The Rogues Rant

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

It looks like we are heading for a record year in the Dexter Porter Cup this year. No less than eight IDRU clubs have had blood donations registered so far in this year’s Blood Cup. Once again two clubs Shamrocks and Vikings are leading the way with in excess of 100 donations between them at the halfway point of the season. Well done everyone, let’s keep it going.Dexter Porter Blood Cup 18 2 

Thanks to the Old Illawarrior, I had a look at a clip on You Tube the other day which helps you to better understand why New Zealand Rugby is in such a good state. They start instilling the All Black spirit and culture into their people very early as can be seen at the annual Rugby Match between Kings College and Aukland Grammar. The pre-game Haka is sensational. Check it out on You Tube. Google Aukland Grammar Haka 2018.

The Irish showed last week in Melbourne just why they are the Six Nations Champions. They are a very good Rugby side led by Fly-Half Johnny Sexton, who is right up there amongst the games very best. The Irish have made five changes for the third Test this week in Sydney including changing both Prop Forwards. Most of the changes have been brought on by injury, but the biggest injury news is with the Wallabies. The loss of Will Genia with a broken arm is impossible to overcome. The Wallabies are a different side whenever Genia wears the number 9. His ability to push the side around the park takes the Wallabies performance to a level that no other halfback can achieve. I think it will be a hard day at the office for the Wallabies this week with the Irish very keen to finish their season on a high. I hope I’m wrong but I’m tipping an Irish win.

There is at least one Illawarra club struggling to meet there match obligations when it comes to player numbers this year. There is an old rule of thumb that often proves to be correct that suggests to meet their obligations to the competition a club needs to have 25 registered players per team entered. Fewer players registered than that will see a club struggle to get enough players on the field week in week out thus avoiding forfeits.

Can you believe we are already halfway through the season with Round 10 coming up this week? The competition table looks very similar to last years with the top six sides from last year at the top of the table again. Shoalhaven are out of the top four at the moment after leading the comp for the early stages of the year. Bowral and Uni will be playing for second spot this week while Shamrocks and Tech meet in a match both need to win to keep in touch with the top four. Campbelltown are hosting Vikings who are now running into the sort of form that took them to last year’s Grand Final. Campbelltown have shown improvement this year but are falling just short of the competition points in matches so far. They will struggle to get any points out of this one as well. Vikings to win. Kiama and Avondale clash at Kiama Showground in what is equal last against top of the table. Avondale to win. Camden face the dreaded big trip to Nowra this week and can expect a busy afternoon against the effervescent Shoalies. I can’t see The Rams getting the result here. Shoalhaven to win. Shamrocks and Tech Waratahs will be an interesting one at Ocean Park. The sides are sitting sixth and seventh and struggling to stay in touch with the top four race. The loser here can probably start planning for 2019. Shamrocks to win a close one. Match of the round is at University Oval with second placed Bowral up against third placed Uni. The prize for the winner here is the all-important second spot in the run down to the finals. The Students will be back to full strength with their Cockatoo reps back and will be keen for the win to regain second spot from the Blacks. In a close game, I’ll go for the Bulls. University to win.

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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