Randwick Rugby Newsletter!

18 days ago

Randwick Rugby Newsletter!

General Manager's Update

Newsletter 5 2021.

It was wonderful to return to Coogee Oval for the first time in 2021 and most importantly to feel normal again with COVID restrictions relaxed, a big crowd, people standing around having a beer, a yarn and a laugh just watching the footy. Post prohibition, the value of just doing the normal things we used to take for granted, has never been higher.

Well it was almost normal. Obviously, the oval is still a construction zone with the entire grandstand area out of action, plus behind the scenes there were many teething problems on the day. However, we got through it and we thank you all for your patience.

In terms of Anzac Day, it is both a privilege and honour for our club to host this annual Easts game and the time-honoured ceremonies that go with it. I think we again demonstrated our ability to host these events in a respectful way and I would like to thank ex-army veteran Ben Jones and the Coogee Diggers Club team in helping us do so.

Personally, one of the great honours and responsibilities to be tasked with was to represent Randwick Rugby at the Coogee Dawn Service and lay a wreath during the ceremony. At 5am in the morning in that environment and after the so called ‘Battle of the East’ on the footy field, you get a much clearer appreciation of what real battles, bravery and sacrifices made by our servicemen and women, past and present were.

Michael Parkinson once interviewed the legendary cricketer Keith Miller and former WW11 pilot about pressure in sport and he summed it up brilliantly. "There's no pressure in Test cricket Michael. Real pressure is when you are flying a Mosquito with a Messerschmitt up your arse trying to fire you out of the sky." That's true perspective.

In terms of the actual footy results on the day, as the late great Rex Mossop once famously said “It was Deja vu all over again”.

Like in Round 2, Round 3 started off so promisingly in the morning session at both Coogee and Woollahra Ovals with 4 wins from 4 games. Then it all went to the proverbial you know what in the afternoon, with losses to the big three - 1st, 2nd Grade and 1st Colts. Even our UNSW/4th Colts team got in on the PM curse to lose by a point.

To the victors go the spoils. Congrats to 3rd and 4th grade on their huge victories and to 2nd and 3rd Colts who ventured into enemy territory and beat the Beasts in closely fought contests at Woollahra. Plus, our Magic Women restored some pride with a bruising win over Easts in the evening session at Latham in their first match of the year. Let me tell you, that was the fiercest ‘Battle of the East’ all day.

So, it was 5 wins from 9 games, but it could have easily been 9 from 9 as we had opportunities in every game to win.

I am still shaking my head at how 1st Grade managed to lose that game and Coach B1 pulls no punches as to why in his report. 2nd Grade yet again had no luck in the final 10 minutes - it seems the days of trying to contest the high ball in the air are gone.

Passions were so high, we even got hate mail from some ‘supporters’ about it. Folks let bring it in tight, it’s only a game (refer to Keith Miller..) and clearly we don't deliberately make mistakes and sometimes you know what happens! (starts with S and ends in T)

All will be revealed in our Coaches Corner – with match reports from last weekend's games from the coaches not currently in counselling or not in protective custody hiding from the feral ones. You know who you are…

This week in Round 4 of the Shute Shield we head north to take on the Hunter Wildfires in Newcastle – ironically, they only 3 have teams, so our losing afternoon shift teams get the opportunity to atone. Everyone else is at Latham to play Sydney Uni in a series of non-competition games just to give everyone a run and increase my workload exponentially.

Fittingly on the Anzac weekend we had our first night as a full club back at Coogee Diggers Club post-match and what a huge success that was. It was great that the Easts players and coaches joined us there and also that we could do post-match speeches similar to how we did in the good old days and celebrate Pat Hodgetts 200th grade game. I’m glad to report our 1st Grade boys at least won the boat race against the Beasts. Small mercies!

Our next home game at Coogee is on May 15 vs the premiers Gordon – so make sure you lock it in Eddie! There is much to read and see in this edition – so enjoy.

Lest we Forget and Up the Wicks!

Regards
Mark

Mark Harrison
General Manager

Patrick Hodgetts 200th Game

On Saturday we celebrated ‘The Great Hodge’ playing his 200th grade game for our club – an amazing milestone for a hugely respected player and also a quality person.

To make it more special players from all grades across the club and ex-players got their early to cheers Pat onto the field and he didn’t let the punters down scoring a try in 4th Grades’ big win over Easts which brought the early shift crowd to their feet.

