Randwick Rugby Newsletter!
Your Wick’s had a successful return to Shute Shield competition last Saturday, winning all 4 games we played against West Harbour in Round 1 at Drummoyne Oval, including a big 52-17 victory in First Grade over the Pirates to retain the Sutton’s Cup.
Our major sponsor Sutton’s was represented by Pat Borg who had great pleasure in presenting us with his cup, resplendently and expectedly decked out in his Wicks polo shirt and cap. Pat also helped lead a stirring rendition of MacNamarra’s Band in our winning dressing room after the game.
Once again, we thank Pat and Nick Fraad for Sutton’s fantastic support of our club and also of West Harbour who they also sponsor. They are a great friend of the game.
Speaking of sponsors, I must apologise to the new Shute Shield naming rights partner Charter Hall, who I mistakenly referred to as Charter House - if you going to stuff it up, go big! Anyway, to my namesake Mr Harrison the CEO of Charter Hall – 1,000 apologies and from now to paraphrase those famous modern philosophers N-Trance we all sing ‘everybody in da House come on an let me hear ya say Hall, Hall, Hall!’
Also, in the non-competition matches played last Saturday on campus at Sydney Uni in 4th Grade and 2nd Colts, we had impressive wins against the students. So, things are looking promising across the board, but we have to up the ante, this weekend against the Rats.
The draw for our Round 2 matches against Warringah at Rat Park this Saturday and ticketing information also follows in the update. Fortunately, we have all 7 teams playing full competition matches against the Rats up at Narrabeen – which makes life a little simpler.
We also see our combined UNSW/4th Colts team stepping out in Round 1 of the Colts Subbies comp against Epping at Dave Phillips Field. It’s another example of our great partnership with UNSW, which ensures the boys from both clubs’ get a game each week.
There is much to cover off here with the return of Coaches Corner – with match reports from the weekend West Harbour and Uni games, the latest on Coogee Oval’s Backyard Blitz and the ticketing release plans for the massive Easts game on the Anzac weekend.
In Community Corner sadly, we mourn the loss of a couple of old Wicks this week, but celebrate the success of one Coogee Surf Club’s local boys in the huge Wedding Cake Island swim last Sunday.
Also our Randwick Juniors are having a Try Rugby Gala Day on April 24 at Nagle Park Maroubra from 8.30-11.30am for any under 6-8 year old boy or girl who wants to have a go. Our best junior coaches will teach these kids how to play and develop rugby skills in a fun way. Best of all it is free and you just show up on the day to register. Outstanding!
Plus, it’s not too late to get a season ticket, which are selling fast or to get your supporters gear and myrtle green up for the season online at the Wicks Shop. The retro style corduroy caps are massively popular in the spirit of everything old is new again!
Read on plenty to see here. Up the Wicks!
Supporters are required to buy entry tickets for the 5 matches against the Rats on Pittwater Rugby Park’s main field and they can be pre-purchased online by clicking here.
The 2nd and 3rd Colts matches will be played earlier in the day on Pittwater Rugby Field 2 – directly outside the main ground and as it’s a public park no tickets are required.
If you can’t make it over Narrabeen on Saturday, our First-Grade match will be live streamed on Stan Sports – the Home of Rugby in 2021 from 3pm.
For more details on how to do so, visit https://www.stan.com.au/sport
Our combined UNSW/4th Grade Colts team takes on Epping at 12.45pm, closer to home at Dave Phillips Field, Daceyville for anyone keen to have a look.
So, there is a full day of rugby action and we hope to see you out there supporting our boys. Good luck to everyone and Up the Wicks!
Drummoyne Oval looked an absolute picture last Saturday and it was perfect conditions to start our year against West Harbour, who had a few ex-Wicks in their line up to spice things up, particularly with the Sutton’s Cup at stake!
We had 4 debutantes in Chris Eves, Wayne Borsak, Zac Shepherd & Dan O’Brien in the starting group and another 5 in Shane Connelly, Jamie Rickward, Valance Yates, Saxon Gillies and Liam O’Connell who came off the bench. Congratulations to these men who have now joined a very illustrious group.
