Randwick Rugby Newsletter!
Oh dear, what a difference a week makes in rugby. The joy of a clean sweep across grade and colts against Souths in Round 8, plus the Magic girls winning, was met with a major reality check in Round 9 v Sydney Uni on our home patch at Coogee.
Profoundly, I wrote last week about ‘being only as good as your NEXT game’, which after a 1 from 7-win ratio on Saturday seemed very profound indeed. Only our reigning premiers - the mighty 4th Grade saluted, starting the day off as we hoped it would roll, with a massive 46-point win over the students, but it went completely pear-shaped from there.
Sadly, 1st Grade farewelled the Poidevin Farr Jones Cup, which we won so brilliantly last year, but the tables were completely turned on Saturday. Uni were way to good, polished and big for us. Our injury toll is key positions didn’t help, but no excuses Uni were excellent and certainly the rolling maul gods turned viciously against us.
We did celebrate the 100 Grade Games milestone for Sofesa ‘Seff’ Smith in 4th Grade and Seff didn’t let anyone down scoring a try and then kicking a goal in his big game – so the rugby gods were smiling on him. A presentation was made to Seff at half time of 1st Grade by President Tuxy to commemorate his great achievement. Congrats once again.
Plus, it was also great to see local Coogee Seahorse junior Joel Ellis, fully complete the Randwick pathway journey and make his debut off the bench in 1st Grade on Saturday. Joel has been a former ballboy, referee, a fabulous player and quality young man. His mum Lisa and dad Darren were rightfully very proud. Congrats Joel, I was delighted for you.
On the long weekend there are no games in grade, colt’s or the women’s competition as all rugby focus turns to our junior boys and girls, who are doing battle all of over NSW at the Junior State Championships – covering the Under 12- 18’s age groups.
This is the culmination of a huge efforts put in from our Randwick Junior Academy, our local village clubs – particularly the Warriors and Magic and the Randwick Juniors District committee. However, we are very fortunate to have Stu Donaldson (or simply Donno’s dad…) who has driven both the Academy and Junior representative rugby programs in such a fabulous way. Thanks to all across the juniors, for all you do to enable this massive exercise to happen and give these kids the opportunity to proudly wear the Myrtle Green.
For the big boys and girls, our next game is against the Western Sydney Two Blues on June 19 away, followed by a big clash with Northern Suburbs back home at Coogee on June 26 – where many of our Super Rugby players will make a welcome return to bolster ranks.
In Community Corner we remind everyone about our Galloping Greens Kids School Holiday Rugby Camp on July 6 & 8 at Latham Park, plus give you more details and a full overview on Junior State Champs and the build up to it all, the draw and coaches etc.
Also, ex Wicks players please lock this in your diary. Back to Randwick Day will be held on Round 15 vs Warringah on July 24 at Coogee Oval. We will also be going to make a weekend of it and are holding a casual reunion the afternoon/evening prior from 4pm for ex-players at Coogee Surf Club on Friday July 23. Details will be advised early next week.
Good luck to all the boys and girls representing us at State - do your best and enjoy the experience. To everyone else have a great long weekend.
Up the Wicks!
1st grade was thoroughly beaten on Saturday by a clinical University side. Going into the game we had viewed and understood the unique (for Shute shield) style of rugby that Uni have been playing. It’s no secret how they are approaching the game, a very northern hemisphere style of rugby featuring countless contestable box kicks, counter rucking, scrummaging and mauling for time- looking for Try or penalty, even featuring regular 11-man mauls aided by their backs.
Statistically they pass less and kick more than the majority of the competition and their hooker currently leads the competition try scoring list with daylight running second. So, whilst it wasn’t a matter of figuring it out, it was just a matter of being able to accurately combat it and impose our own style of play on the game. We spoke at length about the importance of executing of our game plan, taking our opportunities and drawing Uni outside their comfort zone as often as possible, a recipe that delivered us a memorable victory against them last season on campus.
Unfortunately, we were unable to deliver that and our performance highlighted a number of areas that we are currently lacking in. The first five minutes of the game virtually told the story of the afternoon, we dropped the kick-off cleanly turning the ball back to Uni, and whilst we managed to regain possession we then turned it straight back over from a poorly executed pass and quickly gave away an offside penalty allowing Uni to kick to the five-meter line and Maul for a try.
The next 75 minutes was like deJa’vu, as Uni consistently punished us for poor skill execution or ill-discipline. Easy to see why they are currently undefeated and the bench mark for the competition. Our video review and recovery session on Monday night at Coogee Diggers was a bit deflating for the group as we compared our intentions and game plan to our actual performance, but there is a long way to go in this competition and we are far from playing our best footy yet.
Our group will continue to work hard to improve our skill sets, continually tweak our tactics and with plenty of injured and rep players returning over the next few weeks to add depth and create more competition for selection, I’m very confident of continual improvement.
Finally congratulations to local junior and all round good guy in Joel Ellis for making his debut off the bench on Saturday – he was outstanding when he came on. Well done mate.
1st Grade Head Coach
Sydney Uni came to face us at Coogee Oval and departed 36-22 winners in a hard-fought battle.