Sadly, he tarnished the copybook missing a ceremonial conversion kick, which was not surprising when he needed to be shown how to use the kicking tee - he is a hooker after all.! Even more sadly he may have inadvertently set the tone for the day with our goal-kicking efforts across the board.

A special presentation was made to Pat on the field at half time of First Grade by President Tuxy and then the great man was toasted deep into the night by his club mates, family, friends and supporters back at Coogee Diggers Club.

Again, well done mate we are very proud of you! Up the Wicks!

Coaches Corner

Ben's (B1) - 1st Grade Match Report

There is no point sugar coating it, we gifted Easts a win on Saturday and it really hurt to do so on such a big occasion, when so much work went into it to make it such a special day.

Dumb penalties, some aimless kicking, poor goalkicking and two crucial errors crippled us and handed Easts a victory in our first home game of the season, in front of a huge home crowd on Anzac eve. The way in which the game unfolded and the manner in which we lost it is completely unacceptable and does not meet the standards we set for ourselves as a team or as a club.

Full credit to Easts on the other hand, although unable to mount any real danger through possession they took the opportunities we provided and made us pay for them. In essence we donated them 12 points from penalties goals and two tries - directly off our calamitous errors in possession and which was the crux of our 31-22 loss.

There is no time to dwell on it though because the competition doesn’t stop, we had an honest review on Monday night (imagine not much paint left on the walls after it…) and have set some clear plans for improvement and now we’ve got to dig in and move onto the Hunter Wildfires to look for some redemption and restore some pride in our group and in the jersey. Up the Wicks!

Ben McCormack
1st Grade Head Coach

Ben's (B2) - 2nd Grade Match Report

On a spectacular day at Coogee Oval for our first home game of the season, 2nd grade jumped out of the blocks to take a 10-0 lead early thanks to a brilliant individual try by halfback Tim Sippel.

Unfortunately, we once again fell asleep at the wheel allowing Easts to score three converted tries due to poor goal-line and maul defence and sloppy organisation off a 22m restart. Thankfully Jack Harrison used some funky footwork to send Max Moore over just before halftime, to make it 21-17 in Easts favour at oranges.

A controversial Easts try mid-way through the second half was frustrating, but we kept fighting, scoring two tries to secure a 4 try bonus point. With the score 28-27 to Easts - momentum seemed to be with the good guys, before a questionable yellow card for the second week in a row and Easts try a short time later put the nail in the coffin.

A focus on doing the simple things really well and bouncing back quickly vs. Hunter this weekend is now the priority.

On a side note, a huge congrats to Pat Hodgetts on 200 games for the club - an outstanding achievement for a guy we all love. Up the Wicks!

Ben Rutherford
2nd Grade Head Coach

Gilbert's Goss - 3rd Grade Match Report

Third Grade made it 3 from 3 with a convincing 40-19 win over Easts at a picturesque Coogee Oval. The game was never in doubt after in-form fly half Lachlan Anderson set the ball rolling with a brilliant individual effort from 40 metres. Two first half tries from Ethan Cutler, following good off loads by Finn Kearns and Jack Hobbs, took the home team out to a 19-7 half time lead. A few defensive lapses that lead to the Easts try and a failure to execute right on half time being the only disappointments in a great half of footy.

The second half went much the same way as we started to get our attack shape going properly for the first time this season. With the ability of our props Will Serhorn and Tumoana Poata to pass out the back and with offloads from Kearns, Hobbs and Joe Feltis all leading to tries, we are going to be hard to defend against if we can play at this level consistently.

Good discipline and forward dominance enabled Anderson and man of the match Blaise Barnes to have a day out. Anderson controlled the game, tackled like a back rower and ran straight to finish with 3 tries while Barnes was almost faultless at the back. From 1 on 1 tackles, to clearing kicks, to running onto inside balls from Anderson and setting us alight for a 95-metre counter attack which resulted in Anderson’s third try, he will have certainly gained the attention of the selectors.

We need to make sure we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves and keep training with intensity as we go into a 2-week stanza without a competition game. Up the Wicks!

Brett Gilbert
3rd Grade Head Coach

Catto's Call - 4th Grade Match Report

A perfect day at Coogee Oval saw both sides grace the field fired up ready to play, with the early exchanges torrid. A number of errors and penalties saw us forced to defend our line and Easts drew first blood with a converted try.

This provided a wakeup call to tighten up our defence and ball retention, which our forwards heeded and saw Jesse Harris barge over for good try, to level it all up.

