There has been so much happening though, so we don't want you to miss out on any of the news. So here is our bumper edition of Around the Grounds, covering the last three weeks in sport in and around UNSW.

Sport, like love, strength and courage, is a strange thing; the more we give the more we find we have to give. This week around the grounds, #TeamUNSW gave it their all to win season finals and UniSport Nationals, put in the hard yards at training and gave back to their sporting, university and Indigenous communities.

Four UNSW teams had featured in preliminary finals the week before, but the Men’s Premier League 2 and Women’s Metro League 6 remained in contention for the ultimate prize in the Grand Finals. 

UNSW Premier League 2 kept composed despite an early goal from Moorebank. Ronan Shields brought the UNSW Whalies level as the whistle for the third quarter sounded. Neither team gave an inch during the fourth quarter until Will Orth delivered the pass of the season, propelling the ball a huge 30m to Matthew Oliver who scored the winning point in the final three minutes. This is the third season premiership the UNSW PL2s have won.

The final of the Women’s Metro League Division 6 also proved a tight match, but UNSW sealed the win with a golden goal in extra time. Definitively proving a correlation between high performance hockey and having a name like a kindly Hogwarts staff member, Delfina Bugge lead the goal tally with 2 points and Matilda Measday scored 1. The celebrations were heartfelt, players donned the Whale mascot head as they cartwheeled across the field, and lips trembled at the realisation that the team had given everything and been rewarded for a long season of hard work. Magic is not always all expecto patronum. 

Full Results
UNSW PL2 defeated Moorebank Liverpool 2-1
UNSW defeated Moorebank Liverpool 3-2

The UNSW Women's Metro League Div 6 team celebrates a hard fought win.
The UNSW Women's Metro League Div 6 team celebrates a hard fought win.

Two weekends. Four UNSW AFL teams. Three thrilling victories. One agonising loss. 
Any doubts that the UNSW/Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs have earned their place in the pantheon of the Sydney sporting scene have been shattered. With AFL Sydney’s Club Champion award under their belt, you may have been thinking this would weigh on the shoulder of this titanic side, but it seems this was just kindling to the fire. The Premier, U19 and Division 2 teams have walked away from the 2019 Sydney AFL season triumphant, while the Division 3 team were left a mere 4 points behind as the final whistle blew.

Inspired by the upset the junior Bulldogs had caused in their victory against Sydney Uni the week before, the senior players took to the field last weekend with renewed motivation. Nowhere is the strength of a club more evident than the flagship event, the big dance, the Men’s Premier Division Grand Final.

The game began as an arm-wrestle. At one point it seemed that UNSW Masters of Commerce student Harry Annear had broken the deadlock, his kick narrowly eluded the desperate fingertips of the Student defenders. But just two minutes later Sydney Uni responded to level the score. The ball was propelled from one end to the other like a life-size Newton’s Cradle physics demonstration. The tension was palpable in the grandstand as another tight contest was unfolding.

The Students held the lead as the third quarter got under way but within moments, Darren Pfeiffer converted a set shot and equalled the score. Fists flew and tempers flared as the teams began to feel the heat. Sydney Uni would come to regret their momentary loss of composure as Pfeiffer turned the Bulldogs’ deficit into a six-point lifeline with a free kick. They needed to hold on. 

The Bulldogs led by 12 points at the last change and extended their lead with another mark and goal to John Pawle. The Bulldogs controlled the final moments and refused the Students any chance to score. Harry Annear’s second goal as the clock timed out triggered scenes of celebration. Bulldog faithful clambered down the stands, jumped the fence and stormed the field to congratulate their heroes. 

It was clear that it takes for than 22 players to win a premiership, as players from other grades, volunteers, esteemed alumni, family and friends joined in the chorus of the team song. The students slumped to the ground. Three years in a row they’ve lost after leading at half time. It is too easy to cast Sydney Uni as the villain, but they are by no measure a poor side. They just have the chronological misfortune of playing an extraordinary side in the midst of a UNSW/ES golden era. 

Young phenom Errol Gulden took out the Podbury Medal as best on ground, while Hayden Nichols and Dean Towers were also standout performers for the Bulldogs. 
Instagram comments are not always the source of infinite wisdom, but it must be said that "My heart is so freaking* full" complete with a glory hands emoji, says it all. 

Full Results
Men’s Premier Division defeated Sydney Uni 10.9 (69) to 6.6 (42)
Men’s Division 2 defeated St George Dragons 8.12 (60) to 8.4 (52)
Men’s Division 3 lost to North Shore Bombers 3.6 (24) to 3.10 (28)
U19s Division 1 defeated Sydney Uni 10.6 (66) to 4.8 (32)

The UNSW-ES Bulldogs had four teams in grand finals in 2019 and came away with three premierships.
The UNSW-ES Bulldogs had four teams in grand finals in 2019 and came away with three premierships.

Moving from Korea over the Sea of Japan to the spiritual heartland of Judo, our UNSW Judoka have taken to the streets, bars and stadiums of Tokyo for the 2019 World Judo Championships. Judo is a worldwide family of people passionate about learning from other, improving their own skills and sharing the beauty of the sport. Club members used the opportunity to catch up with friends who ere also there to take in the spectacle. 

The UNSW Judo club has run the third inter-university competition with Sydney Uni and UTS athletes invited to take part. The main objective of the events is to introduce newer judoka to the tournament style competition, and the UNSW referees were quick to provide feedback and advice to all attendees. The competition was also a chance for #TeamUNSW to come together before UniSport Nationals on the Gold Coast next month. 

The Dolphins (Inters) and Blues (B2) won their grand finals and came away with the premiership. The Mobies (C3) fought hard but narrowly lost to Mascot.

“It was incredible to see these three teams pull through to reach the grand final” said a proud Netball Club President and UNSW Arts alumni Keira Nightingale. “In particular, UNSW Blues went through undefeated.”

Full Results:
UNSW Dolphins defeated Rose Bay 33-27
UNSW Mobies lost to Mascot 32-35
UNSW Blues defeated Mascot 36-28

Wet weather caused a washout in the week gone by and the Raiders took themselves bowling instead, which proved to be a great way to spend the rainy day. However there was plenty of gridiron to be had the previous week. The UNSW Raiders Women's team started off the day by getting their first win for the season with a dominant performance over the Central West Giants 34-0. The Colts were in the process of perfecting their passing game and were defeated by the Northern Sydney Rebels Colts 0-30. Meanwhile finishing out the day the Raiders Men's had a huge win scoring 6 TDs in the first half and holding out a resurging Rebels 39-28.

Full Results:
Raiders Men’s defeated Rebels 39-28
Raiders Women’s defeated Central West Giants 34-0
Raiders Colts lost to Northern Sydney Rebels Colts 0-30

The Raiders have had a strong start to their 2019-20 season.
The Raiders have had a strong start to their 2019-20 season.

Thanks to the FBI, you can’t get to university by pretending you’re a varsity rower anymore. Luckily, the UNSW Rowing Club knows how to put in the hard work both in the classroom and on the river. The team have been busy building strength and fitness at a pre-season training camp in Nepean over the university break.

The UNSW Rowing Club have been hard at work in their pre-season training camp.
The UNSW Rowing Club have been hard at work in their pre-season training camp.

UNSW students Hudson Berry and Jayden Kitchener-Waters have been selected into the Dream Big Time Sevens Squad, Rugby Australia’s program that aims to unearth Indigenous talent aged 14 - 24 across the country.
Following the a talent scouting road trip that crisscrossed the county, the top 130 players were invited to attend a four day camp in Sydney last month. From there a men’s and women’s team was chosen to compete in both domestic and international tournaments.