CSU found the brand of rugby they were after in their Blowes Clothing Cup match against the Parkes Boars on Saturday.
Unfortunately it came too late in the match at University Oval.
An enthusiastic crowd on Ladies Day tried their hardest to cheer the hosts on to victory, and CSU responded with some of their most encouraging rugby of the season so far.
However, the students’ fightback wasn’t enough to earn them their first win of the season, going down 33-22 to a Boars squad who have taken themselves into the competition’s top five.
CSU club captain Charlie McIntosh said the slow start cost the students dearly.
“The boys came through with the goods, in a way, when they came back out for the second half,” he said.
“There were a few soft tries for Parkes at the start and by the time we got a few it was too little too late.”
At one stage in the second half the Boars went out to a 33-7 lead, with CSU’s only impact on the scoreboard being a converted try to Lachlan Robinson.
The home side soon cut down on their mistakes and began to reap the rewards over the final 40 minutes.
CSU winger Chris Porter bagged a brace and prop Tom Harper also got on the scoreboard to get the hosts back in the contest.
The students were then denied what they believed was a try, one which would have brought them within reach of the visitors.
McIntosh said the Boars’ ability to keep to the game plan made the biggest difference in the match.
“They have a lot of big boys up front. They stuck to a really basic structure while we couldn’t get ours together,” he said.
“It was probably 10 minutes into the second half where we picked up three quick tries and started to look a lot more strong in defence.”
Club president and CSU lock Angus Hombsch said the second half improvements were clear to see among the students’ ranks.
“Our communication was so much better in the second half,” he said.
“Those three tries in the second half all came within about 10 minutes of each other and we were feeling quietly confident after that, but to Parkes’ credit they produced some fantastic defence towards the end.
“This week we’ll have to take a look at our structure, in particular, and what gives us ball retention.”
CSU will need to take that second half football into their next two weeks of rugby action, coming up against Orange Emus and the Orange City.