Our defence across field was forcing Easts backwards and eventually led to a turnover which saw us go wide, via a cut out and good run around by Dave Tejek, which sent Scott De Zoeten in to score wide out. A good conversion by Ryley Angles took us to the lead.

Easts tried but were unable to penetrate our well organised unrelenting defensive, which resulted in Scott De Zoeten crossing again and went to the break in control up 17-5.

Early in the second stanza Kalan Talafenua kicked a penalty goal and then soon after a well organised maul saw Alex Harrod cross and the game was broken open. This enabled us to bring on our bench players and they were all keen to make a statement by maintaining dominance in the set pieces.

A lineout win close to the Easts line saw Pat Hodgetts join the back of the rolling maul and cross in his 200th Club Game for a famous try, which was converted by Lachlan Day,

Five minutes later saw Sam Connor scored a great winger try, with step in, straighten up and a catch me if can 20 metre run to the line. Not bad for a flanker.

Coach Picone had finally relaxed and sent out the message for the 200-game man, Hodgie to take the kick. Being a hooker, he required some assistance on how to use the kicking tee, but after mastering that, he then sprayed the kick wide and with it the Cinderella finish.

Easts scored a consolation try after the bell to make the final score 37-12 to the mighty Wicks and with it first blood in the ‘Battle of the East’.

Congratulations to Pat once again – playing 200 grade games for this famous club is a wonderful achievement and what an ornament he is to it. Up the Wicks!

John Catterson
4th Grade Director of Communications

Tessa's Tales - 1st Colts Report

The Colts team faced the most difficult challenge of the season, facing easts in all three colts’ grades at Woollahra Oval.

1sts colts had a far more difficult match than rounds 1 and 2, with clean set piece ball, meters through the middle in attack, and space for our backs on the edges all much harder to come by than previous weeks. We defended inside our 22m line for most of the first 15 minutes without allowing any points, a pleasing sign for the coaches. When we finally gained possession and some useful territory, our attack spluttered and several promising attacking opportunities were wasted by poor execution.

Eventually Ben Dowling crossed for our first try, which he converted, and then followed with a penalty goal to build a 10-0 lead.

Throughout the day, Easts played the bigger moments much better than our guys. An attacking lineout 5m from the Easts line slipped through our fingers, squandering the opportunity to go ahead further, and shortly after Ned Hicks was held up over the line, denying us what looked like a certain try. Then, leading 10-0 with an attacking scrum on the final play of the first half, Easts forced a penalty on our feed and then scored from a lineout maul to cut our lead to 10-7, and they entered halftime with great momentum.

Easts scored first after the break, barging over the line from short range after minutes of pressure on our line, off the back of a series of sloppy penalties conceded. The poor discipline continued through the second half, gifting Easts field position and forcing us to empty the tanks to hold Easts out. With Easts leading 12-10, and 25 minutes left, we finally got some decent quality ball. A Chad Boyed line break nearly led to a try, but was prevented by excellent defensive scramble. From the scrum restart we passed edge to edge for Winniata Cherrington to score and give us a slim 15-12 lead.

Following more poor discipline, and the wrong end of some 50/50 referee decisions, we found ourselves defending our line and conceding a second try from a lineout and maul. Easts took the lead, and then scored again quickly from some soft defence. We scored a converted try in the final minute to narrow the lead to 26-22, but it was not enough to avoid suffering a painful loss.

James Tesoriero
1st Colts Head Coach

Deon's Diary - 2nd Colts Report

The sun was beaming and the crowed was slowly building for this much anticipated fixture. We were keen to get the job done against Easts and confident our preparation during the week would again pay dividends.

However a quick start by Easts saw them get the ball wide, finishing in the hands of their winger to score. Again, it took us the best part of 15 minutes to swing momentum back our way, with the tight 5 again laying a solid platform for some quick recycled ball and James Hendren found himself slicing through the defence to score our first try, which he also duly converted.

Just a few minutes later another strong forward drive into the Easts 22 saw our rampaging prop Zeb Maddison burst his way over for our second try, again converted by Hendren.
Soon after we found ourselves with another opportunity, this time through the backs breaking the advantage line and more quick recycled ball led to busy number 8 Luke O’Shannessy scoring, with Hendren adding the extras again.

Easts tried hard to get back into the game with some strong physical play, but were unable to as our defence continually repelled them - with their only subsequent points coming via penalty goals.

Late in the half through more enterprising play from replacement players Hugh Johnson and Ollie Hoskins, saw Heath Hall-Muir cross to wrap up a hard-fought 26-13 victory over our neighbours at their home ground.

