The Rogues Rant

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

It was interesting to see the appointment this week of Rod Kafer to a new role with the ARU. The very well respected former Brumby and Wallaby now TV Presenter has been appointed to a Coaching Development role with the ARU. He will oversee the National Coaching Advisory Panel with a view to improve and develop coaching programs around the country. Kafer was quoted this week as saying that his starting point will be to try and discover and develop an Australian style of play. His biggest job will be getting all factions of the Rugby community working together towards one single goal to create such a style. I reckon he is just the man for the job. It’s a huge job but at least it would seem that the powers that be have finally accepted that the current coaching model is broken and is in urgent need of repair. Good luck Kafe!

Wallaby coach Michael Cheika has selected eleven new players in his initial Wallaby squad for the upcoming internationals. That suggests that the coach is not happy with some of the players he has put his faith in of recent times. Clearly there is a need to have a serious look around with a lot of current players nearing the end of their time and others seeking a more secure financial future elsewhere. With what we have seen so far this year, the next few months are not looking too healthy in terms of our national team’s competitiveness. It all starts with the All Blacks in mid-August.

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Vikings Structured Game Confirms Second Spot

MatchReportA revving up from coach Sean Barrett during the week has sparked Vikings to re enforce their second spot on the IDRU table with a four try 31 – 10 victory over defending premiers University. In contrast to an out of sorts performance last week Vikings took control of the match at Vikings Oval and never allowed the Bulls any opportunity to challenge for the points.

A well-structured powerful performance from their forwards and an outstanding contribution from veteran backs Michael Ashby and Andrew Barrett saw the Blueys cement second spot on the ladder remaining nine points clear of third placed Bowral. Bowral will have a chance to close the gap when they play Shoalhaven on Tuesday night in their deferred round one match.

“We needed to lift our intensity compared to last weeks speed bump performance and today it was right up there where it needs to be” said coach Barrett at the end of the game. “Our captain Joel Diggins led from the front as he has done all year and Andrew Barrett and Jack Hobbs really had a strong impact today”.

With halfback Tommy Sawden scoring a try and kicking a conversion and a penalty goal in the first half Vikings held a 10 – 0 lead at the break. The Bulls competed throughout the first half but a lack of intensity and some poor option taking gave the small crowd a sense of the inevitable about the result. The Blueys went right on with the job in the second term scoring two tries within seven minutes of the restart.

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The Rogues Rant

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

Digger Day 2017 is on Saturday 22nd July at Rugby Park South Nowra. Digger Day is proving to be one of the highlights of the Illawarra Rugby Year and all for a worthy cause supporting our returned servicemen and women. The day will get underway with pre game entertainment from 11.00 AM with the 1st Grade match between Shoalhaven and Kiama to be played at 1.00PM. Part of the festivities will include a display by the Army Red Berets Parachute team and also several Navy Helicopters will go through their paces for the crowd. There will be Australian VC recipients and also New Zealand Cross of Valour hero’s present as well. An RSL Last Post ceremony will be conducted and there will be an auction of the special commemorative Digger Day jerseys to be worn on the day to add to the days fundraising. Should be a great day out so get along and support a very worthy cause and see some great rugby as well.

Former IDRU Rugby Chairman Peter Leiner has been keeping himself busy since stepping down from the IDRU Board last year after some eight seasons in the role. As President of the Rotary Club of Corrimal for the last two years, Peter has been very active leading a very hardworking group of members of the club raising money for many worthy causes. The local club has performed so well this year that they were recently awarded the Best Club in Rotary District 9675. The district covers an area ranging from Sydney Heads south to Kiama, west to Parramatta, the lower Blue Mountains and Picton comprising a total of 64 clubs. Rotary is a wonderful community organization raising funds for many local and overseas programs to help improve the lives of needy people and communities. Well done Peter and all your team.

The Dexter Porter Blood Cup is in full swing for 2107 with Shamrocks and Vikings once again leading the charge in the early stages of the program. Camden, University, Kiama, Bowral and Tech Waratahs have also made contributions so far with the Blood Bank very happy with the response so far from the Illawarra Clubs. There is still plenty of time to get your club involved with the drive continuing through to the end of August again this year. For further details and to find out how your club can be more involved contact your local Blood Bank or co-ordinater Kieran Smith on 0429 728879.Dexter Porter Cup Tally July 17

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Referees Corner With Jim Scardanas

illawarrarugbylogoA really interesting one from the Referees corner this week. Several times this year I have witnessed that some teams are deciding NOT to engage or contest a lineout as a group which leads to somewhat of a shambles, with differing results and varying decisions between Referees. So I thought I would seek clarification from Jim Scardanas in this week’s Referees Corner.

Jim tells me that this was discussed in February this year at the Game Management Guidelines meeting held at the Master Builders Club. So, if a pack of forwards at a lineout decide not to engage a lineout then the following sanctions and/or processes must be followed. The Game Management Guidelines 2017 under the section headed QUICK THROW AND LINEOUT clearly state that:

 Teams deciding not to engage the maul at lineout.

