Round 2 - Results, Reports & Highlights
Well it was pleasing to get underway with a season opening win against Newcastle in Round 1, but with the greatest respect to the Shute Shield newbies, the acid test of where we stood as a football club in 2020 came against Warringah last Saturday.
If you believed the bookies markets and what was written in all the media previews, how could we possibly beat the Grand Finalists from the past three seasons in First Grade. Luckily most of our forwards don't bet and can't read! That's why we have backs!
As Morgan attests below, it was a special day at Coogee and the tribute to our fallen greats was very emotional and not doubt inspired the team. Some might even say there was some divine intervention from the grandstand above from Jeffrey, Changa and co to will the boys onto one of the bravest victories seen from a Randwick side.
In that vein, I received an email on Saturday night from one of our rusted-on supporters Michael Gearin, which pretty much summed up this sentiment.
Dear Mark, I had the privilege of watching first grade today pull off one of the gutsiest wins I have ever seen against Warringah. In over 40 years I can't recall a better Randwick win. Congratulations to all the team, coaches and supporting staff. A truly extraordinary win. Up the Wicks! Kind regards Michael.
Not only First Grade with their famous win, but with 7 out of 8 wins across the entire club against one of the absolute powerhouses in premier rugby, is testament to the enormous effort put in by everyone across the club to get us to there.
I have to admit, I am a tad sick of that C word that has dominated our lives over the past six months, but I am liking the other C word that is driving us now. Culture. Putting the Randwick back into Randwick and all that seems to be working a treat. As Jeffrey would say let’s just give it a bit of whiskaboomie!
In fact, its back with a vengeance and our fans have every right to be excited. However, you don’t make semis after just 2 rounds and there is much work to be done to ensure we have the opportunity to do so. Which I promise we will do.
It was also great to see our amazingly talented Women’s 1st Grade team return to action in Round 1 of the Jack Scott Cup and put on such a devastating performance against the Lady Rats at Latham Park.
From a community point of view, it was a huge relief to have all our junior clubs return last weekend with all the Friday night, Saturday and Sunday competitions recommencing and seeing all the kids doing what they love again. This is despite all those safety protocols, that are so challenging for amateur administrators to execute in public parks.
Special thanks to our Junior President Arthur Spellson and all the Club Presidents, their hard-working committees and volunteers for their dedication and persistence to get junior rugby going again.
Randwick Rugby is part of the broader local community and not just in rugby circles and our ties with other likeminded organisations such as Coogee Surf Lifesaving Club are strong. So, when the Surf Club asked for help to protect Lemmo’s Boatshed from the impending tidal surge we had no shortage of players, staff, coaches and even President Tuxy was on deck at 7am yesterday in absolutely shocking conditions ready to assist.
The relationship between our surf and rugby clubs’ dates back over 100 years and still goes strong today and we sincerely thank our guys for their assistance to protect such an important community asset.
Enough from me. Read on to see all the full results, coaches match reviews, a tribute to Terry 'Changa' McMahon and draw/ticket details for Round 3.
Up the Wicks!
It was very nearly the perfect weekend with 7 wins from 8 across our 3 Colts, 4 Grades and Women’s Teams. 3rd Grade’s agonising after the bell loss, was the only blip on our copybook, but all 8 games had great elements, that will stand each team in good stead for the rest of the season.
Coogee Oval has been an important place for all of us and we all have special memories of days there. Saturday, is now one of mine. There were many stories throughout an emotional day for our Club. One worth mentioning is new player to the club this year, Marcus Cutler who started the day playing in 4th Grade’s win and finished with his 1st Grade debut by making a significant contribution at the backend of the game. It was akin to the legendary day in 1987 when Dean Rapp achieved a similar feat playing for us in every grade at prop.
And what a game it was. 1st Grade’s courageous last 28 minutes a man down against last year’s Grand Finalists, carried home by the support of their fellow players madly cheering them on to victory, is a snapshot of everything we want this year and this Club to be about.
It was great to see the support for 1st Grade at Coogee, but also the 40 strong Colts contingent who loudly got behind our women’s team at Latham Park in the 5:30pm game, as they blew Warringah away in the second half.
Saturday should give our whole playing group two things: A confidence that they can beat anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances. A desire to continue to improve, because on Saturday a renewed benchmark of expectation was set.
Up the Wicks!
Saturday, was the clear standout performance and proudest moment in my time coaching at Randwick. Not because it was polished or because we played outstanding football, in fact it was far from that - an ugly, error riddled and wet occasion in which our only try came from a lineout and the ensuing maul.
