The Rogues Rant #217

Harvey Austin in action in Perth for NSW Gen Blue U/18 Academy V Western Force Academy.

Welcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things Rugby

The Dexter Porter Cup donations are underway with the usual culprits featuring again. As at the 30th June a total of 43 donations had been made. Shamrocks lead the way with 21, followed by traditional rivals Vikings with 18. Kiama has 2, with University and Camden 1 each. The drive is on until the 31st August, so get down to your local Red Cross and get involved and let’s see if someone other than Shamrocks or Vikings can take home the spoils.

It appears that the new Under 18 Representative pathway is working quite well. Last week the NSWJRU U/18 team (as NSW Gen Blue Academy) travelled to Perth to play the Western Force Academy U/18’s. The WA boys got away to a very strong start and caught the NSW boys on the hop. They ran in early tries and established a big lead before the NSW boys could get going. Two late first half tries had NSW behind by 24 – 10 at the break. NSW however never got themselves into a position to challenge for the lead going down eventually by 41 – 25. Both sides scored five tries with the WA kickers putting over 5 conversions and 2 penalty goals while NSW couldn’t kick a goal all day. Amazingly the NSW winger Liam Dalibozek scored all five NSW tries. It would appear from what I hear that the NSW Rugby powers are finally realizing just how much talent there is in NSW outside of the Sydney basin thanks to the performance of the Country players in this squad. There are 11 Country Boys in the NSW No.1 side and 10 in the seconds. Three standout players so far have been the very speedy winger Liam Dalibozek from Newcastle, a Fly-Half from Kempsey named Heath Lancaster and a forward from Kiama named Harvey Austin.

Bookings are building steadily for the Illawarra Rugby Sportsman’s Lunch to be held on 26th July at the University of Wollongong. Brumbies bound Shoalhaven Junior Will Miller will be a special guest speaker on the day, along with Illawarra local, the very experienced Shannon Fraser. Shannon is currently Gen Blue Academy Head Coach and was recently Assistant Coach of the Junior Wallabies in Argentina. Negotiations are ongoing to secure a Classic Wallaby representative Speaker on the day as well. If you haven’t already secured your ticket for the day contact Darin Croft on 0404 829356.  

Round 13 of the IDRU Builders Club Premiership this week will probably see the gap between the two halves of the Comp open up even more. Avondale have Camden at Gerry Cappetta Oval and on current form should have a big win here. Avondale to Win. Kiama will improve their position on the table with a win over last placed Campbelltown at Kiama Showground. Kiama to Win. University travel again this week, this time to Nowra for a clash with an unpredictable Shoalhaven side. It’ll be a tight one but I’ll stick with the well drilled University side. University to Win. It’s a local derby at Vikings Oval with Tech Waratahs visiting. Tech Tahs have struggled of late and despite getting the points against Vikings in Round 4 I can only see a Vikings win this time around. Vikings to Win. Match of the Round is at Eridge Park between Bowral and Shamrocks. The Blacks have winning form but have had some shaky moments of late and will need to be right on their game to get over the top of a tough Shamrocks outfit. I’m going to go for a narrow Blacks win but a Shamrocks victory would not surprise. Bowral to Win.          

All opinions offered in this column are the opinion of the author. They should not be considered to represent the views of the IDRU.