The Rogues Rant

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

Congratulations to Shoalhaven Rugby Club, celebrating their 50th Anniversary over this June long weekend. A very busy weekend coming up for the Shoalies faithful starting with an informal get together at the Rugby Club from 6.00PM on Friday night. Beer, Wine and Woodfired Pizza are on the menu and there is sure to be plenty of tall tales of the legendary past shared by all. The Shoalies Round 9 match up with Campbelltown has been brought forward a week to form part of the celebrations with all matches to be played half an hour earlier than usual on Saturday with 1st Grade kicking off at 2.30PM. Shoalies dropped out of the top four last week after losing to competition leaders Avondale, while the Quinnies found some form going down narrowly to University. I’ll tip Shoalies to get a win this week and stay in touch with the top four. A sold out formal dinner will be held on Saturday night with over 300 people to attend at Bomaderry Bowling Club including some very special guests. Favorite sons Al Kanaar and Will Miller will be there along with the legendary Andrew Walker. Unfortunately Australian Sevens star Tom Connor will be an apology. A recovery Brunch will be held from 11.00AM Sunday at the ground with some physical on ground activities planned for anyone who may still be fit enough to participate after such a hectic few days. Congratulations to all our friends at Shoalhaven Rugby Club, have a good weekend.

Once again I have to ask the question, just where Australian Rugby is heading? This week it was announced that NSW will only have two teams participating in this year’s NRC tournament. The Sydney Rays and the Country Eagles are the only two teams left from the original four sides that first competed in the competitions inaugural year in 2014. This is a national tournament aimed at giving players the opportunity to take a step up into a higher level of competition designed to fill the gap between club and Super Rugby. To only have two teams coming out of an area of over six million people is ridiculous. This decision is a perfect example as to why Australia is not producing the standard of player required for International Rugby. Instead of creating more opportunity for more players to grow and develop the powers that be are more interested in creating stronger individual teams to chase short term success and bring trophies back to Sydney.

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Tech Waratahs Cruelled By Last Minute Try

MatchReportA last minute try to replacement winger Daniel Bunten has given Vikings a hard fought 21 – 16 victory over Tech Waratahs to take the Blueys into the top four. With Shoalhaven going down 17 – 45 to competition leaders Avondale, the competition table now resembles 2017 as we approach the halfway point of the IDRU Builders Club Premiership for this year.

In an entertaining round eight match at Saunders Oval, Tech Tahs took the lead after six minutes and lead throughout until the cruelest of endings for the home side. In a somewhat clumsy first half performance from Vikings a late try to Michal Ashby pulled back a thirteen point deficit at the break for Tech Tahs to lead 13 – 7. With an inspired running game from Lock Jack Hobbs leading the way, Vikings scored two second half tries in a much improved performance despite an outstanding defensive effort from the Tahs.    

The first thirty minutes of the match was pretty much played between the quarter lines as both sides defended strongly in a fast paced affair highlighted by some ferocious exchanges between the forward packs. An attempted clearing kick from Vikings fullback Jason Reid, rebounded 20 meters towards his own line. Tech Tahs Halfback Meninder Singh won the race to the ball to score the opening try after six minutes. The try was converted by Ethan Maker and the Tahs lead 7 – 0.

The Tech Waratahs strong defensive effort denied a clumsy Vikings attack any latitude for most of the first forty as poor handling let the Blueys down several times in attack. Maker added two penalty goals for the Tahs to go out to a 13 – 0 lead. In between goals Vikings Halfback Tom Sawden inexplicably lost possession of the ball as he was crossing the Tech line to score after taking a quick tap from ten out.

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The Rogues Rant

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

This Sunday is the launch of the Tech Waratahs initiative #talk2mebro. A special VIP Event is on at the North Gong Hotel from 4PM through to 6PM. Everyone is welcome, for further details go to 2018 23 talk2mebro

It will be a big day for Jay Spencer on the 17th June at Camden Rugby Park, where it all began for the Camden Front Rower. Jay will be one of eight Illawarriors running out for the Country Cockatoos opening match of the season against the Brumbies Provincial side. Jay played a big role in the Illawarriors Caldwell Cup campaign and thoroughly deserves his call up to the Cockatoos. It will be a huge thrill for the young prop to wear the famous Cockatoos jersey onto his home ground. There’s sure to be plenty of Rams there to help him celebrate this huge milestone.

Some great news coming out of NSW Rugby during the week with the announcement of a new development program to be run in association with the States seven Sports High Schools including Illawarra Sports High at Berkeley. NSW Rugby Union coaching staff will be traveling down to the Illawarra to work with the Schools Rugby Squad and Coaches. The squad members will also get the chance to attend training camps and seminars run by NSW Rugby. There will also be a strong emphasis on a mentoring program for local coaches by NSW coaching staff to help improve the overall quality of coaching available to local players. Definitely a move in the right direction.