It was special because of the resilience and sheer determination shown by our group to win in extremely difficult circumstances. It was pure guts over talent.
We hoped for a dry track, so we could exploit the mismatch in speed and mobility over the much larger Warringah pack. However, after a beautiful day the heavens opened up 25 minutes before kick-off and didn’t stop for the rest of the afternoon.
We then lost 3 key reserves to injury during the 2nd grade game and even sent an SOS to 4th Grade starting prop Marcus Cutler so we could fill the required front row reserves quota before kick-off. Then our flyhalf Dave Horwitz succumbed to a head knock after only 15 minutes and we then lost Ryan Powter in similar circumstances, just before half time.
Then Kyle Harris (6) Henry Hutchison (13) and George Hendry (3) all followed suit with injuries after the break and to top it off fullback Locky Miller was sent off for a supposed dangerous tackle with almost 30 minutes to go which he was subsequently exonerated for. This put us under the pump with only 14 players on the field. And at various stages we only had 13 in the defensive line.
Plus, in such miserable conditions, after 5 injuries and a red card, most teams would have been excused for pulling up stumps, particularly with Warringah bringing on fresh reserve after fresh reserve. Yet time and time again we repelled the Rats for a gritty 13-8 victory.
Whilst it was hard to single out anyone is what was a great team effort, Jake Turnbull our loose head prop was voted MVP by his teammates. He was outstanding and seemingly ruffled the feathers of some better credentialed opponents, who took their unexpected defeat not so well.
Other notable mentions were:
While we hope to drastically increase the level of execution and polish over the next few weeks, if we can keep and build this level of resilience and determination within the group it will take us a long way toward our goal. But on Saturday, it was a win that deserved to be savoured and with 7 from 8 record against such a strong opponent as the Rats, it was magnificent day for our club.
I have no doubt the departed legends of the club, whose memories we celebrated in a moving pre-match ceremony, inspired us and they would have approved of our performance. In a special touch, we broke with tradition and proudly roared McNamara’s Band on the field and Janette Sayle joined us, making it a very emotional rendition indeed.
Up the Wicks!
1st Grade Head Coach
Our Colts descended on Latham Park and for the first week this year, where all 3 teams had a competition fixture to fight for. Our players all wore black arm bands in remembrance of all our club legends who had died since last season, but particularly for life member Terry ‘Changa’ McMahon who sadly passed last Friday. Changa is the father of current 1st Colts Co-Coach Nathan or ‘Coma’ as he is better known, so the boys were on a ‘mission from God’ to do it for their coach.
3rd Colts got the ball rolling, but had a slow start to the game and initially passes just did not stick. Chances were plentiful, but conversion into points less so. The Rats did put up a terrific fight which saw the game remain close until a few late tries delivered us the decisive break and a 34-14 victory. It was very much a relieved playing group and coaches with Luke O’Shannessy and Matt Wilkinson received plaudits from everyone for their efforts.
2nd Colts came out of the blocks much faster and were way more dominant throughout in a slightly one-sided fixture – which was a surprise against a highly touted Rats side. Top performances came from Mitch McKay and Angus Houston in particular, which drove the Galloping Greens get the job done by 57-5 in a physically imposing performance.
1st Colts were pitted against a highly touted Warringah side, who were desperate to bounce back from a close loss to Sydney University in Round 1. In an opening first half with an extra bit of spice, no quarter was given by either side.
Our boys relaxed more in the second half and played the counter attacking style of rugby that suits the expansive attack minded group – which would have delighted Coach ‘Coma’ – highlighted by many long range efforts resulting in three 70m plus tries scored.
It was a high-quality performance from the entire back 3 and again from that man in the second row Angus Houston who needed to back up after playing a full game in 2nds when Saxon Gillies got injured in the warm up. It was a herculean effort from Angus and he was definitely our Colt of the Week!
All of this combined saw the Wicks post a 62-7 score line and run out convincing winners.
Changa would have been well pleased. The mission from God was accomplished!
Up the Wicks!
After the COVID induced lay-off, it was great for our Randwick Magic girls to be finally back out on the field on Saturday evening, taking on the 2017 Jack Scott Cup champions and always ultra-competitive Warringah Ratettes.
Aside from the many legends of the club who were remembered at Coogee Oval, we too played in honour of both Jeffrey Sayle and Terry ‘Chang’ McMahon, who were both huge supporters of women’s rugby and of our program from Day 1. The girls were highly motivated to put on a special display those gents would have been proud of and boy they didn’t let them down.
