The Rogues Rant

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

Season 2017 is well and truly upon us. The Sydney 7’s have gone and the inaugural Brisbane tens last week was very entertaining with the New Zealand sides once again dominating proceedings. The Camden 10’s are on this week at Camden Rugby Park with the 45th Kiama 7’s tournament the following Saturday at Kiama Showgrounds. The fifteen a side game is not far away either with this years’ Super Rugby kicking off on February 23rd with the Rebels up against the Blues at AAMI Park, Melbourne. The Waratahs have the Force first up at Allianz Stadium on Saturday February 25. The local comp is just five weeks away with Round 1 set for March 25, and that won’t take long to come around. Here we go!

Speaking of the local comp, there is plenty of news on the coaching front with lots of changes for 2017. No fewer than five clubs will have new 1st Grade coaches this year. Club Stalwart Murray MacDonald takes the reigns at Avondale, following James Patrick’s move to the Camden Rams for 2017. Graham Tresidder takes the top job at Shamrocks, but maybe he is only keeping the seat warm for Ronnie Davis to return later in the year. Paul Connor is the new boss at Shoalhaven, and there has been a change at Tech Waratahs before the training has even got underway in earnest. New Coach Neville Austin has moved on and the side will now be coached by former Kiama Cows player Elliot O’Donnell. Shaun McCreedy is still in charge at Uni, with Gene Fairbanks back and keen to build on the Bowral Blacks breakout year from 2016. Jayson Jordens continues with Campbelltown, Brent Kelly returns for Kiama, and Sean Barrett will once again lead Vikings who will be celebrating their 60th season in Illawarra Rugby.

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A Poem for Old Rugby Players

When the battle scars have faded, and the truth becomes a lie

And the weekend smell of liniment could almost make you cry.

When the last ruck’s well behind you, and the man that ran now walks

It doesn’t matter who you are, the mirror sometimes talks.

Have a good hard look old son! The melons not that great

The snoz that takes a sharp turn sideways, used to be dead straight.

You’re an advert for arthritis, you’re a thoroughbred gone lame

Then you ask yourself the question, why the hell you played the game?

Was there logic in the head knocks? In the corks and in the cuts?

Did common sense get pushed aside? By manliness and guts?

Do you sometimes sit and wonder, why your time would often pass

In a tangled mess of bodies, with your head up someone’s arse?

With a thumb hooked up your nostril, scratching gently on your brain

And an overgrown Neanderthal, rejoicing in your pain!

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Radical Changes to Tackle Laws for 2017


The ARU has fully endorsed the actions of World Rugby with the introduction of radical new Laws governing the tackle for season 2017. With growing concern regarding the effects of concussion on players from contact sports across the world, Rugby governing bodies have reacted by implementing new laws from January 3. The new laws have been fully endorsed by the ARU and will be in effect at all levels of Australian Rugby this season, including Illawarra Rugby.

Club Officials, particularly Coaches, and players will need to become very aware of the changes as all Referees will be operating under the new Laws from game one this year. The Law changes amount to a concerted crack down on head high tackles. Two new categories for high tackles have been created for 2017, being Reckless and Accidental head contact, which will carry differing punishments.

A reckless tackle is one in which it is deemed a player should have known the risk of making head-high contact but continued with their action regardless, with tackles that begin below the shoulders included in this. The definition of a reckless tackle can also include “grabbing and rolling or twisting around the head/neck area”. Reckless tackles will be an automatic yellow card, with the potential for a red card depending on the severity.

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Vale Garry Gates

It is with great sadness that I advise of the sudden death of former Illawarra Rugby Junior Chairman, Garry Gates. Garry was a humble man who gave wonderful service to the game of Rugby in the region and indeed across New South Wales.

As a stalwart of Bowral Rugby Club, Garry served as President of the Junior Blacks, before taking the role of IDRU Junior Chairman during the 2000’s. Throughout these years he coached at club and Illawarra representative level before moving up to NSW Country Juniors. He served as NSW Country Juniors Director of Coaching and rose to the position of President of NSW Country Junior Rugby Union.

There are many young men from all over NSW Country who have been touched by this dedicated and forthright servant of Rugby. Garry’s death has come as a shock to his many friends and colleagues throughout the Illawarra Rugby Family.

Our sincere condolences go to Garry’s wife Jo and sons Daniel, Jack and all the Gates family at this very sad time.

Garry’s Funeral service will be held at Southern Highlands Wines, Oldbury Road, Sutton Forest, commencing at 11.00 AM on Thursday 15th December.

Rest in Peace Garry Gates


2017 Junior Illawarriors Announced U14 to U17

On behalf of Shaun McCreedy, Illawarra Director of Coaching, selectors, coaching and support staff, we would like to thank all of the players who attended the recent muster days. The quality of rugby on display was very high and the selection panel had some difficult decisions to make.

Congratulations to the following players who have been selected in the Junior Illawarriors Under 14, Under 15, Under 16 and Under 17 Development Squads for the 2017 Representative season.

The representative program will begin with two, program-wide, induction days on Sunday 12th February and Sunday 19th February 2017. The venue and times will be confirmed soon.

Following trial games in March, these squads will be cut to 23 players in preparation for the NSW Country Championships (in May 2017) and the NSW State Championship (in June 2017)

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The Rogues Rant

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

After a promising start with three wins and hopes of a Grand Slam increasing, the Wallabies Spring tour came to a sour end with Saturday’s loss to England. In the end the tour pretty much summed up the season for the Wallabies which can only be described as disappointing and frustrating for all concerned. At times throughout the year and again during the tour of the Old Dart, the Wallabies showed that they were capable of producing the physicality and the attacking flair to trouble any side. Once again, as we have seen many times in 2016, the side’s basic skills have once again let them down. Tries went begging from poor handling and option choices as they were unable to put their opponents under pressure for the full eighty minutes of their matches. The question now is where does Australian Rugby go from here?

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