In the lead up to Saturday we had talked about how you don’t get a second chance at a first impression and the importance of putting our best foot forward against Wests. As we knew they would be, the Pirates were a big and physical team and took it to us in the early exchanges, but our new skipper Mitch Short took the wind out of their sails early when he capitalised on a forced handling error and ran 50 metres to score.
With plenty of big ball carriers and heavy hits laid on us, we were under pressure on multiple occasions throughout the first half but held our line resolutely and weathered the early Pirate storm. Chris Eves then scored after some nice lead up work from Kyle Harris taking us to the break at 12-0.
It was pleasing to then see the hard work that the group does on their speed and conditioning really show in the second half as we kicked away with a further 6 tries to take the final score to 52-17. Christian Yassmin showed plenty and finished with a double whilst Jackson Mohi, Zac Shepherd and Valance Yates all crossed for five pointers.
It would be interesting to go through our club's history books to see the last time a prop scored a double on debut in 1st Grade, but that’s what we got from Chris Eves who was a deserved man of the match.
It wasn’t all rainbows and lollipops though, as we showed some clear deficiencies in our defence and were on the wrong side of the penalty count, both of which will need immediate attention going into a tough Round 2 contest with Warringah up at Rat Park.
All in all, though it was pleasing to get five competition points, keep the Sutton’s Cup (thanks Pat!) and to do so without serious injury. As we know you can’t win a comp at this time of year but you can certainly make it hard for yourself if you don’t accumulate maximum points. Up the Wicks!
Up the Wicks!
1st Grade Head Coach
Our 2021 season began with a 40-24 bonus-point win over West Harbour at a picturesque Drummoyne Oval.
After a red-hot 12-0 start, which included two long-range tries scored by wingers Henrik Anthony and Hugo Carr through brilliant support play, the team then inexpiably fell asleep at the wheel.
An unacceptable level of poor discipline for a significant period, which resulted in two yellow cards, allowed West Harbour to roar back into the game and take a handy 24-12 lead and things looked decidedly grim.
However, a stunning last 15 minutes saw the good guys score four tries in quick succession to seal the deal. Having dug a deep hole for ourselves, it was a pleasing to see us claw our way back out of it in the manner we did.
No doubt valuable lessons will have been learnt, as we move on and head up to Rat Park for a tougher assignment in Round 2. Up the Wicks!
2nd Grade Head Coach
After a slow start that saw us ahead only 7-5 after 20 minutes, Third Grade ran out convincing winners 46-5. Our set piece was misfiring early, and Wests had a few capable ball carriers, both of which combined to put us under some pressure.
The injection of Colts front rower Tumoana Poata steadied the ship and we gradually gained ascendancy. Skipper Ryan Powter and back row compatriot Joe Feltis, both of whom had been there and seen it before, helped us absorb that pressure and they enabled colts graduates Ellis Hawker and Matt Dutallis to impose themselves on the scoreboard.
Solid games from Jack Harrison, Danny Allende and Lachlan Anderson emphasised the ridiculous talent we have in this club and made sure that the outcome was never in doubt. Third Grade is the measure of the depth of any club, and we are looking very good after Round 1. We all know that premierships are not won in April, so we need to stay focused because Warringah at Rat Park is never an easy assignment. Up the Wicks!
3rd Grade Head Coach
On our early 8am arrival on campus to face Sydney Uni, it was clear one of the students residing at St Paul’s had a very, very big night as a car was parked in the middle of the oval. As reigning premiers, we presumed this meant we were playing for the Sutton’s Cup!
The problem was that the culprit was nowhere to be found to move it, so our normal pre-match warmup was interrupted, as it became all hands-on deck assisting Uni players to lift and drag the unwanted vehicle off the field to enable the match to be played.
The operation was a success, no lives were lost or hernias created.
Welcome to 4rd Grade folks!
Once the footy got underway, despite it being a non-competition match, it was a tight contest until a brilliant individual effort from Hamish MacDonald saw us open the scoring after some slick lead-up play by the backline. More patience and heavy lifting (not cars this time) prior to halftime by the forwards saw us rewarded with another try.
