydney Uni fullback Tom Kingston is confident his side can still win the premiership this year, if they can find a way to sneak into the finals.
The Students claimed an important 37-35 win over Northern Suburbs on Saturday and are now just five competition points outside of the top six with five rounds remaining.
“It was a really important win against Norths on the back of that loss to West Harbour at home,” the Australian Sevens star told Rugby News.
“We’ve got a tough few games to come against Warringah, Eastwood and Manly this weekend, so it was important to win and get some of that confidence back again.”
While Kingston said he personally hasn’t looked into how many games the Students will need to win to book a spot in the playoffs, the fullback admitted momentum was crucial at this point of the season.
“At the end of the day, if we can make the finals, then we are only three wins away from a premiership so we’ve just got to find a way to get in that top six,” he said.
“Realistically, if you’re losing games at the back end of the year, you’re not really going to give the finals a good shake. You want to go into the back end of the year with momentum and we’ve got an opportunity to do that.”
Sydney Uni will most likely need to win at least three or four of their final five matches and Kingston said the side was well aware of just how tough that will be.
“There are genuinely 10 teams this year that can beat anyone on their day, whereas in years gone by, you’d probably only really worry about four or five sides.
“In the matches I’ve played so far this year, the margin between winning and losing is as narrow as I’ve seen it, so we’re going to have to turn up and play well every week.”
Following their second loss to West Harbour a fortnight ago, Kingston said consistency has been the focus for his side heading towards the finals.
“We’ve been inconsistent not only from week to week but within matches as well and I think that has been our biggest issue this year.
“At times, we will score a try and then struggle to get out of our own end and gift them three points. We’re working really hard for our points but then slacking off and giving away cheap points to the opposition and that swings the momentum of matches.”
Leaking cheap points is something Uni can’t afford to do this weekend against competition leaders Manly, who have dropped just one match this season.
While the Students Super Rugby stars will miss Saturday’s match, Kingston said he’s been impressed with some of the lesser known players in the squad since his return a month ago.
“Unfortunately Jake Wainwright will miss the rest of the season with injury, but he has been great all year. Rohan O’Regan has been really strong and Christian Kagiassis is about as good a goal kicker as I’ve ever seen, so we’ve got a lot of guys across the park contributing.”
If they can keep their finals hopes alive, Uni will also be boosted by a host of big names in the weeks to come.
“I think the great thing is that those guys really want to come back and get involved. Technically they are on holidays, but we had Dave McDuling, Tolu Latu and Jake Gordon all turn up and want to play.
“We’ve got some experienced guys who have played in a number of finals series, plus hopefully we’ll get some of the Super Rugby guys back into the group. We’ve got guys that know how to play footy at this time of the year and I think that is really important.”
Sydney Uni host competition leaders Manly at University Oval at 3pm on Saturday.