With an obvious recipe for success focused on set piece excellence and a craving for structure, we knew what to expect and how to combat it. Unfortunately executing the plan under pressure was easier said than done.
Uni continually capitalised on our mistakes, particularly our inability to exit our own half. Using their dominant maul to attack us up front and obsession with field position - Uni pulled all the strings in the first half. At scrum time, colt’s tighthead Sione (Toa) Suluka was thrown in the deep end, but should be proud of his efforts, learning plenty along the way.
What was pleasing to see in the 2nd half was patience + variety in attack which caused Uni issues. In addition, the continued fight shown across the team, to stay in the fight was really satisfying. Regardless of the result, the group is committed to improving and not satisfied with having a crack but falling short.
With a stop start nature to the season thus far, the club footy bye weekend arrived when the preference from all concerned was to jump back on the horse ASAP. We look forward to a round ten battle with the Two Blues. Up the Wicks!
2nd Grade Coach
Our winning run came to a sudden halt on Saturday at Coogee, going down 16-12 to Uni.
We started where we left off the previous week, with a perfect exit from the kick-off giving us a lineout in Uni’s half which we won. We controlled the ball with some nice inside passes from Lachlan Anderson and 6 phases later it was 5-0. That was just about the beginning and the end of our ability to control the ball and the game. Cheap penalties saw Uni march to our 5-metre line for the obligatory lineout followed by a try from a maul or a penalty – a pattern which we knew was their main game, but which we did nothing but encourage through our ill-discipline.
Down 7-5 then 10-5 then 13-5, it was becoming as tedious as the referee who wanted to have a 5-minute chat before every scrum.
Uni didn’t threaten us at all outside their number 12 and despite having the better of the field position we lacked control and discipline throughout most of the second half as well. We managed to cross under the posts after some strong play though the middle by Ryan Powter, Connor Barry and Aston Vaiotu. With the score at 13-12 all we needed to do was trust in our game and be patient and disciplined. And whilst we did improve as they tired, we couldn’t find any cohesion.
There was still enough time left on the clock when Stacey Matenga was held up over the line, but we knocked the ball on from the first phase after the ensuing scrum. A couple more penalties saw Uni march back down the field to extend their lead to 16-12, with only 90 seconds left on the clock.
An excellent kick off followed by some aggressive and desperate defence saw us earn a penalty, which set us up for a lineout in their 22 to win the game. We won the lineout and drove them back across their line. Unfortunately, the referee positioned himself behind the Uni side of the maul, obscuring him from seeing Jum Woodhill planting the ball down for the match winner.
A tough way to lose but many lessons learned. UTW!
3rd Grade Head Coach
With 4th Grade back on Coogee Oval the team was fired up and ready to go.
It took just 5 minutes for Cillian Monahan to accept a short inside pass from Finn Kearns and race 20 metres to score and get us underway. After some solid leadup work, James Macaskill step inside the defence to race away score untouched for us to lead 10 zip.
The next 5 minutes saw Uni pressing our line but our defence defied them. From the ensuing scrum and kick, our 100-game hero Sosefo Smith chased and toed the loose ball ahead which had us attacking the Uni line. Then Scott De Zoeten show his skills, with a solid run into the defence he offloaded, and then backed up to accept a good pass from Tom Windeatt to score under the posts. which Cillian converted and score 17-0.
A good blind side move from a lineout saw us make good ground and from the ruck and connect with Dave Tejcek, who linked with Sam Connor who accepted a pass on the inside, running a good angle to score, Cillian converted again to make it 24-0.
The scrums and lineouts were solid all day and every attack by Uni was meet with a solid line of defence. The Uni No.10 attempted a long cut out pass which was gleefully accepted by our man Cillian, who scooted 50m to score and the lead to 29 nil.
Then after a well weighted Cillian kick and a fumble by Uni over the line enabled our 100-club man Seff Smith to pounce to score a famous try in his milestone match – much to the delight of the crowd there to witness it.
Wait there is more. From the kick-off we threw the ball wide to find Scott De Zoeten unmarked, who made a great run down the sideline, beating Uni fullback with his deft footwork and scoring. At oranges we led by whopping 39-0.
Things continued on in that vein from the kick-off, when a Uni dropped ball was gathered by Lathan James who raced away to score. Then with Uni on their goal line with the ball, great defence from Sam Connor low and James Macaskill ripping the ball, saw Dave Tejcek on the spot to pick up the dregs and cross. It was now time for Seff Smith to show us his goal kicking skills and he piloted it straight between the posts and the half century was achieved courtesy of the centurion.
In the final moments after running into a green defence wall all day, Uni were finally rewarded with a late consolation try and final scoreline of 51-5 in favour of the Wicks.
Congratulations to all in 4th Grade on a devastating performance and once again to that man Sosefo ‘Seff’ Smith on his 100th grade game with the Club. Well done and Up the Wicks!
4th Grade Director of Communications
Facing the unbeaten competition leaders, we expected a highly disciplined and well-organized opponent. This is exactly what we faced, the Students playing a typically structured and territory-focussed game-plan. They successfully kicked deep into our territory and kept us pinned with quick line-speed and physical defence. A couple of our penalties were turned into Uni tries from lineouts and mauls, and we were behind 12-0 after 25 minutes of play.
