Welcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things
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.
19th June IDRU Round 11
Campbelltown V Camden,
Kiama V Shoalhaven,
Tech Waratahs V Shamrocks, Saunders
University V Bowral, Wollongong Oval
Avondale V Vikings, Gerry Cappetta
3rd-4th July U10/U11 NSW Junior State Championships.
Tuggerah Sports Complex.
IDRU Women’s Gala Day.
4th September IDRU Grand Final.
opinions offered in this column are the opinion of the author. They should not
be considered to represent the views of the IDRU.