Illawarra South Coast Rugby Sevens a hit with over 200 players

U18's Winners - Edmund Rice CollegeThe Illawarra region played host to over 200, under 16 and under 18 Schoolboy Rugby players this week. The region hosted its annual Secondary Schools Rugby Sevens at the picturesque Kiama Rugby fields on Tuesday 7th May with the winners to represent the region against its City and Country cousins later in the year.

The location has a proud Rugby Sevens history with the Kiama Senior Sevens event attracting nearly 50 teams each February, and for the past 41 years the tournament has been the premier one day event on the Australian Rugby Sevens landscape.

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The Rogues Rant

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

The excitement is building with the British and Irish Lions Tour of Australia now just weeks away. The lions have announced their squad which has plenty of size about it. Looking at the player list and with former All Black player and current Wales Coach, Warren Gatland in charge, we can expect them to play a power game with plenty of aggression. The only problem is during Robbie Deans tenure as coach, the Wallabies have lacked genuine forward grunt. The first Test in Brisbane will give us a clear indication of how the series is likely to go. Bring it on.

Going by the number of penalties so far this season it appears that we do have a problem at the breakdown in the Illawarra. Our players are either ignorant of the Laws or just plain lazy. Its easy guys, if you are off your feet at the breakdown, you are out of play. If you then interfere with the smooth progress of the ball either deliberately or otherwise you WILL be penalized. So if you are out of play, get out of the way.

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Vikings pass the Test

Vikings Rugby Club which has been flying under the radar so far this season faced its moment of truth on Saturday when it took on the strong Camden Club in three grades. The previously untested Vikings proved to be up to the task, winning First and Thirds but going down to Camden in Seconds. The scores were 31-17 to Vikings in First Grade, 39-10 to Camden in Second Grade and 20-12 to Vikings in Thirds. Despite the windy conditions the rugby played in all grades was entertaining and of a good standard.

The Third Grade match was keenly contested with Camden having the best of the early exchanges and opening up an early five-nil lead. Vikings equalised with a try by Chris Nanasi soon after. Neither try was converted and the half time score was 5-5. The large Camden forwards were scrummaging well and caused Vikings to turn the ball over on several occasions. The complexion of the game changed in the second half however, with Vikings adopting a more expansive game plan and using its backline to good effect.

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Unbeaten Shamrocks on top of Table

2013 45 May 4th Shamrocks V Avondale Shamrocks Sam Latu well heldWhat a difference a week makes. Back to Ocean Park this week and back to winter weather with a howling southerly blowing.

Shamrocks have surged to the top of the IDRU Builders Club Premiership after a hard fought 26 to 23 victory over last years Premiers Avondale. After being down 7 – 10 at the break, and not taking full advantage of the southerly breeze, the rocks put on a much more spirited display in the second half to register a bonus point victory. This weeks results leaves Shamrocks and Vikings as the only unbeaten teams going into their match up in round 5 next week at Vikings Oval.

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The Rogue's Rant

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

IT’S good to see that the NSW Waratahs under Coach Michael Cheika are trying to play a more positive style of Rugby. There is still a lot of work to do but long suffering Waratahs supporters can maybe now see some light at the end of the tunnel.

SPEAKING of Waratahs! What’s happening with Tech Waratahs? Two matches played for two losses with 13 tries conceded and a total of 88 points against with just 7 for. The wheel has well and truly fallen off since last years Grand Final appearance.

CONGRATULATIONS to Josh Woodford on playing his 300th game for his beloved Shamrocks. Josh led his side onto the field and that was the fastest he ran all day. The veteran prop has learnt to pace himself these days which Shamrocks fans are happy to see. The experience that he brings to the Rocks is invaluable and fans look forward to seeing him there for a long time to come. Well done Josh and by the way match 400 will probably come up some time in 2018.

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Fifty Years ago this year.

Dick Hardy, Denis Hopley, John Martin, Bill BurrowsAs Vikings current archivist I am the proud custodian of much printed material from the early years. My own involvement in Illawarra Rugby began in 1956 when I took up my first appointment as a teacher in Wollongong. I had up to that time played rugby with Drummoyne Rugby Club. I also transferred from Avoca Beach Surf Club to Wollongong Surf Club and found to my delight that the Surf Club also had a Rugby Club. Two birds with the one stone and instant mates, many of whom have lasted a life time. In those days the Illawarra Rugby Competition was largely made up of teams from the local Surf Clubs many of whose members played Rugby on Saturday and League on Sunday. Wollongong Surf Club had a very promising young five eighth by the name of Graham Langlands who showed condiderable promise. Anyway, as Club archivist I thought it might be of interest to go through my 1963 folder to see what was happening fifty years ago this year. Forgive me if I dwell on the 1963 Grand Final for obvious reasons.

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