Two Games On

After final ground inspections early Saturday morning two games of Illawarra Rugby are going ahead despite recent wet weather.

Avondale V Kiama at Brownsville and Camden V University at Camden are definately on as scheduled. 2017 is underway. First Grade kick-off is at 3.20PM.

Wet Weather Update

The rain just won't go away and as at 9.00PM Friday, three IDRU Round 1 matches have been postponed to the spare weekend in July. Bowral V Shoalhaven, Tech Waratahs V Campbelltown and Shamrocks V Vikings are off. The Avondale V Kiama games at Brownsville are still on at this stage with another ground inspection scheduled for Saturday morning at 8.00AM. Camden Rugby Park is a goer at this stage so the Ram's matches with University are on. Keep an eye out here and on facebook for the latest.   

The Rogues Rant

RoguesRantWelcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things Rugby.

What does the future hold for the Waratahs in 2017? After four rounds they are third from the bottom with only the Sunwolves and Rebels behind them. Their performance last Saturday against the Brumbies was inept, and lacked the physical effort required at Super Rugby level. Their work at the breakdown was just not good enough and their set piece came second all night. There’s a long way to go in the season but things are starting to look very similar to last year’s tournament for the Waratahs.

The Southern Crushers Rugby Club has gone from strength to strength and is ready to go in 2017. The Albion Park community has jumped on board in earnest to support the birth of the newest addition to Illawarra Rugby. The club has secured the use of the Albion Park High School field for their home matches for both their third grade side and their two junior teams. The Crushers have confirmed their participation in third grade with over 25 registered players on their books. They have entered and confirmed their Under 11’s for the Illawarra Juniors comp and are just a couple of players short from being able to do likewise with an Under 13 team as well. So if there are any twelve year olds out there around Albion Park looking for a game of footy this year, give Nathan Calder a call on 0432 759205 to become a part of this exciting new venture. After having a 12 - 7 win in a trial against fellow newcomer Wollondilly recently, the 3rd Grade side is looking forward to their first outing against Campbelltown at home this Saturday. Kick-off is at 12.40, followed by the 2nd Grade and 1st Grade matches between Tech Waratahs and Campbelltown.

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The Rogues Rant

RoguesRantWelcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things Rugby.

Some good news to start this week. The decision to go back to Rolling Substitutions in this year’s 1st Grade comp matches has been reversed. In a win for common sense the full International Replacement Rules will once again be in place for the start of the comp next week. Thank goodness for that.

The NSW Rugby Illawarra Development Managers role is up for grabs. Chris Sellar, who has held the role for the past two years has resigned and left the district. Two very well-known IDRU identities have thrown their hats in the ring along with a couple of other candidates from outside the region. It will be interesting to see who gets this very important job which is pivotal to the future of Illawarra Rugby. I’ll keep you posted.

There are more changes being made to the NSW Rugby Administration involving long term Country Rugby Executive Officer Terry Woodward. After many years looking after the interests of Country Rugby, Terry’s role as NSW Rugby Services Manager has been expanded and he will now have responsibility for all aspects of NSW representative match arrangements. He has long been the Match Day co-ordinater for Waratahs home matches, and now his brief will also cover NSW Gen Blues U/20’s, Junior Waratahs, NSW 7’s, Junior Gold Cup and the NRC. That ought to keep him busy for most of the year. His duties as Executive Officer of Country Rugby will be taken over by Steve O’Brien, who will also be working closely with the country based NSW Rugby Development Managers.

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NSW Gen Blues Pinch Match from Young Brumbies

The NSW Gen Blues Under 20’s overcame a spirited start from their ACT Brumbies opponents to record a 36 - 25 victory in their third round Super Rugby Under 20’s tournament match at Vikings Rugby Field on Saturday. The Brumbies settled into their work early and looked to be in control for much of the first half, but only managed to take a one point 18 – 17 lead into the break.

The Brumbies had the better of the first twenty minutes of the match opening the scoring with a try to fly half Liam Moseley after just two minutes. The Blues responded with a penalty goal to halfback Theo Strang before ACT’s lightning fast wingman Kuti Tahau finished off a slick backline play to score after fifteen minutes for a 10 – 3 lead. A penalty goal to halfback Ryan Lonergan stretched the lead to 13 – 3 as the Brumbies looked to be taking control of proceedings.

With the Blues starting to build into their work, they managed to put some sustained pressure on the visitors allowing them to work themselves back into the match. A well placed kick from fly half Nick Wilkinson was retrieved by centre Esera Chee Kam who worked an exchange of passes with fullback Harry McLennan which saw the custodian score the Blues first try.

Minutes later the Blues best on the day, No.8 Max Girdler capped off a period of forward dominance close to the Brumbies line when he barged over for try number two, and with both tries converted by Strang the Blues took the lead 17 – 13 with just three minutes to the break. The Brumbies had the last say in the half when powerful centre Trai Henderson carried two defenders over the line in a sweeping backline play which gave the Brumbies a deserved halftime lead of 18 – 17.

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The Rogues Rant

RoguesRantWelcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things Rugby.

There’s a big day coming up at Vikings Oval on Saturday to get season 2017 underway. Vikings will be hosting the Round 3 National Under 20’s match between NSW Waratahs and the ACT Brumbies. Both sides have only played one match in the six week tournament between the five Super Rugby Franchises junior squads. The Waratahs are showing slightly better form going into this third Round match. The Waratahs had a high scoring 41 – 36 victory over the Western Force in Round 1, before having the Bye in Round 2. Last week the Brumbies went down to the Melbourne Rebels 14 – 17 after having the Bye in Round 1. There will be just as much seething rivalry as we see at senior level in this match and should prove to be a very entertaining fixture to get things started for 2017. The match kicks off at 5.00PM. Hopefully after all the rain we’ve had recently leaving Vikings Oval quite moist, the next couple of days will see the sun shining as predicted and the full program of matches will go ahead, with the Illawarrior Senior and Colts squads playing the curtain raisers.

Illawarriors Head Coach Shaun McCreedy will be anxiously keeping an eye on the heavens on Friday in the hope for sunny skies. After last week’s trials against ACT Uni Norths were washed out at Bowral, McCreedy will be very keen to get his charges on the field for a good hit-out against ACT club side Queanbeyan Whites. The matches for both seniors and colts will be played at Vikings as curtain raisers to the Under 20 match between the Waratahs and Brumbies. The Squads preparations can ill afford another washout as the opportunity to get some game time under their belts will be limited between the end of March and the Country tournament in April. More trials are planned for next Saturday against Southern Districts at Saunders Oval. This week’s Colts match will kick off at 1.15PM with the Senior Illawarriors on from 2.45PM.

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