The Rogues Rant

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

I’m not going to criticize the Wallaby players for last week’s Bledisloe Cup match at Homebush. Firstly we must consider that there is no doubt that New Zealand is the number 1Rugby nation in the world. This match was another example of the chasm that has developed between New Zealand and Australian Rugby. The Kiwi players were fitter, stronger, faster, more skillful, and most importantly showed how much better educated they are on how to win football games. For me their ability to handle whatever circumstances they found themselves in throughout the match was the main difference between the sides. The manner in which they adjusted in both attack and defense right across the field was outstanding. On the other hand the Aussies looked like schoolboys in comparison. After the Super Rugby season this was yet another painful example of how Australian Rugby has lost its way in terms of Coaching and Development of players at this level. The current group of Australian players have been let down by the inefficient administration that has overseen the decline of Australian Rugby over the last fifteen years. Where to now?

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Vikings Take Grip On Minor Semi With Grinding Win

MatchReportIn a grinding defense oriented match Vikings have all but booked a spot in the Minor Semi-Final with a 32 – 17 victory over Tech Waratahs. With Shamrocks registering a bonus point 59 – 14 win over Kiama, the Rocks remain four points adrift in the race for the finals with one match left to play. Big wins this week to both Bowral and University has the Blacks and the Bulls on equal competition points in second spot behind Avondale. Bowral and Uni meet next week at Eridge Park in the final round with the winner to meet Avondale in the Major Semi-Final a week later, and the loser to qualify for the Minor Semi.

The Vikings, home game against Tech Waratahs started slowly with both sides struggling to build any momentum in attack until a scintillating try to Tahs winger Joshua Head in the fifteenth minute of play. The try that will rate as one of the tries of the year saw the wingman get outside the first line of defense with sheer pace from sixty meters out and with a big in and away and a goose step, he left several Viking cover defenders clutching at air as he scored in the clubhouse corner.

Minutes later livewire Vikings halfback Tom Sawden created an opportunity for front rower Felise Seukeni as the big prop barged over from close range. Sawden converted the try at a second attempt following an early charge from Tech Tahs players and Vikings hit the lead 7 – 5 after twenty minutes.

Joshua Head was in the match again ten from the break after a dour defensive period of rugby when Sawden exploded close to the Tahs line falling just short to a strong tackle from the wingman. Head was slow to release the halfback after the tackle and received the first of the matches three Yellow Cards, sitting out the rest of the half and some more.

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The Rogues Rant

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

Celebration time at Vikings Oval this week as Vikings Club stalwart Andrew Stanton takes the field for his 400th Grade match for the Blueys. In a career dating back to the last century, Baz becomes just the fifth Viking to make the 400 game milestone and the first tight five player to do so. As everyone knows everything in Rugby starts up front and to reach 400 all in tight is a wonderful achievement for the very popular clubman. Andrew started his Vikings career in 1991 as a seventeen year old Junior No.8, eventually finding his way to his natural position in the front row. I would suggest that Baz has put his head in something like 6000 scrums over the years but has managed to maintain his boyish good looks. Having played in excess of fifty First Grade matches in his career, Andrew tasted Premiership success with the clubs Third Grade side in 2001. Off the field he has held several official positions with the club including Club Captain, Secretary and committeeman and in the last three years has been instrumental in reviving Vikings Junior club which had disappeared altogether several years ago. As Junior President over the last three seasons Andrew, along with his ever present better half Georgette and their team of helpers they have reinvigorated the junior club to once again be an integral part of the IDRU landscape. There will be plenty of people on hand on Saturday as Andrew leads the club’s third grade side onto the field for their match against Tech Waratahs as there should be to mark such a special occasion for a Club Legend. Well done Baz!

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Tuigamala Cleared To Play

avondale logoAvondale Fullback Silipa Tuigamala has dodged a bullet at the IDRU Judiciary and will be available to be a part of the Wombats ongoing title defense. Tuigamala was sent off in the Round 16 match against Shamrocks at Gerry Cappetta Oval.

Following a nasty all in Melee after just three minutes of play, Tuigamala was marched by Referee Andrew Strode and faced a Contrary Conduct - Striking charge at Wednesday night’s Judiciary Meeting.

After video of the incident was reviewed, Tuigamala was found not guilty of the striking charge, but was found guilty of misconduct and handed a severe caution for his part in the ugly incident.

There will be plenty of relieved people at the Avondale club where Tuigamala plays a huge role in the sides attacking arsenal.