A sustained defensive effort on our own try line led by Ethan McGuiggan and Alex Harrod kept Uni at bay. Then a red card to the students ensued, which allowed us to open the game up and score a few more tries to run out convincing 25-0 winners.
We look forward to our first competition game against the Rats on Saturday and I can assure you the defending champs are ready to go.
4th Grade Coach
1st Colts v West Harbour
The top grade travelled to Drummoyne Oval for our first-round match against West Harbour. There was some pre-match concern when we saw the size of the West Harbour boys combined with the very narrow back field (Taplin Park), however the team showed excellent early focus and started the game very strongly.
Centre Chad Boyed scored with one of the game’s first plays, and the scoreboard kept ticking over from there. Flyhalf Ben Dowling had several quality involvements early, scoring two first half tries and nearly scoring two others. The pre-match chat was primarily around disrupting the Wests set piece, and this was achieved very effectively. We were able to steal a few early lineouts on Wests throw, and our scrum was dominant from the get go.
We took a big lead into halftime, and committed to maintaining the pressure and not to drop our standards after the break. The second half was highlighted by two tries from Number 8 Harvey Austin’s chip and chases, one scored by himself and another by Gage Phillips. Gage finished with two tries, but looked threatening with every touch.
Hugh Johnson replaced Ky Willoughby with 30 minutes to go, and played a big part in many of the scoring plays in his stint. We finished 97-7 winners, and there was satisfaction for a job well done, but its early days and there is plenty of improvement left in this group.
2nd Colts v Sydney Uni
The 2s played a non-competition match against Sydney University at University Oval. Creative forward interplay in attack, combined with set piece accuracy, provided us plenty of early ball in Uni’s territory. James Hendren scored the game’s first try from a midfield scrum starter play. Hooker Barnaby Bickmore Hutt set the platform early with four perfect line out throws to launch attacking set pieces, and then an outrageous offload for James Hendren’s second try. A try to Garang Garang just prior to the half gave us a handy 19-0 lead. From a well-worked scrum move, University scored their only try early in the second half. We controlled the rest of the game and played most of the rugby throughout this match, and so deserved the result.
Ben Elder made a pest of himself at the breakdown and stole several Uni possessions. There wasn’t a poor performer in the forward pack, and the backline made the most of the opportunities which presented themselves – particularly Jake Jorgensen who can certainly find the try-line. Hugo Dempsey, Jayden Blake and Ben Zucchiati made very impressive returns from injury, and will push for selection in the top grade over the coming weeks.
It was a surprisingly complete performance from this team so early in the season, and against a high-quality opposition no less. Randwick finished the game 46-5 winners and are very well placed for their first competition match next weekend against the Rats.
3rd & 4th Colts v Sydney Uni
Our 3rds and 4ths colts, plus our UNSW recruits – all 35 of them - played a three-half friendly match against the Sydney Uni 3rds colts on St John’s Oval. The quality of this match belied the lower grade and early kick-off time, and our two clubs will certainly feature amongst the competition leaders in this grade. Uni scored first from a charged down kick, but we played most of the rugby and squared things up before the first break.
After the break we rotated 4ths colts through, which Uni matched with their 3rds colts’ reserves. Caillan Porter’s return from a 12+ month injury layoff was a highlight of this match, beating a defender with nifty footwork, and demonstrating the positive attitude which made him Colts Clubman of the Year in 2020. With rotating teams and grades, the result ended approximately even, and a was very useful step up in standard for our boys entering their first competition matches.
Colts Program and Pathways Manager
The work to turn Coogee Oval from a cricket/construction site, into the mini football stadium we all love in winter is in full swing.
The main grandstand, dressing rooms and the grassed area directly in front of it will be off limits to players and spectators alike, as it is still a construction zone. The revised timeline for the completion of this work is now towards the back end of May.
Temporary dressing room and extra stands will be set up on the beach side of the oval, as will extra bars, food outlets and toilets to handle the bigger crowd required on that side of the ground until the works are completed and the builder exits the site.
