The Rogues Rant

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

Vikings Mentor Sean Barrett is in for a busy couple of months. As well as overseeing the early season preparations at Vikings, Sean has landed the Assistant Coach role with the NSW Women’s Team. The girls will be competing in the all new Buildcorp Super W Rugby Tournament which kicks off this week. The five round tournament featuring teams from all the Aussie Super Rugby franchises plus the Western Force will run through to a final on the 21st April. Sean and the girls are off to Brisbane to play the very impressive Qld Ladies at Suncorp Stadium prior to the Reds Super Rugby match against the Bulls. The Qld girls are coached by one of the former characters of Illawarra Rugby, Shoalhaven stalwart Michael Hayes. I’m sure old sparring partners Sean and Mick will enjoy a couple of drinks after the opening match. The NSW girls first home game will be Sunday week against The Western Force at the SFS.

The word is that the Australian Schoolboys Tour may have gone by the wayside. Suggestions are going around that a new Under 18 National format is in the making with an Open National side the ultimate goal. Keep an eye out, I’m also hearing that there could be an Illawarra influence here as well.

After a couple of day long training camps recently the Illawarrior Senior and Colts squads are ready to go for this week’s trial matches at Saunders Oval. Games will get underway against Queenbeyan with Colts at 12.00Noon and two senior matches at 1.30 and 3.00PM. The coaching staff has been very impressed with the effort from the players at the camps and is expecting plenty of enthusiasm for their groups first hit out. Should be a good days Rugby as you can always expect a strong performance from the ACT club sides.

An interesting round of Super Rugby last week with a couple of sides turning things around a bit from round two but it’s still too early to get any real form line on things to follow. The Rebels continued their good form with a strong win in Japan while the Waratahs got away with a lucky draw in the Republic which coach Gibson described as a poor performance. The Reds showed some of the Brad Thorn spirit that everyone was expecting to see from them in their win over the Brumbies. The Brumbies just don’t seem to be able to get things happening just yet despite showing the goods on occasions. Again the Kiwi sides looked very good. My tips for this week: Highlanders, Rebels, Hurricanes, Reds, Sharks, Lions, Waratahs.      

All opinions offered in this column are the opinion of the author. They should not be considered to represent the views of the IDRU.

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