Junior Country V Sydney From Tamworth

2018 26 Junior Country V SydneyThe Annual Junior City Vs Country age Fixture, was held on Sunday the 5th of August at the new Scully Park facility, Tamworth, the Home of Country Music in Australia. This is also the same ground where Illawarra Seniors have twice won the Caldwell Cup (1991 & 1994). It was a long trip for the 30 young players, supporters and their families from the Illawarra region. The annual clash is for Age groups U14s through to U16s as the U18s played a couple of weeks prior.  Plus the Girls under 17s for the first time.

Tim Gavin Shield (Under 14)

Junior Illawarriors participating: Metue- Sela Fuka, Michah Gibson, Jaydon Villamu, Josh Low, Matthew Parkes, Harrison Valevatu, Jackson Ropata

Country started out fast, strongly attacking the Sydney half but were unable to score any points with the territory advantage in the first 10 minutes of the game and with a couple penalties to City, the play moved into Countries half. City moved the ball wide and the center cut  back  and scored close to the post. The try was converted giving City a lead of 7-0. With country hitting back with a try for a 7-5 then city moved the ball wild and scored 3 quick back to back tries. For a final score of City 50-Country 10.

Steve Tuynman Cup (Under 15)

Junior Illawarriors participating : Anthony Moata’ane, Tom Cusack, Jack Neich, Jaden Legaspi with the  Coach Tony Leeder-Smith and  Manager Mick Sutherland.

A competitive game which did not reflect the final score 28-26 City’s way. Country started out fast and peppered the City line but were held up over line a couple of times. Sydney then gathered momentum and scored two before half time. Country hit back and at half time behind 14 to 10. In the second half country applied pressure in defense and result in two tries to hit the lead with 10 remaining on the clock , City hit back with two late tries to win a highly entertaining game. Vote best player in the Game country number 6 Tom Cusack from Camden.

The Ella Cup (Under 16)

 Junior Illawarriors participating: Coach: Ian Westwood  & Adam Dubois

A game of two halves as a fast start by the City and they applied plenty of pressure to the Country side with city having a  half time to lead of 24- nil. After oranges Country were on the attack again with numerous raids into City’s half resulting in a couple of tries down the left side of the field by a very quick winger. City had their chance with a rolling maul deep inside country red zone, with a try resulting next to the post the play then went up the field and back, Country had their chances but were unable to take the points when on offer. The end result City 34 country 24.

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The Rogues Rant

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

What a wonderful performance from the Crusaders in the Super Rugby Final last week. Their 37 – 18 victory over a gallant Lions outfit was their ninth Super Rugby title as they are now back to back champions. The Lions were never really in the match as the Kiwi side started strong and even playing a man short with Ryan Crotty in the bin in the second half, they finished strong. The Crusaders deservedly lifted the trophy after a season that had them scoring more tries than any other side, conceding less tries than any other side and had less points scored against them than any other side. The poor old Lions have now lost three Finals in a row going down to the Crusaders as well last year and losing to Wellington in 2016. Now just what does the future hold for Super Rugby?

There is one match on this weekend with the Southern Crushers at home to Campbelltown at Albion Park Showground kicking off at 2.00PM. The Crushers have taken this opportunity to promote Rugby in their district and are also making the day a fundraiser in support of Drought Relief for our farmers. They will be conducting Raffles on the day with heaps of great prizes including signed Wallaby and Waratahs jumpers. There will be jumping castles for the kids and a huge BBQ. The club has also enlisted the support of the local Albion Park Woolworths and is setting up a donations bin for non-perishable food items, hygiene products, pet foods, vouchers etc. There will be a bin at the ground and also at the local Woolworths store. So if you are stuck on something to do without your side playing this week, get down to Albion Park and help our newest club promote our game and raise some much needed funds as well. Things get underway from about 1.00PM.

An eventful day at Gerry Cappetta Oval last Saturday will have its sequel next Wednesday at the IDRU Judiciary when Avondale Fullback Silipa Tuigamala will face a Contrary Conduct charge after being sent off by Referee Andrew Strode. If found guilty of the charge, Tuigamala could well miss the upcoming final series, which would be a real blow to the defending Premiers chances of going back to back. A guilty verdict and a suspension would also rule Tuigamala out of the running in the IDRU Player of the Year award, an award he won in 2017. One positive thing that came out of last Saturdays match was the manner in which the match officials on the day handled things. There has been much discussion here and elsewhere over the years regarding the times when 1st Grade matches are sometimes left without official experienced and qualified Touch Judges. Saturdays match was a perfect example as to why this should never be allowed to occur. Referee Strode had two very experienced Referees assisting at the game in John Salisbury and Neill Greaves. If he had two less experienced club appointed Touch Judges things could have been much different.

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