Welcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things Rugby.
What a great event Grand Final Day 2018 proved to be. The five clubs involved produced three very entertaining matches for the healthy WIN Stadium crowd to enjoy. But the day belonged to Bowral Rugby Club who took home both the 1st and 2nd Grade Premiership Trophies, with Camden taking the 3rd Grade title. Much has been said and written about the resurrection of the Bowral club over the last five years, and I reckon that there would not be anyone involved in Illawarra Rugby that would begrudge the Southern Highlands club their first title in nineteen years. In the dark times of 2012, the Blacks finished last and had a couple of losses in which they conceded more than 100 points. The Blacks finished second last in 2015 after the clubs return to first grade from a couple of rebuilding years in the lower grades. President Mark Freund masterminded the rebuilding of the club refusing to allow the club to fold. Then along came astute coach and former Reds, Brumbies and Western Force player Gene Fairbanks. In his first year at the club they rose to finish 4th on the table before going down to University 19 – 12 in the Final. In 2017 they finished one better at 3rd on the Table, but lost again to University in the Minor Semi, but all the things were now in place to see the club rise to the top in 2018. With veteran halfback and 2018 Geoff Shaw Medal winner Tim Small leading the way the rest is now history. Well done to Gene Fairbanks, all his coaching staff and all the players right through the club who have played their part in the return of this famous club. Huge congratulations and well done to the irrepressible Mark Freund.
Believe it or not its 24 years since the Wollongong Waratahs and the Tech College Rugby Clubs amalgamated to form what is now Tech Waratahs Rugby Club. The club has gone on to feature in six IDRU Grand Finals winning four Premierships over the years since. Some of the old Waratahs boys have decided it’s about time they had a reunion before too many guys shuffle off to the big scrum in the sky (their words not mine). The gathering has been arranged for Saturday 6th October at Illawarra Leagues Club, Wollongong at 6.00PM. Upwards of 100 are expected to attend with the theme of the night to be “The older I get, the better I was”. For more information and to let someone know that you’re coming, contact Ron Wessel on 0417 691742 or Bryan Leo on 0412 329001 or check out Waratahs Rugby Club, Wollongong on the dreaded Facebook.