Junior Illawarrior Update

This weekend all rugby roads lead to TJ Milner Field Eastwood for the under 16 NSW challenge. With a number of young Illawarriors participating for the NSW Country under 16s(Oscar Moran, Alex Jones Mataia, Opeti Taufahema, Reece Apolo, Jacob Wright and Coach: Tony Leeder Smith ) Prior to their tour of New Zealand.

The NSW under 16s challenge is played between NSW Country , NSW Schools , NSW Under 15s and Sydney juniors under 16s, Country Play their first game on Saturday the 24th at 10.00am against NSW Schools then 1.00pm against Sydney Juniors. Sunday the 25th will see the final game against NSW Under 15s at 10.00am. Good luck to all.

In other Junior Illawarrior news, former Shamrock Junior Liam Rash played in the Australia A schoolboys team on the weekend against the touring Tonga Schoolboys team at Newington College. More news with the Australia Schoolboys team have just left for a two week tour of Samoa and New Zealand with Assistance Coach Jay Tregonning former Illawarra Caldwell Cup winning captain

Junior Seven News, following on from the weekend trails at Bowral where over 120 players trialed , Illawarra have 4 teams selected in the under 15s and 17s with 2 boys and 2 Girls teams to compete at the Bowral 7s on October 1st and then the State titles at Coffs Harbour on the 28-29 October. Training is Tuesday and Thursday 5.00 to 6.30PM at Illawarra Sports High School.


The Rogues Rant

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

Grand Final day 2016 will go down as one of the most memorable in the history of Illawarra Rugby. We witnessed three fantastic games of Rugby all going right down to the wire. In particular the top grade match between University and Shamrocks was a wonderful match played in a fantastic spirit by both sides. Every player on the field gave their all in quest of the title with the match going into extra time. The intensity shown by both sides particularly in defense, provided the healthy crowd present with a match to remember. Having seen most of the last 26 IDRU Grand Finals, I can’t recall a game that matched the commitment shown from both sides as the match went on for 100 relentless minutes. Congratulations to all involved in bringing two such well-prepared sides together for a remarkable game that was appreciated by all who attended. Let’s hope that the administrative glitch that marred the final stages of the match does not detract from the super effort of all the players involved in such a memorable Grand Final.

A very unwelcomed sequel from last weeks’ Grand Final day will be played out at the Judiciary next week. Shamrocks Coach Ron Davis will answer a misconduct charge after an alleged incident of Referee abuse at the conclusion of the 2nd Grade match. Ron along with his coaching staff has done a fantastic job of turning the fortunes of the Rocks around in 2016, but any suggestion of Referee abuse must be dealt with swiftly and without favor in the best interest of Rugby no matter who may be involved.

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University Take Title in Epic Extra Time Thriller

MatchReportAfter a season filled with exciting and intense matches this year’s Grand Final delivered more of the same as University took the Title with a 10 – 7 extra time victory over a gallant Shamrocks outfit at WIN Stadium. The Bulls held a 7 – 0 lead at halftime only to see Shamrocks equalise with a late converted try to take the match into extra time. With regular kicker Donovan Nepia banished to the bin midway through the first period of extra time, Uni halfback Tom Baker stepped up, and nailed a penalty goal to break the deadlock and set up an amazing Uni win.

With strong committed defence the order of the day from both sides the first fifteen minutes of the match was a real arm wrestle. Shamrocks winger Cheyne Pike received the first of four Yellow Cards issued throughout the match after fourteen minutes from Referee David Gunning. The Bulls took full advantage of the extra player lifting their intensity in attack but were denied tries on four occasions during this period by the Rocks outstanding commitment to their task of defending their line.

Read more: University Take Title in Epic Extra Time Thriller

The Butler's Blurb

ButlerHi everyone and welcome to the 2016 Grand Finals. After a long year of competition that has had many twists and turns we come down to one final match to decide a premier in each grade. More about the Grand Finals a little later.

Given it’s my final article for 2016, I thought I’d share my top three things that happened in Illawarra Rugby this year.

Coming in at Number three was the continued resurrection of the Bowral Club who made the finals series for the first time in many years. Not only that they finished top three and were within a whisker of making a Grand Final. Three years ago the club was on the brink of closing so this is a great thing that’s happened for Illawarra Rugby this year.

Read more: The Butler's Blurb

The Rogues Rant

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

Season 2016 has proven to be an entertaining and close fought year for Illawarra Rugby and Saturdays Grand Final promises to be more of the same. Teams one and two, Shamrocks and University have won through after what has been the most intense and exciting final series in years. The Bowral resurgence this season has been welcomed by rugby supporters’ right across the district but the Blacks just couldn’t quite match the size and power of the University side last week and continue their fairy tale season for just one more week. Congratulations to all at Bowral especially coach Gene Fairbanks and long term hardworking club President and front rower Mark Freund. The support that has been generated around the highlands for the Blacks this year suggests that the clubs fortunes are very much on the way up after some very lean years. Mark Freund has certainly been the driving force behind the club in recent years and deserves plenty of gratitude from all involved with the club and Illawarra Rugby. Well done Mark.

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Blacks and Rocks Sweep Awards Night

bowrallogoThe Bowral Blacks fairy tale season continued when the Club secured the two major awards at the IDRU Presentation Dinner on Wednesday night at the Builders Club. Open side Flanker George Harrison took out the IDRU Player of the Year award after Coach Gene Fairbanks was earlier named Coach of the Year. Bowral Fullback Daniel Collins was also honoured as the season’s Highest Point’s Scorer with 186 points.

With the Bowral Blacks having a strong winning run to finish the year Harrison polled 23 votes to finish 4 points ahead of Avondale No.8 Steven Fuka, with Kiama’s Ethan Ford 3rd on 15 points. Shamrocks Speedster Rhys Peters collected the trophy for being the seasons highest try scorer with 22 tries for the Rocks. His tally was one of the highest recorded in the District over the years and considering Rhys missed 5 matches during the year, when he was unavailable due to Cockatoo duties, it was a remarkable feat.

Read more: Blacks and Rocks Sweep Awards Night

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