The sweet sound of McNamara’s Band was sung loud and proud in the sheds and I’m sure it was heard back at Coogee Oval. Up the Wicks!

Deon Smith
2nd Colts Co-Coach

Phil's Pondering - 3rd Colts Report

The Wicks were out to build on our good win against the Rats in Round 2, but we knew the bar would need to be raised against the boys from Rose Bay.

Easts applied plenty of pressure early, and a strong defensive effort was required as we played much of the first half without the ball and in this period, we only conceded a penalty goal. However, we pounced on an opportunity 10 minutes from oranges, when a snipping run from Jack Bell, put Sam Bertram into some space and he raced away to score and take lead a 7-3 into half-time.

After the break, we worked incredibly hard in the tight 5, both at the set piece and in open play, and were rewarded when Patrick Gooley scored. Easts responded quickly with a well worked try of their own. Fortunately, we had the final say and a great multi-phase play was finished off with a try in the corner by ball-playing hooker Learoy Davis.

It was a pleasing performance to earn a 19-8 victory over the arch enemy over there.
Up the Wicks!

Philip Byrne
3rd Colts Co-Coach

4th Colts / UNSW Report v Barker Old Boys

Our UNSW/4th Colts super combo team, were dealt a swift blow, with Barker finding space on the fringes, to get up to a 10-0 lead. This was compounded by the loss of inspirational captain, Angus Strong, who broke his hand in the first 10 minutes of play.

The boys had their backs against the wall, until Jalu Donovan, who seemed to have all the time in the world, sliced through the Barker line, with a very impressive kick return to score. Pat Leerdam, who was also proving quite troublesome for the Barker defence to handle, added the extras. Barker again managed to find space out wide, scoring on the half-time bell and saw us down 15-7.

We came out firing in the second half, with some very brave performances in tight by Rory Dunshire, Fehi Tuitavake and Angus Elliot-Lockhart. After a couple of bruising runs, Dunshire found himself in some space and went over and we were back in business.

It was a real arm wrestle, but sub-captain Josh Naimen had a hand in everything, before Shin managed to find a gap on the edge of a ruck to score, which was converted by Leerdam and we hit the front 19-15 with 8 minutes to go.

Instead of continuing with the same vigour, we tightened up trying to defend our lead, and Barker pounced finding space out wide to score and lead 20-19 with a minute to go. From the kick-off the boys forced a knock-on, but the fairy-tale finish hopes were dashed after our final attack was forced into touch 5m from the line. So close but no cigars today!

Up the UNSW Wicks!

Joe Barrett
4th Colts/UNSW Coach

4th Colts / UNSW Report v Barker Old Boys

Our UNSW/4th Colts super combo team, were dealt a swift blow, with Barker finding space on the fringes, to get up to a 10-0 lead. This was compounded by the loss of inspirational captain, Angus Strong, who broke his hand in the first 10 minutes of play.

The boys had their backs against the wall, until Jalu Donovan, who seemed to have all the time in the world, sliced through the Barker line, with a very impressive kick return to score. Pat Leerdam, who was also proving quite troublesome for the Barker defence to handle, added the extras. Barker again managed to find space out wide, scoring on the half-time bell and saw us down 15-7.

We came out firing in the second half, with some very brave performances in tight by Rory Dunshire, Fehi Tuitavake and Angus Elliot-Lockhart. After a couple of bruising runs, Dunshire found himself in some space and went over and we were back in business.

It was a real arm wrestle, but sub-captain Josh Naimen had a hand in everything, before Shin managed to find a gap on the edge of a ruck to score, which was converted by Leerdam and we hit the front 19-15 with 8 minutes to go.

Instead of continuing with the same vigour, we tightened up trying to defend our lead, and Barker pounced finding space out wide to score and lead 20-19 with a minute to go. From the kick-off the boys forced a knock-on, but the fairy-tale finish hopes were dashed after our final attack was forced into touch 5m from the line. So close but no cigars today!

Up the UNSW Wicks!

Joe Barrett
4th Colts/UNSW Coach

Get your supporters gear online at The Wick Shop


Check out our huge range of season merchandise at our online store The Wicks Shop.

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. This now includes our retro corduroy caps which is the hottest selling item at the moment.

The Wicks Shop is open 24/7 online, plus we will also have all this merchandise available for sale at our next game at Coogee Oval on Saturday, May 15 vs Gordon.

Check out The Wicks Shop by clicking here.

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