Ag College needed to produce a second half comeback to ensure CSU’s winless run continued.
Reddies haven’t won since 2015, but looked a good chance of causing a boilover when they lead their university rivals in the second half of the clash at Beres Ellwood Oval on Saturday.
However it wasn’t to be as Aggies scored three tries in the second half to take a 29-26 victory.
Despite getting back to winning ways, Ag College coach Will Mitchell knows his team needs to be better.
“We are a mile off the pace, we really are, and we just have to keep grinding away,” Mitchell said.
Ag College got off to a perfect start when Rob Wiltshire cracked the CSU defence early.
Reddies had sustained a barrage of attack from Aggies’ forward but couldn’t continue their work.
However they were quick to hit back when captain Mitch Fealy crossed.
Fealy scored his second to put his team in front midway through the half, capping off a good team effort.
Ryan Prior started the play when he took a kick on his own 22, but after some aggressive running and good support play, Fealy found himself in space and scored under the posts to hand his team a 14-7 lead.
Ag College got one back just before half-time when they scored a long range effort of their own.
Joe Hamblin’s efforts saw Aggies trail 14-12 at the break.
CSU added to their advantage as Hamish McMahon scored early in the first half, before injuries started to take their toll.
After losing Phillip Wakeling with a shoulder injury in the first half Leon Post and Jesse Menz succumbed to leg injuries.
Then Ag College started to get on top.
Hamish Pennington sliced through the defensive line to level the scores before Will Whiteley got Aggies back in front when he found himself in plenty of space and despite slipping over managed to score.
CSU kept fighting and were centimetres away from scoring again, but the Ag College defence held strong, forced a mistake and they worked the ball down the field before putting John Monk away in the corner.
McMahon crossed for his second and it looked as though it was going to be a thrilling finish, however Fealy’s successful conversion was the last play of the game.
Believing CSU are much improved from last season, Mitchell thought his team showed grit to come back.
“We put ourselves in silly situations we don’t need to be in, but the second half does show character,” he said.
“We spoke about that at half-time, having the character to turn it around.”