Shortly after conceding our second try, we made our first trip into the Uni 22m, and posted a try to Shane Connolly, playing his first colts game of the season. Ben Dowling converted to bring us within a try at 12-7, and our tails were up.
Unfortunately, Uni were very effective in controlling field position, and preferred to kick into our territory and defend rather than use the ball. Another error from our guys, this time a fumbled ball in tight contact, ended up in a Uni player’s hands and they raced away for a try against the run of play. This was the final play and we went to the halftime down 17-7.
In the 47th minute, we scored another try from a lineout and maul, this time to Hugo Dempsey. Dowling narrowly missed the conversion and we were behind 17-12 and very much in the contest. Frustratingly, handling errors, poor kicking, and an inability to exit our territory continued to hamper our efforts. Our set piece was strong throughout the match, however critical attacking lineouts and scrums ended in turn-overs.
We remained close on the scoreboard, but at arm’s length in terms of control of play, until an intercept try in the 66th minute pushed the lead out and had us chasing points in the final stages of the match. In the final moments, yet another intercept try to Uni blew the final score out to 29-12.
It was a frustrating match, as our guys never got into rhythm and could not impose our style of play on the match. Uni, however, were the better team on the day and we will need to find significant improvement in the group before we face them again in round 14. UTW!
1st Colts Head Coach
2nds colts arrived at Latham knowing we had a tough task on our hands against Uni, but we were confident and ready to face them. From the kick-off the students showed that they were keen to avenge a pre-season loss to us
In the opening 5 minutes the tone had been set with some very physical play from both sides. The students had morphed into a well-oiled machine compared to our last meeting. Very clinical at set piece and able to retain and make good use of the ball.
In the 7th minute the students win their own line close to our line and use their weight advantage in a rolling maul to score the first of their 4 tries.
Much of the same followed across the first half, as we really struggled to get momentum, coupled with some questionable calls it appeared it was going to be one of those days.
From the 2nd half kick-off a lucky bounce landed in the hands of winger Olly Hoskins, who carried hard and was brought down 10 out from Uni’s line, quick recycled ball and good hands saw the ball spread to the edge for centre Sam Ridley to score and converted by Jake Jorgensen. Unfortunately, this was to be the only points for us in the match
Uni quickly regained their first half dominance by retaining the ball for long periods which they duly converted into points – with 2 more tries and a penalty goal, to run out
23 – 7 winners.
We never gave up and showed plenty of positives especially captain Turnbull who once again lead from the front. The bye week is good timing to rest the bodies and freshen up the mind, plus give our many injured players another week to return to action. Up the Wicks!
2nd Colts Co-Coach
3rds colts kicked off the day at Latham Park and we had much of the early territory and possession against Uni. A mixture of strong defence by Uni and poor execution by us particularly at lineout time ensured a scoreless first 20 minutes.
Ten minutes before the break it was our turn to defend our line and we displayed a courageous effort to keep them at bay. Eventually Uni elected to take the 3 points just before the break to get something for their efforts. We started the second half much like the first. A stroke of luck fell Uni's way, after a poor clearing kick bounced their way and a fortuitous try was the outcome to lead 8-0.
We lifted and continued to attack, but in doing so, Uni pounced on a poorly executed pass and ran under the sticks to make the score 15-0. Our prop Stacey Matenga scored a consolation pick and go try in the final minutes, before racing down to Coogee Oval to play 3rd Grade due to a major prop shortage across the club.
In the end a 15-5 score line was a disappointing result, although there were many positives that came from the contest and we would fancy our prospects to beat them later in the year once we tighten up some areas of our game. Up the Wicks!
3rd Colts Co-Coach
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, June 26 vs Northern Suburbs.
Check out The Wicks Shop by clicking here.
|Under 12||Camden||Adam Baker & Jono Delaney|
|Under 13||Dubbo||Danny Grant & John O'Neill|
|Under 14||Orange||Luke Mann & Al Matthews|
|Under 15||Concord||Kurt Vilo|
|Under 16||Narrabeen||Owen Finegan, Damien Costello & Steve Robbie|
|Under 18 Boys||Narrabeen||Deon Smith & Chris Le Lievre|
|Under 18 Girls||Hunters Hill||Solomone Fotu-Moala & Pat Collins|
In the July School Holiday’s, Randwick Rugby will host our annual rugby camp at Latham Park, South Coogee – for both boys and girls who play in the Under 8's and upwards.
It’s the perfect time to let your kids be active, burn off some energy and learn the game they play in heaven from the best in the business. The camp will be run by our elite coaching staff from both the Randwick Junior Academy and Senior Club Programs.
Where: Latham Park, Moverley Rd, South Coogee.
When: Tuesday, July 6 & Thursday, July 8.
Time: 9am-12pm on both days.
Total Cost: Registered Randwick Junior Club Players - $100 and Non-Registered - $120.
If you have questions please direct them to Adam Baker via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Numbers are limited for the camp and only 30 spots remain - so to reserve a spot for your boy or girl order online now by clicking here.