The Rogues Rant

 

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

The British and Irish Lions really had to dig deep last Saturday in their match against The Waratahs. A near test strength Lions team was pushed to the very limit by an energetic and committed Waratahs team. The improvement shown by the Waratahs in 2013 was evident in the effort and Waratahs fans can look forward with anticipation to 2014.

The win by the Brumbies over the Lions on Tuesday night was full of merit. The Brumbies became the first Australian province side to have a win against the Lions since Queensland were winners in 1971. The win added to what has already been a great season for the Brumbies and now we can all look forward to their involvement in the Super 15 final series. Go the Brumbies.

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Paul Tuala Named as NSW Country Rugby Player of 2013

Paul TualaWollongong University, Illawarra and GrainCorp NSW Country Cockatoos No 8 Paul Tuala (pictured centre) has been named as the 2013 New South Wales Country Rugby Union Player of the Year.

Tuala was announced as the recipient of the Will Tanner Award at a presentation in Newcastle following the Cockatoos last representative match of the 2013 season.

The Will Tanner Award is named in honour of former Cockatoos player Will Tanner who tragically lost his life in a horse riding accident on his Quirindi property in 1997.

Paul Tuala burst onto the NSW Country Rugby Union scene this year with some outstanding performances for the Illawarra team at the Country Championships in Tamworth. His performances at the championships gained him selection in the 2013 GrainCorp NSW Country Cockatoos squad, and he quickly laid claim to the No 8 jersey for the duration of the season.

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Rusty Shamrocks take Maximum Points

Having seen enough of University lately, I decided this week to travel out of town to Kiama for the Cows match with competition leaders Shamrocks. Kiama coach Darryl Thomas would have been a frustrated man at fulltime given his sides Jekyll and Hide performance against the Rocks. His side was very competitive with Shamrocks for a fair slice of the match except for a thirty minute period before and after halftime in which Shamrocks put on six unanswered tries, to run out eventual winners 39 – 28.

A very energetic and efficient Kiama team started the match with enthusiasm and the Rocks struggled to go with them at the start after a three week layoff. The first thirty minutes was all Kiama who went out to a 14 – 0 lead. Winger Sam Moore started the scoring with a clever forty meter kick and chase try down the right wing after 18 minutes. Converted from in front by Five-Eight Nathan Trindall, Kiama lead by 7 – 0. With the Kiama forwards not allowing the Rocks to get into their rhythm, Kiama scored again in the twenty eighth minute through promising young representative Front Rower Daniel Grehan as he carried several defenders over the line. Keep an eye on this young bloke, he has a big future. The conversion from Trindall made the score 14 – 0.

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VIKINGS DOWN UNIVERSITY IN THREE GRADES

Vikings are beginning to reap the rewards of having four senior teams in the Illawarra Competition this year. The depth throughout the grades was demonstrated in the First Round Fixture against University, with Vikings Thirds winning 29-5, the Seconds winning 31-5 and the Firsts getting home in a thriller 32-31, with bonus points in all grades.

In Third Grade, Scott Midgley, Jared Constable and Darcy Crane put on the first three tries, one of which was converted by Shannon Fraser for a 17-nil lead at half time. Their score could have been more had several chances not gone begging through dropped passes. The Viking forwards provided a good platform for the back line, with the experience of Mark Foster, Nick McCauley and Dave Clancy complementing the exuberance of the younger members of the pack. Vikings scored two more tries in the second half and University one. Vikings tries were one to Mark Foster who was playing his 299th game for Vikings and the other was a penalty try. The penalty try should have been converted by Mark Foster in recognition of his service to the Club, but was in fact kicked by his second row partner Nick McCauley as Mark was lining it up. With friends like that he doesn’t need enemies.

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Viking Juniors Honoured.

Viking Juniors on Display.

The staging of any fixture involving a British and Irish Lions Rugby Tour involves much more than the match itself. The theatrical components of the event which precede the on field competition are very much part of the proceedings and Vikings Rugby Club is very honoured to have been invited to play a part in the preliminaries to both the Lions versus Waratahs encounter and also the First Test between The Wallabies and the Lions.

Prior to the Waratahs versus Lions Match on Saturday June 15 at Allianz Stadium Sydney, Vikings Under 11 Rugby Team, in full Club regalia, has been chosen to provide the Guard of Honour to both sides as they run on to the field. Furthermore Vikings talented Under 17 player Josh Noonan, again in Vikings sky blue colours, will be one of only two Flag Bearers at the opening ceremony between the Wallabies and the Lions prior to the Second Test on Saturday July 6 in Sydney. The national flag that each will bear will be decided by the toss of a coin prior to the game.

It will be exciting to see these young Rugby players of the future on show at such prestigious international Rugby events and very fitting that they should be representing both the IDRU and its oldest Club Vikings, to the millions of interested viewers within the International Rugby Community who will be watching them around the world.

JOHN MARTIN.

The Rogues Rant

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

 The Lions are here and starting to get a real roll on. When I first mentioned The Lions a couple of Rants ago, I talked about their likely power game and aggression. Well they certainly have delivered that so far. They are a very well coached and skillful squad. I love the way they play the game so direct. Let’s hope the Wallabies are getting plenty of physical contact work in their training sessions. Given that most of them won’t have had a game of footy for three or four weeks come the first test they are going to need it.

The Queensland Reds can hold their heads up following their performance against the Lions at Suncorp last weekend. Whilst The Lions never looked to be in danger of losing the match The Reds served it right up to them. Coach McKenzie didn’t do his chances for the Wallaby job any harm either by once again getting the absolute best out of the players available to him.

 

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