We had 5 Magic debutants in the run-on side and even sat our Waratahs and Wallaroos stars Arabella McKenzie, Kennedy Cherrington and Moniqca Mo’ale on the bench to show trust in our new recruits for this game. We were also missing our decorated captain, Georgina Friedrichs and enforcer Aaliyah Fa’amausili, but that didn’t stop our girls that took the field.
Our young girls made their presence felt immediately at this level, with a try in the first minute. However, it took another 20 minutes to score again, after some outstanding play by Warringah, who peppered our line and made our defence work extremely hard. We held them out and went to the break 19-0 up, after a really physical first half which belied the scoreboard.
In the second half, we created more possession and the flood gates soon opened up completely, as we piled on 6 more tries. Waratah Maya Stewart scored two of these and was joined by another debutant in Aussie Youth 7s rep Cassie Tohi-Hiku who also crossed for one of her own. Once the foot hit the pedal, the girls really turned it on to win 52-7, despite the wet and slippery conditions.
It was a great win, but we were really excited by the massive support we had from the 40 plus Colts boys on the hill, who stuck around after their games to urge their clubmates on. It was an amazing atmosphere having these boys supporting us and we would love to see more of it in the future whenever it is possible.
So, it was an awesome start to the season but there is still a long way to go for the Magic. In Round 2 of the Jack Scott Cup we face the Two Blues, who we defeated us in last year’s semi-final in a very fiery exchange, and it’s sure to be on again come Saturday afternoon at Lidcombe. Up the Wicks!
Randwick Magic Coach
Randwick Rugby and our local community mourns the loss of a beloved figure and the patriarch of one of the great Randwick families.
Sadly, Terry ‘Changa’ McMahon passed away at 3am last Friday morning in Prince of Wales Hospital, surrounded by his loved ones, after a long battle with cancer, aged 74. ‘Changa’ as he was universally known was a hugely popular man in the Randwick dressing sheds for well over 3 decades and was awarded Life Membership of our club in 2014.
Firstly, as a player then as a manager and many other roles in between, he was a local junior who went onto play over 100 Club games in myrtle green between 1966 -1972. He was very much at home at Coogee Oval and Latham Park.
His son and former player Nathan is currently our First Colts Attack Coach continuing the McMahon family’s long contribution to our club – so as outlined in the Peter's report above our Colts had plenty of motivation to play for both ‘Coma’ and ‘Changa’ on Saturday and did so.
Randwick legend and current board member Steve Holies writes the following tribute to an outstanding clubman and friend.
He’d greet you each Saturday at the ground with a firm handshake and cheeky smile. As a father, I can’t recall many, if any games he missed his son Nathan play for the club.
It’s never an easy job managing 20+ young men fired up on a Saturday but I never saw ‘Changa’ flustered. He was the first-grade manager for our club’s last premiership winning side in 2004 coached by Michael Cheika and David Knox. In his time as the club kit man, no one ever got one over him, although many tried.”
He enjoyed a bit of mischief in the sheds before the game, but always keeping the mood light-hearted. He had great relationships with the players from all grades. Plus in between duties he would always find time for some banter in with his mates - the half way hoons.
After a good win you’d find ‘Changa’ right in the middle of the team singing McNamara’s Band before getting back to work, cleaning their sheds, chasing us all around the place to make sure we didn’t forget our boots and belongings, always all with a big smile still on his face. Steve concluded.
Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions ‘Changa’s’ funeral is strictly limited in numbers and is by invite only, making an extremely difficult time even more so. No doubt St Brigid’s Church would have been overflowing at 11am tomorrow (Thursday, July 30th) otherwise.
However, the service will be livestreamed so that everyone has the opportunity to pay their respects. Please visit http://www.funeralvideo.com.au/TerranceMcMahon
‘Changa’ is survived by his wife Faye, son Nathan, daughter-in-law Sarah, granddaughter Lyla, his twin brother Mick ‘The Animal’ and their extended family.
Our deepest condolences on behalf of everyone at Randwick Rugby go to them all.
God bless you old mate, your family and many, many, friends. Up the Wicks!
Match times are as listed below and as you will see in a new degree of organisational difficulty we are forced to play 4 clubs (Parra, Gordon, Souths & UNSW) to ensure our boys all get a run.
Our primary Round 3 opponents are Two Blues (Parra) at Lidcombe Oval and we are awaiting ticket sales information and what capacity they are approved to have there. Like for all clubs this is a difficult thing to manage in the Covid environment.
So, keep an eye out for ticket updates on our website and via social platforms.
Randwick v Two Blues/Gordon at Lidcombe Oval
Randwick v Souths/UNSW at David Philips Field, Daceyville
Good luck to all our teams this weekend. UTW!!