The Rogues Rant

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

How much worse can things get for the ARU? On the back of the Super Rugby fiasco and the Wallabies poor performance against Scotland it was confirmed this week that several of the ARU’s major sponsors have jumped ship as well. BMW, Buildcorp and Lion Nathan have all ended their association with the ARU which can’t help the current state of the finances in Australian Rugby. The Australian Under 20’s side finished sixth in Georgia at the World Rugby Under 20’s Championships, going down to Scotland as well 24 – 17 in the play off for fifth spot. New Zealand won the title with a resounding 64 – 17 win over England in the Grand Final. The Championships would suggest that what we have seen in Super Rugby and with the Wallabies this year is not going to change any time soon. The Under 20’s basic skill level was poor and the side’s ability to read what was happening in front of them during their matches was akin to what we have been witnessing all year in Super Rugby and with the Wallabies. Where to for Australian Rugby from here? Michael Chieka has made some changes for this week against Italy in Brisbane with Steven Moore back in charge on the field and with a bit more muscle included with Rory Arnold and Rob Horne also getting a start. Let’s hope they can lift the intensity and commitment in the team this time around.

The British and Irish Lions have run themselves into some form for this Saturdays First Test against the Mighty All Blacks. Strong wins against the Maori All Blacks and the Chiefs has seen coach Gatland pick a very much in form team for the match in Aukland. Likewise the All Blacks have gone for a very attacking lineup which should make for a very pacey game. After scoring twelve tries in their match against Samoa I think we can expect plenty of attack from the world champions. Sound defense has been a feature of the Lions recent matches after a bit of a shaky start. However I reckon the All Blacks can win and win well.

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Referees Corner With Jim Scardanas

illawarrarugbylogoThe Rogue had a discussion with leading Referee Jim Scardanas the other day and the subject of the tackle and when a maul exists came up. Jim was quick to point out that there seems to be quite a bit of confusion amongst Illawarra Rugby followers and participants in regard to this whole area of play.

When is a tackler required to release the ball carrier? When does a maul commence and what is required of the players from that point on? It can get a bit confusing and considering that the whole thing can develop very quickly, is it any wonder that we hear plenty of comments such as “make him release him”.

Here’s a bit of an explanation from the man himself: If a player in a one on one tackle, and maybe with a tackle assist there as well, gets down on one knee then YES he must be released or a penalty will ensue. However if a maul has formed and that same ball carrier goes down on one knee in the maul, his opponents do not have to release him at all, in fact it is in their best interests to hold him up because if the maul ceases going forward on the second occasion a turnover will result.

Here it is important to define a maul: “a Maul begins when a player carrying the ball is held by one or more opponents, and one or more of the ball carriers team mates bind on the ball carrier. A Maul therefore consists, when it begins, of at least three players, all on their feet; ie the ball carrier and one player from each team. All players involved must be caught in or bound to the maul and must be on their feet and moving towards a goal line. Open play has ended”. (Rugby Union Laws of the Game, Law 17 Maul 2017)

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Avondale Escape Vikings Threat

MatchReportIt was a match between No.1 and 2 on the points table and after eighty minutes of engrossing rugby, Avondale and Vikings have confirmed their rating as the top two sides in the 2017 competition. Avondale kept their unbeaten record intact with a 23 – 18 victory after appearing to have let the IDRU Builders Club Round 11 match slip from their grasp. Vikings will maintain second spot on the table with a bonus point from this match which is only their second loss of the year both at the hands of the unbeaten Avondale.

The Wombats brought their renowned strong physical game to the contest but the Blueys were not willing to allow the premiership frontrunners have things all their own way. Avondale had the better of first forty going to the break with a 13 – 7 lead but could easily have had two more tries on the board but for the determination of the Vikings effort. With replacement halfback Jason Reid putting in a remarkable display, Vikings fell just short of scoring twice early in the second term before Reid scored a try and kicked a penalty goal for the Blueys to lead 15 – 13 with less than twenty to play.

The Tuigamala brothers combined to deny the Blueys the win with a penalty goal to Fly-half Silipa and then with just five minutes left to play replacement winger Mani Tuigamala scored a sensational try for the Wombats to get the result.

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2017 NSW Junior Rugby Union State Championships

The 2017 NSW Junior Rugby Union State Championships were held over the June long weekend and despite the record rainfall, the teams competing in age groups from Under 11’s through to Under 17’s were still able to play with a number of Junior illawarriors taking parts with two teams in the 11s , one team each in the 12s, 13,14s, 15s and 16s and several players joining up with Sydney teams in the under 17s.

