The Rogues Rant #275

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

By Ron Wood

Wallaby Coach Dave Rennie has in his words picked a squad of form players for the upcoming France series in July. The French side showed some strong form earlier in the year when they fell agonizingly short of what was required to take out the Six Nations Tournament finishing second to Wales. With the ongoing disruptions caused by the Corona Virus the French preparation will be hampered and it remains to be seen if they can recapture their form from earlier in the year. Still on form, as we have seen late in the Trans-Tasman phase of Super Rugby it’s hard to see the Wallabies rising to the occasion. All will be revealed come July 7th at the SCG in Sydney.

We had a good trip up through the Hunter Valley to Tamworth last week for the NSW Country Championships Carnival. We got an inkling of what to expect as we moved through Murrurundi. Snow was evident on the top of the mountains as we climbed out of the Hunter Valley and travelled towards Tamworth. With the opening match featuring the Illawarriors at 8.00AM on Saturday morning a temperature of just 4 degrees greeted us in the Scully Park grandstand. The Illawarriors inspired by Eli Sinoti had a good win over Hunter qualifying for the Semi Finals later in the day. Again with Sinoti leading the charge the boys went to an early 19 – 0 lead against Far North Coast, only to see the match ooze away from them in a disappointing final 15 minutes of the match going down 24 – 19. Oh well better luck next year which will see the Tournament held in Tamworth once again.

The Illawarrior Colts just missed out on the Final due to a narrow loss in their last Round Robin match on Sunday. The Far North Coast Colts side stole the match in the dying stages with a try to win 5 – 3, which meant the Illawarrior youngsters finished third.

Super Rugby is over for the Aussie sides with the count for the tournament at New Zealand 13, Australia 2.  The Crusaders missed out on the final by a mere 6 point for & against average. So now the Blues will host the Highlanders in Auckland. I’ll tip a Blues win.

Round 11 this week on the home front with a full round of matches. First Grade kick off time from this week on will be at 3.00PM. The local derby game up Macarthur way sees Campbelltown hosting Camden at Campbelltown Showground. The Quinnies had a big win over Camden back in Round 2 at Camden and although under strength at the moment should be able to get the points again here. Campbelltown to Win. Another Local Derby sees Kiama at home to neighbors Shoalhaven at Kiama Showground with an early start of 2.00PM. Kiama will be hoping for a change of luck in the run down to the Finals after going down by 3 or less in four of their last six games. I think they will be up against it this week against the unbeaten competition leaders. Shoalhaven to Win. Tech Waratahs and Shamrocks meet in what should be a close physical contest at Saunders Oval. Tech Tahs have had some disappointing performances along the way this year but have shown they can be competitive against the top sides on their day. The Rocks are sitting second on the table and have been traveling smoothly all year and should prevail here. Shamrocks to Win. University hosts Bowral at Wollongong Uni and although sitting second from the bottom of the table will fancy themselves in this one. Bowral are dealing with a horrendous injury toll at the moment and will be vulnerable to the improving Students. I’ll go for a University victory. University to Win. The Match of the Round features Avondale and Vikings at Gerry Cappetta Oval. The Wombats have had the wood on Vikings for the past ten years and will be keen to continue the run in order to stay in touch with the front running Shoalhaven side. Vikings have shown some very good form of late but will need to be at their very best here to get the all-important 4 competition points. I think that the home side will be too strong for the Blueys. Avondale to Win.  

RUGBY DIARY

19th June      IDRU Round 11

                       Campbelltown V Camden, Campbelltown Showground.

                       Kiama V Shoalhaven, Kiama Showground.

Tech Waratahs V Shamrocks, Saunders Oval

University V Bowral, Wollongong Oval

Avondale V Vikings, Gerry Cappetta Oval.

3rd-4th July        U10/U11 NSW Junior State Championships. Tuggerah Sports                        Complex.

18th July             IDRU Women’s Gala Day.

4th September    IDRU Grand Final.      

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