Illawarra rugby: new-look Mallee Bulls ram Camden

Tech Waratahs win this lineout against Vikings at Saunders Oval on Saturday. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Tech Waratahs win this lineout against Vikings at Saunders Oval on Saturday. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

ILLAWARRA RUGBY 

University threw their hat into the premiership ring with Saturday's confidence-boosting 24-15 road win over title holders Camden.

The Mallee Bulls haven't enjoyed many memorable trips to Camden but their hoodoo-burying victory could be a springboard to much greater feats in 2014.

"It was very pleasing, especially considering how we've struggled up there the last couple of years and haven't got the results," Uni coach Shaun McCreedy said.

"We're basically a new side, a lot of new faces and new coaching staff, so it's good to finally get the win. This will do the confidence the world of good."

Camden were coming off the previous week's loss to Kiama and were boosted by the return of their NSW Country representatives.

But aside from a few patches of carelessness, the Bulls had the reigning premiers' measure for the most part.

The Rams drew first blood with a penalty goal before the visitors responded with a converted try.

Camden's try made it 8-7 but the Bulls hit back with another converted try for a 14-8 half-time lead.

They stretched the margin to 21-8 before the Rams fought back with a converted try of their own.

Uni sealed the deal with a penalty goal four minutes from full-time.

"We dominated them in the scrum and really gave them a hard time, and that allowed us to put some pressure on in that first half," McCreedy said.

"We probably didn't convert much possession into points in the first half due to mistakes. We also put ourselves under pressure by playing a lot of rugby in our own half in the second half, but in saying that, our defence was really good and the boys worked hard for each other."

The sixth-placed Bulls have a win, draw and loss from three games.

"Beating Camden at Camden is a good win for us. It'll be confidence-building for our boys," McCreedy said.

"We're still trying to gel as a team, and I think we can take it up another couple of notches once we do find our feet."

The resurgent Kiama maintained their perfect start to the season with a 39-17 thumping of Shoalhaven, while the Wollongong Vikings also remained unbeaten with a 10-9 triumph over Tech Waratahs.

Woonona defeated Bowral 41-5 at Eridge Park.

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