The Rogues Rant

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

Can you believe that the 2017 IDRU Rugby Season is over already? The Rogues congratulations go to Avondale on an amazing season of 20 wins from 20 matches. Well done to rookie Coach Murray McDonald, taking the First Grade title at his first attempt, and now showing a 100% First Grade winning record as a coach! It was an outstanding performance from the Wombats which overshadowed another excellent performance from runners up Vikings. The Sean Barrett coached Blueys can look back on the year with pride considering that they were the only side to get anywhere near the Wombats throughout the year, not dropping a result to any other team throughout the year other than the Champions. Both clubs should be satisfied on what was a truly outstanding seasons.2017 3 Avondale GF Day

It’s great to see Geoff “Bunter” Shaw making his way back to Wollongong as often as he does to present the Player of the Grand Final Medal, named in his honor. Geoff handed the Medal over to this year’s winner Andre Itula at WIN Stadium last Saturday as he has done most years since the Medals inception in 2005. Geoff is the most decorated Wallaby from the Illawarra ever having played for the Wallabies 68 times including 27 Test Matches over a period of ten years from 1969 through to 1979. Born in Kiama in 1948 and educated at Edmond Rice College in Wollongong, Geoff was a member of the very successful Kiama club in the 70’s during which time he also captained Illawarra and NSW Country before moving to Queensland in 1977. He played for NSW 22 times and Queensland 47 times until his retirement. He Captained the Wallabies 9 times from 1975 and was inducted into the Rugby Hall of Fame in 2012. Geoff is very well respected throughout the Australian Rugby community and let’s hope we see plenty of him in the years to come.

Last Rant I talked about the last time a team went through the Illawarra Rugby Season unbeaten and I got it wrong. Shamrocks went through the 2007 season under Coach Brendon Schoupp with a record of 14 wins and two draws before taking the title with a narrow 27 – 25 win over Kiama in the Grand Final. They had two draws throughout the year against Uni 10 – 10 and Avondale 29 – 29. My apologies to Schouppie and all the guys at Shamrocks!

Speaking of Shamrocks, it was interesting to see Shamrocks Junior Myles Dorian figuring prominently in the Shute Shield Grand Final for Premiers Warringah Rats recently. Myles played for Shamrocks in the early 2000’s and also represented Illawarra before travelling overseas continuing his Rugby Career in England for many years. Well done Myles.

What another disappointing result for the Wallabies in Perth on Saturday night. The Wallabies got themselves into a winning position and let the match slip away with poor concentration and a lack of physicality allowing a less talented Springbok team back into the match. It’s a simple game surely the best players in the country should be able to work out what’s required to get the result?

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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