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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Age Country Championships

junior illawarriors logoLast weekend two young Illawarriors teams, the under 15’s & 16’s and their supporters traversed the Great Dividing Range to Bathurst for the Annual NSW Junior Rugby Country Championship and the selection trails for NSW Country Junior teams.

Day 1 of the Country Championships saw both sides with two games to play each. The teams experienced challenging conditions with a very thick fog rolling in at the Bathurst Bulldogs Anne Ashwood grounds and visibility down to less than 20 meter in some stages of the early games. First up both teams played against Newcastle / Hunter region and recorded a loss each. The next games were against Mid North coast and Far North Coast, unfortunately and not for lack of trying both teams recorded another loss.

After regrouping on Saturday evening the under 16’s had a win against hosts, Central West. A spirited performance by the under 15’s against Central North resulted in a narrow loss.

Best player voted for the Under 15’s was Jake Hickey and for the Under 16’s Best Back went to Blake Wellington and Best Forward to Reuben Thomas.  Congratulations go to the following players who have been selected for Country 40 player squads. Under 15s; A. Moata’ane, J. Legaspi, J. Hickey, T. Cusack & J. Neich all hailing from the Camden Club. Under 16s Country; B. Wellington (Uni) & B. Gurney (Shoalhaven).

As a note of interest, spotted 5 former Illawarra Caldwell cup winners  having a mini reunion in the Bathurst Bulldogs Club house;  John Maynard, now Central West President , Ian Westwood Wayne Cusack IRDU Under 15s Manager  and Far North Coast under 16’s  co-coaches John Dokter and Mark Flynn.

Tech Waratahs Are Back

MatchReportTech Waratahs continued their resurgence in the 2018 IDRU Builders Club Premiership prevailing 36 – 12 over a disappointing Campbelltown to remain in touch with the top four sides. Moving to equal fifth on the table just one win out of the top four, Tech Tahs ran in four tries in the first half to take a strangle hold on the contest with a 24 – 5 lead at the break. 

Although once again showing a clear dominance at the scrum over their opponents for the second week running, the Quinnies lacked the drive and enterprise to go with the home side in the first forty minutes. Tech Tahs were much busier than their opponents in the first fifteen minutes of the match with centers Vincent Wise and Nevan Bergan taking full advantage of their forwards hard work continually opening up the Quinnies defensive line.

Bergen crossed for the first try after veteran Lock Tim Olsen produced a well-directed long pass to create space for his center to race away and score after four minutes. Big No. 8 Paula Vakaruru scored a powerful try on the back of some more enterprising play from Vincent Wise who took play thirty meters down field with a blistering run only to be pulled down just short of the line. Vakaruru forced his way over from the ensuing ruck to give Tech Tahs the lead 10 – 0 after fourteen minutes.

Campbelltown got one back through center Travis Dombroski after being able to maintain their attack in the Tahs quarter for a period. The try came as they controlled possession for a long period asking plenty of questions of a well-organized Tech Tahs defensive line. Eventually Dombroski found himself on the end of an overlap wide on the left to score for a 10 – 5 score-line to Tech at the twenty second minute mark.

Read more: Tech Waratahs Are Back

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