Warringah prepare for “knock-out” match against Sydney Uni

Warringah's Sam Ward on the attack WPE1613 - Karen Watson

Despite a late comeback, Sydney Uni were unable to match Randwick at Coogee Oval last week and fell to their fourth loss of the season.

“We were completely outplayed last week and were really disappointed with how we played as a team. Full credit to Randwick though they were too good,” Tim Davidson told Rugby News.

“Our defence needs to improve, we let in some soft tries last week and we need to reduce our handling errors so that we don’t give away easy possession.”

The Students remain in top spot but are now equal with Southern Districts and Randwick on 51 competition points and will need to be at their best against Warringah.

“They’ve got a great set piece, some very abrasive forwards and electric backs. The Holmes brothers provide so much experience and energy so we will need to shut them down if we are a chance,” Davidson added.

Warringah kept their finals hopes alive with a strong 35-15 win over Parramatta last week.

“I thought it was a step forward for us. Our defensive effort was good and we eliminated a lot of our errors,” Rats coach Greg Marr said.

Former Brumbies centre Rodney Iona returns for Saturday’s clash, as does No.8 Sam Crompton.

“To beat Uni you have to dictate terms, you can’t let them settle in and play their game. We need to win the one on one collisions, protect our ball and play our style of rugby.”

Although Warringah are just six competition points below competition leader’s Uni, the Rats have a tough run towards the finals and ill afford to drop Saturday’s match.

“Basically we are now playing semi final footy. We’ve got four games left against sides above us on the ladder so we are playing knock-out rugby,” Marr said.

“It’s great preparation for the actual finals.”

Ladbrokes: Sydney University $1.22; Warringah $4

Sydney University (1-15)

Alex Batho, Folau Fainga’a, Christopher Talakai, Calum Buckling, Lachlan Swinton, Siaosi Halaifonua, David Hickey, Ben Hughes, Christian Kagiassis, Tom Carter, Chris Ingate, Jack Redden, Angus Roberts.

Warringah (1-15)

Rory O’Connor, Luke Holmes, Manessah Alaga, Jack Tompkins, Ben Adams, Sam Ward, Tom O’Connor, Paula Kaho, Josh Holmes, Hamish Angus, Harry Jones, Rodney Esekia Iona, Seb Wileman, Michael Adams, Tyson Davis.