The sink hole the recently appeared on the Dolphin St try line, required a tunnelling exercise similar to the one seen in the movie The Great Escape to remediate it. Our Green Options ground staff have employed Charles Bronson to scope out this work and he was last seen under Court 2 of the Tennis Courts heading towards Bream St.
Don’t worry though everything is under control – as demonstrated during COVID last year we do our best work from the foetal position!!
Tickets for our blockbuster game against Easts on Saturday April 24, will go on sale on Monday April 19 at 2pm on our club website.
Obviously with what is going on at Coogee Oval outlined above, ground capacity is reduced until the construction work is completed, so it will be a case of first in best dressed for this game. All tickets will be sold on-line in advance and we don’t envisage any will be left to sell on the day - so get in quick. 2021
Randwick Rugby Season Ticket holders will have guaranteed entry for this match and for every match this season. Dare I say – a darn good reason to get one!
We will remind you via email and also advise on our social media channels when tickets sales open on Monday.
Now there is a Sequa. There is still time to get your Sayle Season Pass and Out of Towners Supporters Package before our first home against Easts on April 24.
Remember, if you want to be completely guaranteed of getting in to watch the mighty Galloping Greens play at Coogee Oval this year and enjoy incredible savings from our partners such as La Spiaggia Restaurant, Maloney’s Grocer, Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach, Chargrill Charlies and on our supporters’ merchandise range… then get to it.
To order your 2021 Season Ticket click here
With the Shute Shield underway, check out our range of 2021 season merchandise our online store The Wicks Shop. This now includes our retro corduroy caps which are selling at rate we can’t even keep up with, modelled brilliantly by Poido’s dog ‘Lincoln’.
Here you will find all the fabulous Wick’s supporter gear you need at your fingertips – from retro jerseys, jackets, hoodies, beanies, caps and a whole lot more.
The Wicks Shop is open 24/7 online, so chop chop to get your shopping done before we take on Easts in Round 3.
Check out The Wicks Shop by clicking here.
Sadly in recent days, Randwick Rugby have lost two ex-players and stalwarts of the club in Tom Towers and Bob Wilson.
Towers is a name synonymous with Randwick Rugby and Tom was the son of the legendary late great Cyril Towers – the absolute godfather of this club and of the attacking running rugby style and mindset we adopt to this day.
Tom was a talented back, but primarily a winger, who played 132 club games for Randwick between 1962-69, including 47 in First Grade. He scored 59 tries in his career. His funeral will be held on Monday April 19, 10am at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newcastle West.
On the other hand, Robert Wilson was also a winger who played for Randwick in the early 50’s, including 1 First Grade game. Plenty of people would have loved to achieved that for this famous club and Bob did so.
RIP gents. God bless you both, your family and many friends.
Coogee Surf Club - Island Swim & Aussie Titles Assault
While the Shute Shield has just kicked off, it’s also been a huge week for our local community partner in sport Coogee Surf Club, who are at the business end of their season as they prepare to send their competitors to the 2021 Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Coogee SLSC have over 100 men and women members competing in a range of surf sport disciplines and across Open, Junior and Masters divisions over the next 10 days.
Plus, we also congratulate the club on their brilliant staging of the Coogee Island Challenge last Sunday, where over 1500 entrants took on the 2.4km swim to Wedding Cake Island. It was great to see Coogee local and Marcellin College student Jake Andrews win this most prestigious ocean swimming event against a star-studded field.
Well done Jake on brilliant victory and we wish all the competitors at Coogee Surf Club all the very best at the Aussies.
Randwick Juniors Try Rugby Gala Day - April 24
As alluded earlier, Randwick Juniors are running a Try Rugby Gala Day for Under 6-8 year old boys and girls at Nagle Park, Walsh Ave Maroubra from 8.30-11.30am.
If you are interested in your youngster playing rugby this year or down the track, then why not give it a go.
There is no cost and the day will be run by our best junior coaches who run our academy's, plus some of our Randwick players will be there to lend a hand, before they take on Easts.
It's a great opportunity for kids to learn the skills, play some games and have fun with their friends. To take part just show up on the day and register, in what is a fantastic initiative by our juniors committee and village clubs.