Old Xaverians won their sixth with a twenty-eight point victory over Uni Blacks at Toorak Park this afternoon. Big Matt Smith debuted, coming in for John Shaw, who was bound to the exam room and performed well against a well-seasoned and talented opponent.
The Red 'n' Blacks looked in touch early, though it wasn't until the eleven minute mark that Brendan Goss nailed the home teams's first. Five minutes later, they'd added another three and the visitors were having all sorts of trouble with the rampant X Men. Only some poor shooting for goal kept the Varsity afloat.
In the second stanza, it was the Old Xaverians' turn to go missing. Goss and Handley missed early, and then Blacks had nine shots at the sticks without response. It was their poor fortune that only two of them drew twin calicos.
The third term brought some reply. The Varsity had added another goal and were edging very close to parity when at the eleven minute mark, Cauley Beetham slammed home the first of Xavs' six goals for the term.
The margin blew out to 36 points, but the Red 'n' Blacks were done with the straight shooting. Meanwhile, Blacks were having radar trouble themselves and never again threatened to bridge the gap.
Dan Noonan was outstanding in defence and received excellent support from Louis Tiernan and Chris Margin, who both had plenty of touches. Of the forwards, Brendan Goss, Hayden Troiani and Jayke Barrack looked the most dangerous, but all seemed to find the space between the big uprights a trifle narrower than they did last week.
Both teams seemed somewhat relieved at the final siren and will no doubt appreciate next week's break.
Old Xaverians 4.7-31 4.9-33 10.14-74 10.18-78
University Blacks 1.0-6 3.7-25 5.8-38 6.14-50
Goal Kickers: B. Goss 3, H. Troiani 2, C. Beetham, M. Handley, L. Denton, J. Barrack, C. Woodley
Best Players: D. Noonan, L. Tiernan, B. Goss, J. Barrack, C. Margin, M. Smith