The Rogues Rant #221

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

The annual Junior Sydney V Country matches were played in Newcastle last weekend with the Sydney sides winning bragging rights for this year. There were five matches played at Newcastle’s No.2 Sportsground complex, hosted by the Newcastle Wanderers Rugby Club. Sydney was too good winning the Under 14’s comfortably by 48 – 7. The inaugural Girls Under 15 match was closer with the City girls winning 15 – 5. The Under 15 boys was a real tussle with Sydney on top at the end 27 – 17, while Sydney were way stronger in the girls 17’s match winning by 46 – 5. Country had one win with the Under 16’s prevailing 40 – 29 in the last match of the day. Four Campbelltown boys won selection in the NSW Gen Blues Under 15 squad announced after the days play. They were Ethan Halatokoua, Jayden Viliamu, Metui Sela Fuka, and Jackson Ropata. Selected in the Under 16’s Gen Blue squad was Camden duo Anthony Moata’aue and Jack Neich. Well done to all the Illawarriors involved with the big day.

Things are getting very interesting in the Dexter Porter Cup with less than a month to go. As at the 1st August Vikings have hit the front with 39 donations, two in front of Shamrocks on 37. Because of a glitch in the reporting process earlier in the month Tech Waratahs were left of the tally last time and with that corrected now the Tahs sit third on 13 donations. Kiama have 4 with University, Bowral and Camden still with just 1 donation each. It all concludes on the 31st August so get a move on down to your local Red Cross Blood Center.

Well it will be a very interesting night in Perth on Saturday night with the Bledisloe Cup matches getting underway for 2019. The Aussie selectors have made a couple of changes for this match with the main one being James O’Connor coming into the starting line up at outside center for Tevita Kuridrani who loses his spot in the squad altogether. Allan Alaalatoa and Tolu Latu are in the front row and Nick White is the starting Half-Back alongside Fly-Half Christian Lealiifano. Still no David Pocock which begs the question how on earth can he be expected to play in the World Cup? While the All Blacks form hasn’t been that impressive of late, I think we can expect a very determined New Zealand side this week as the pressure builds toward the World Cup. I can’t see anything but an All Black win.

Just two matches locally this week, with the wash out matches being played while everyone else has a weekend at the snow. Tech Waratahs have Shoalhaven at home on Saunders Oval. Shoalhaven won when the two met in Round 3 in Nowra and with both sides having had very inconsistent seasons it’s hard to get a line on this match. Both sides are well out of the finals running and will be looking forward to next year at this stage. In a close one I’ll go for a Shoalhaven win, but there will only be a try in it. Shoalhaven to win. Match of the Round is the Macarthur Derby between Camden and Campbelltown at Camden Rugby Park. These two are out of contention for this year as well but always look forward to playing each other no matter where they stand on the table. In another close one where there will be no more than a try in, it I’ll go for the Rams at home. Camden to Win.

Speaking of Semi Finals, we’ll know by this time next week who will be hosting the Semi’s and the Final. Keep watching.

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