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Eight Illawarriors On Show For Country Cockatoos

NSW Country LogoThe opening match of the 2018 NSW Country Cockatoos program will be played at Camden Rugby Park on Sunday 17th June. The Cockatoos will have eight Illawarriors in their squad of 23 for the match against the ACT Provincial side.

After the Illawarriors success at the Caldwell Cup tournament in Warren in April, Illawarra players will make up over a third of the Cockatoos squad. A quartet of University Bulls players leads the representation with Tom Baker, Takunda Chimwaza, Amos Leef and the very much in form Sam Latu heading the list. Also selected are Leighton Cowley from Kiama, Tuumuliilevao Taiti-Taanoa from Avondale, Aisake Tuevu from Tech Waratahs, and Jay Spencer from match Hosts Camden.

The game is the first of three matches for the Cockatoos with matches against Sydney Subbies and Qld Country Blue Heelers to follow.


2018 24 Country Cocatoos V ACT 

University Hold Second On Table

MatchReportIt was a game of two halves at Saunders Oval as the University Bulls prevailed 43- 31 over Tech Waratahs to maintain second spot on the IDRU Builders Club Premiership. In a first half in which seven tries were scored both sides showed poor execution in defense as tries came too easy.

With the Bulls trailing by seven at the break the match was in the balance with both sides needing to improve their execution in attack but more importantly in defense if they were to take the much needed two competition points. University came out after the break with a much improved attitude to their defensive effort and reaped the rewards. The students put on four second half tries while shutting the Tech Tahs attack down with a much more committed defensive performance.

The Bulls Country Representative center Sam Latu was very busy early crossing for the opening try of the match from an inside run off Fly Half Tom Baker after just two minutes. Moments later he was on his way to the Bin after knocking down a Tahs pass from an offside position.     

Soon after the send-off with Tech Tahs lifting the attacking tempo No.8 Paula  Vakaruru strolled through some sloppy Uni defense to score the first of his three tries for the day. With the score equal at 7 – 7, minutes later, Uni were reduced to thirteen with winger Lachlan Conyers also sent to the bin for a similar infringement to Latu. Tech took full advantage of the numbers scoring twice before Latu rejoined the match.

Vakaruru scored his second try showing all his pace and power to cross beside the posts from twenty out. Three minutes later Tech was in again through Wingman David Wood who scored in the corner after a great forty meter run from center Nevan Bergen. All of a sudden Tech were out to a 19 – 7 lead after twenty minutes.

With both sides finding it hard to come up with effective one on one defensive efforts the tries kept coming. Uni winger Simon Douch pushed off a feeble attempted tackle to run away down the right to score wide out. In response Tech Tahs fullback Aisake Tuevu showed all his pace in a sharp twenty meter run to score before Tom Baker intercepted a pass on halfway to race away to score and bring up the halftime margin to Tech of 24 – 17.

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The Rogues Rant

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

The Tech Waratahs club tragically lost their friend and player Matt Simpson last summer to suicide. Following his passing a group of his friends and club-mates have started an initiative to create a mentoring campaign for young men who may be struggling with the pressures of life. The Charity to be known as #talk2mebro will be launched on Sunday 3rd June at the North Gong Hotel from 4PM to 6PM. The purpose of the campaign is to help young men in our community learn to discuss, deal and talk about the struggles of life, with the aim to make suicide an unacceptable option. Tech Tahs round 15 match with Avondale on the 28th July will be a commemorative match for the campaign with the Tech Tahs players wearing special one off jumpers for the match. The jumpers will then be auctioned off at the North Gong after the game with all proceeds going to the cause. Check out Tech Tahs Facebook page for more details and contact LaVon Davey to pledge your assistance for this very worthy campaign.

The Junior Illawarriors Country Championship campaign this year has been outstanding. Of the eight Country Titles up for grabs four have come to the Illawarra in an extraordinary effort from all concerned. On top of winning the four titles we also have had 24 players selected in Country Squads for the year. After the Under 15’s and 16’s tournaments in Bathurst last weekend, seven players made it into the Country Squads. Anthony Moata’ane, Tom Cusack, Jack Neich, Jake Hickey, and Jayden Legaspi made it into the Under 15’s while Blake Gurney and Blake Wellington won a place in the Under 16’s. Other players selected this year include Josh Low, Micah Gibson, Matthew Parkes, Jayden Villamu, Harrison Valevatu, Jackson Ropata, and Metui-sela Fuka in Under 14’s. The girls are not to be outdone by the boys with Maddison Weatherall, Camelia Lotoaatu, Keeley Kopara, Koniseti Tinao, Grace Sullivan, and Viena Tinao making the Under 17 Girls squad and Sailina Heritage, Lili O’Dea, Angie Tau, and Checoby Muttay making the Under 15’s. Well done to all concerned in putting the Junior program together.

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