Blueys Hold Out Fast Finishing Blacks

MatchReportVikings have registered their first win of the season with a hard fought 25 – 17 win over a fast finishing Bowral at a windswept Vikings Field. The Round Three IDRU Builders Club Premiership match was a physically demanding match on both sides, with Vikings going out to a four tries to one lead before surviving a late rally from a committed Bowral side. Bowral put on two late tries finishing the match full of running as the Blueys hung on for the eight point win to open their seasons account.

A blustering North Easterly wind made for difficult conditions as both sides had trouble dealing with the wind throughout the match. Vikings had first use of the breeze and used it well to contain the Blacks in their own half for most of the first 15 minutes of the match. Captain Joel Diggins, once again leading from the front scored the first try of the match after working a run around play with Half-back Tom Sawden for a 5 – 0 lead after 14 minutes.

Bowral finally forced their way up field and on the first real foray into the Vikings quarter crossed for the equaliser after 18 minutes. A clever play featuring an interchange of passes by their three quarter line, winger Thomas Mooney crossed for the try. Fly-Half Lachlin Huntington and centre Jordan Grey combined brilliantly to create the try from wide on the right side. Huntington couldn’t convert the try as the scores were locked at 5 – 5.

Sawden was heavily involved again when he combined with powerful centre Michael Ashby to set up the next score for Flanker Thomas Claridge. Sawden couldn’t convert the try from out wide but added a penalty goal four minutes later for the Blueys to go to the break 13 – 5 in front.

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The Rogues Rant

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

Last week I asked the question is Australian Rugby in crisis. After another disastrous week in Super Rugby for the Aussie sides the answer to the question must be yes. Four matches between Kiwi and Aussie sides all went to the Kiwis by a total score line of 150 – 64 with the New Zealanders scoring 21 tries to the Aussies 9. The match between the Waratahs and the Crusaders pretty much summed up the gap that exists between Australian and New Zealand Rugby. The Crusaders squad was made up of very well educated footballers who showed they know how to win football games. They played with power and pace, with skill and control. Their attack was direct as they played with width and depth to put on six tries. In contrast the Waratahs fumbled their way through the eighty minutes. They didn’t compete at the breakdown and their one on one first up defense was appalling, with more than forty missed tackles on the stat sheet. The Waratahs attack was flat with the basic catch and pass game required nowhere to be seen. It has been said many times before that there is a basic skill problem in Australian Rugby and it is becoming more and more apparent as this season goes on. This problem has been ten to fifteen years in the making and it will probably take just as long to correct, if it’s not already too late. There clearly is a problem with Coaching and Development in Australian Rugby as the Kiwi’s continue to show us just how it’s done.

The IDRU Judiciary got off to big start this week. Avondale Flanker Sione Teaupa appeared before the Judiciary after being sent off at Vikings Field on Saturday. He copped a lengthy eleven week suspension after being charged with two offences. He was suspended for three weeks on the original striking charge for which Referee Andrew Strode sent him off. He was then handed a further eight weeks for Unsportsmanlike conduct for the incident that occurred as he left the field. I think anyone who was at the match last Saturday as I was, will agree that the Judiciary got this one 100% right.

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Wombats Hold On For Second Win

MatchReportAvondale Wombats maintained their perfect start to the 2017 IDRU Builders Club Premiership with an intriguing 22 - 17 win over Vikings at Vikings Field. In an entertaining first forty minutes in which both sides played a sound structured game, Avondale scored three tries to the Blueys two to take a 22 – 10 lead. Unfortunately for the healthy Vikings Field home crowd both sides lost composure in the second term with poor handling and ill-discipline marring the remainder of the match.

Avondale had to overcome two Yellow Cards and a send-off to take the points. The IDRU Judiciary committee will be having a close look at a nasty incident which occurred after the send-off of Wombat Flanker Sione Teaupa in the closing minutes of the match. Teaupa was dismissed by Referee Andrew Strode for striking and then was involved in another exchange with Vikings captain Joel Diggins on his way to the sideline.