* If the defenders in the lineout choose to not engage the lineout drive by leaving the lineout as a group then Penalty Kick to attacking team.

* If the defenders in the lineout choose to not engage the lineout drive by simply opening up a gap and creating space, and not leaving the lineout, the following process should be followed:

The attacking team would need to keep the ball with the front player if they were to drive downfield (therefore play on, general play - defenders could either engage to form a maul, or tackle the ball carrier.)

If the attacking team immediately passes the ball back to a player behind the front player or at the rear of the group, the referee would tell them to "Use it" which they must do immediately.

If the team drives forward with the ball at the back (and ignores the referee’s call to “Use it”), the referee should award a scrum to the defending team for "accidental offside" (rather than PK for obstruction).

This sought of play which usually ends up in a confusing mess for all concerned, invariably occurs at an attacking lineout within metres of the goal line. As far as the Rogue is concerned and I think plenty of others would agree, any team that chooses not to contest at the lineout in this manner is not playing the game in the true spirit and by not competing shouldn’t be given very much consideration at all. Just penalise them and let everyone get on with the game in the spirit of fair play. Perhaps the Law makers could make the appropriate changes to the Law Books to ensure that this blight on the game is removed once and for all.

Fourteen Straight For Avondale

MatchReportFor the second consecutive week Avondale have cast aside the challenge of a top three side with a 33 – 13 victory over Bowral at Gerry Cappetta Oval. In posting their fourteenth straight win of their unbeaten season, the Wombats now hold a commanding fourteen point lead at the top of the table with four matches to play.

The early stages of a keenly contested first forty minutes of the Round 14 match was played at pace with Bowral having the better of the first twenty minutes of play. With the benefit of six straight penalties the Blacks were able to dominate possession and field position but found it impossible to break through what is proving to be the competitions best defensive structure. A penalty goal to fly half Lachlin Huntington was all Bowral had to show for virtually twenty minutes camped in the Wombat half on the back of strong play from their forwards led by front rowers Todd Pearce, Mark Minter and Manu Feilo’ivao.

In the twenty first minute of the match impressive Wombat Silipa Tuigamala, playing in the centres this week, scored the first of his three tries for the day. With the Wombats putting on a well worked backline play after a scrum just in their own half, blind side winger Blake Spencer took an inside pass from Andre Itula and broke through the Bowral line. He found Tuigamala in support and sent the centre away on a forty metre run to the line. Tuigamala converted the try for an Avondale 7 – 3 lead.

Tuigamala’s second try was a long range effort as well with both the Wombat wingers combining to put the goal kicker away. The younger of the Tuigamala brothers, Mani, playing on the right wing joined the Wombat backline in another set play and burst through from sixty out before finding Spencer in support again down the left. Spencer drew the defence and took a heavy knock as he set Silipa Tuigamala on his way to the line for try number two, which Tuigamala converted for a 14 – 3 lead.

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The Rogues Rant

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

Well the Lions did a good job on the All Blacks last week restricting them to penalty goals only with a strong defensive effort now setting up a mouth-watering final test at Eden Park, Aukland. The Lions showed a lot of composure throughout the match which Sunny Bill Williams made a little easier for them with his dumb tackle, say no more. He certainly got what he deserved given the recent edicts regarding high tackles let alone no arm tackles. The Lions will need to work on their discipline though, so they won’t give Beauden Barrett the chance to kick them out of the game again. Leading 18 – 9 with twenty three to go it looked like the All Blacks would get away with the match after playing a man down for the most part. Two late tries and the ice man Owen Farrell kicking that goal in the 77th minute to snatch the match away for the Lions, they now have the chance to go home with a series win. On the tele at 5.30PM on Saturday from Eden Park.

It’s a commendable action from the IDRU Board to declare amateur status for Illawarra Rugby. Starting in 2018 clubs will not be allowed to pay players to play in any IDRU competition. There have been plenty of issues in Sydney Suburban Rugby over the years as a result of clubs getting out of control with player payments to the detriment of the Subbies competition. Subbies has had amateur status now for several seasons with at least one club being rubbed out for paying players with club officials and coaches also suspended from any involvement in Rugby. It’s a big call to make but the IDRU Board is to be congratulated for having the strength of their convictions. They are adamant that this is the way to go for the future sake of Illawarra Rugby. Everyone needs to remember though that in this day and age it is very hard for a young bloke to be able to make the sought of commitment to sport of any kind and maintain a job and income at the same time. It’s certainly not as easy as it was in the 1970’s and 80’s. Getting paid to play rugby makes the difference for a lot players to be able to participate given the state of the job opportunities these days. I reckon we will see a reduction in player numbers initially with this policy but hopefully we will be able to maintain the current club numbers across the district.

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