The Rogues Rant

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

We witnessed an amazing game of football last week up at Bowral. Thirteen tries scored in a 47 – 46 win by Vikings over the home side. Scoring seven tries to Vikings six, Bowral’s goal kickers put over five from eight while Blueys smart halfback Tommy Sawden booted seven from nine, including three crucial second half penalties to pinch the win. Looking at the stats you would think that there wasn’t much tackling going on. It’s fair to say that there were a few pretty soft tries scored as both sides were guilty of defensive errors, but in general the defense of both sides was well up to standard. We had two very well prepared sides willing to play an attacking brand of rugby and attack they did resulting in some very well executed tries. The three tries put on by big Bowral winger Tom Mooney were outstanding efforts that almost got the Blacks home. The Blueys try scored by their wingman Cheyne Pike will go down as one of the tries of the year. The game was a thriller played in front of a very healthy crowd proving that Rugby is well and truly alive again in the Southern Highlands.

The June Tests for the Wallabies showed that the side has a lot of work to do if they are going to make anything of this year’s Rugby Championships. The South Africans have had three strong wins over France and the All Blacks are giving the Lions plenty to think about with two Tests still to come. Argentina have had a pretty good run in June as well with two narrow losses to England and a sound win over Georgia during the Super Rugby break. The Wallabies tried their hardest to allow the Italians to get an historic win at Suncorp but thankfully for a very well taken try at the death by Reece Hodge the Aussies got out of trouble. Some highlights of the series of Tests was the form of Carmichael Hunt, Bernard Foley and the amazingly talented Israel Folau.

The Australian Schools Championships are on this week at Riverview College in Sydney. Teams from NSW (2), Qld (2), ACT, Victoria, Western Australia and a Combined States Team will be competing at the titles. The games get underway on Monday with the finals scheduled for Saturday 8th July after which the Australian Schoolboys Squad will be announced for matches later in the year against Fiji and New Zealand. The Internationals will be played in late September at Knox Grammar School in Wahroonga.

Super Rugby is back this weekend with the South Africans, Argentinians and Japanese getting things underway again. It will be interesting to see if the sides can pick up from where they left off more than a month ago. The Aussie sides are back next week and the Kiwis the week after following the final Lions Test on Saturday week. My Tips for this week: Sharks, Jaguares, Stormers and Lions.

The Country Cockatoos have their final game of the year on Saturday night against the Qld Country Blue Heelers. The match is to be played at Gateshead, just south of Newcastle on the home ground of the Southern Beaches Rugby Club. As such some of our clubs will be without key players for Round 13 of the IDRU Builders Club Premiership. Shamrocks are home to Bowral this week and will have their hands full containing an in form Blacks outfit. I can only see one result here. Bowral to win. Campbelltown are on the road to Kiama desperate for a win. Kiama haven’t had a win since round 5 and are coming off seven straight losses. Campbelltown’s record is only slightly better with a couple of recent wins behind them, but how do you pick a winner here? On the basis of the home ground advantage I’ll go against the stats and tip a Kiama win. Shoalhaven will keep their slim semi-final hopes alive with win at home against lowly placed Tech Waratahs. Shoalhaven to win. Vikings are home to Camden and will keep their winning form rolling. Vikings to win. Match of the Round is at Gerry Cappetta Oval where University will be understrength because of the Cockatoos match but will still keep the competition leaders busy. However Avondale will win and make it thirteen straight at the top of the table.

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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