Impressive Avondale Fly-half Silipa Tuigamala opened the scoring with a penalty goal after three minutes before Vikings scored the first try after a tense period of play deep in the Wombat quarter. Vikings opted for a succession of scrums after receiving penalties all within kicking range preferring to keep pressure on the visitors defence. Blueys livewire half-back Tom Sawden pushed away from his opposite number Andy Duggen, darting through the Wombat defence to score beside the posts at the seventeen minute mark. Sawden missed the conversion from close range for Vikings to lead 5 – 3.

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The Rogues Rant

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

Is Australian Rugby in crisis? Several articles based on a recent report from the Roy Morgan Research group have appeared across Rugby Websites showing some alarming figures. Rugby is rated the 26th most popular sport in Australia in terms of active players. The research suggests that Rugby participation numbers have declined a massive 63% between 2001 and 2016. In real numbers that’s 148,000 in 2001 to 55,000 players last year. The ARU acknowledges that the fifteen a side game in Australia has declined but refutes the numbers are so alarming. Most major sports in Australia are in decline except Soccer which has recorded a 46% increase to 623,000 participants last year. In comparison Cricket has reduced over the same period by 10% but still boasts 377,000 players. Rugby League sits at 17th with 127,000 and the AFL 8th with 253,000. Alarming figures indeed!

There has also been plenty of comment all across the board on what is going on with Super Rugby. A lot of Aussie commentators and ex-players are making similar noises along the line I mentioned a couple of weeks back. Australia and New Zealand should go it alone with a Trans-Tasman Tournament with a much more manageable ten team comp. With all the franchises struggling financially the cost of transporting and accommodating the current Super Rugby squads under the current tournament structure must be enormous. It would be a lot easier on everyone especially the players, if the only travel required was across The Ditch.

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Bulls Open Title Defence With Hard Earned Win

MatchReportReigning IDRU Premiers University started the defence of their 2016 Builders Club Premiership title with a hard earned but in the end decisive 26 – 6 win over Camden at Camden Rugby Park. A new look Rams outfit were very competitive but an outstanding defensive effort from the Bulls throughout the first half saw the Rams take a narrow 3 – 0 lead to the break. The Rams first half attack was relentless but the home side lacked the finesse to finish off several strong scoring opportunities. Scoring four tries after the break the Bulls opened the season with a well-deserved twenty point win.

After a frantic first ten minutes of the match Camden were reduced to 14 when veteran Lock Daniel Halse was binned by Referee Andrew Strode. Uni were advancing toward the Rams line with a well-constructed driving maul when Halse joined the Maul from quite an acute angle ending the Bulls scoring drive. Camden survived with their line intact during Halse absence and with fly-half Dane Kelly kicking a penalty goal, ended the period with a three point lead. Camden threw their best at the Uni line but had to settle for just a three point lead at the break with the Premiers defence outstanding.

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The Rogues Rant

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

What does the future hold for the Waratahs in 2017? After four rounds they are third from the bottom with only the Sunwolves and Rebels behind them. Their performance last Saturday against the Brumbies was inept, and lacked the physical effort required at Super Rugby level. Their work at the breakdown was just not good enough and their set piece came second all night. There’s a long way to go in the season but things are starting to look very similar to last year’s tournament for the Waratahs.

The Southern Crushers Rugby Club has gone from strength to strength and is ready to go in 2017. The Albion Park community has jumped on board in earnest to support the birth of the newest addition to Illawarra Rugby. The club has secured the use of the Albion Park High School field for their home matches for both their third grade side and their two junior teams. The Crushers have confirmed their participation in third grade with over 25 registered players on their books. They have entered and confirmed their Under 11’s for the Illawarra Juniors comp and are just a couple of players short from being able to do likewise with an Under 13 team as well. So if there are any twelve year olds out there around Albion Park looking for a game of footy this year, give Nathan Calder a call on 0432 759205 to become a part of this exciting new venture. After having a 12 - 7 win in a trial against fellow newcomer Wollondilly recently, the 3rd Grade side is looking forward to their first outing against Campbelltown at home this Saturday. Kick-off is at 12.40, followed by the 2nd Grade and 1st Grade matches between Tech Waratahs and Campbelltown.

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