With the week of rain and some last minute venue changes made things difficult but nothing stopped the games going ahead. Some scrambling by the clubs and NSWJRU officials meant that we were able to find grounds for all age groups to go ahead and play .

The old warrior ventured to the under 17s played at Wakehurst rugby club Belrose in Sydney’s North. With  11 Junior Illawarrior playing  with the combined galloping Greens Team ( Dougal Blakmore, Keiran Fowler, Campbell De Montemas, Jackson Rice, Valere Moisi, Jackson Forde , Cory Marshall, Opeti Taufahema , Byrce Moore, Will Smith  and Reece Apollo.  Eastwood hosted Oscar Moran and Tom Honeysett as Coach. Also Spotted former Illawarra and Shamrock Ian Westwood running the touch line in a couple of Games.

Some good performance from the young Illawarriors over the weekend in varied conditions , well done to all especially Oscar Moran who has been selected in the Sydney under 17s side to take on Country in the annual clash on August the 6th at Bathurst

The Rogues Rant

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

Front rowers are everywhere. With such a big crowd at Vikings Oval last Saturday and with the inclement weather it was somewhat difficult for the Rogue to make his way to his usual spot on the back of the John Martin Hill. The biggest hurdle was in the area in front of the BBQ pit. The main problem was that the old Vikings Front Rowers Club had gathered and had created quite an obstacle for anyone passing through. Heading the group was two times Premiership prop Shane “The Fridge” Frigo. In close proximity was jovial hooker Joey Sigabalavu accompanied by former first grade coach and fellow front rower Tim Fisher. The trio was backed up by another Premiership hero from 2010, Mark Fisher the back row enforcer and younger brother of Tim. It was an effort but I finally broke through this mob only to come face to face with current Shamrocks Hooker Chris Smith. Eventually I made it up the hill and set up my seat for the afternoon. Then I noticed the next spot along from me was taken up by Vikings Life member John Fisher (father of Tim and Mark). You guessed it he was a front rower as well. They are everywhere! It was great to see so many old Blueys make the trip home for the special weekend for the club. Despite the poor weather the teams still managed to keep everyone interested right to the end as Vikings fittingly got the points. Happy Anniversary to Vikings and congratulations to those responsible for putting on such a memorable celebration of the first 60 years.

It’s official the 2017 Australian Schoolboys Tour to Great Britain is not going ahead due to an ARU funding shortfall. The Schoolboys Tours have been happening every four years since 1973 with the side playing four Test Matches against the Home Countries along with several other lead in matches. It has been decided that a tour will go ahead in 2018 but it will be shorter and will have a different format. The plan is for there to be a tour every two years with less matches and only two games against the Home Countries on each trip. In 2018 the squad will have Tests most probably against Ireland and Scotland, with matches against Wales and England scheduled for 2020. It’s not a bad idea really, given that it will give twice as many kids the chance to be part of a great opportunity as part of their Rugby education and development. The overall cost maybe a little higher but it will be much more manageable and should be more cost effective and productive.

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Aylett Dynasty Continues

The Aylett name has been well known in Illawarra Rugby for over forty years. With 19 year old Corey Aylett making his 1st Grade debut for Shamrocks in their Round 8 victory over Campbelltown we now see the third generation of the Ayletts making their mark in Illawarra Rugby.

It all started in the 1970’s when patriarch Barry Aylett made in excess of 150 appearances for the famous Woonona based club. Barry followed on from his playing days by taking up the whistle and went on to become one of the most respected Referees in the district over many years.2017 2 The Ayletts

Pictured after Coreys 1st Grade debut against Campbelltown are Barry, Corey and Richard Aylett.

During the eighties, nineties and into the new millennium, Barry’s son Richard, a very handy halfback, played 300 plus games for the Rocks. Along the way he picked up three 1st Grade Premierships, a couple of lower grade titles and was the IDRU Player of The Year in 1992. Richard is still very active at the club and is currently a part of the Coaching Staff and can been seen running water at Rocks matches.

Corey at 19 years of age is now studying at Wollongong University after spending his final years of schooling at St. Josephs College in Sydney, following in the footsteps of his maternal Grand Father, IDRU Life Member Danny Mahar. With so much rich Rugby blood flowing through his veins, young Corey was destined for a future in Illawarra Rugby.

Having represented Illawarra and NSW Country many times throughout his junior career, Corey is currently a member of the NSW Country Colts Squad who are preparing for their next match on July 1st against the Queensland Country Colts in Newcastle.

With plenty of football to come for young Corey the Aylett Dynasty is sure to be built upon for some time yet with plenty of very experienced advice available not too far from home base.

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