The Rogues Rant #294

December 8 2021

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

By Ron Wood

The first get together of the 2022 Illawarriors under new Coach Sean Barrett took place last Sunday at Vikings Oval. Although the numbers were low the quality was high with Sean and his Coaching Staff more than happy with the form shown by the players during what was a brisk almost two hour session. The well performed Shoalhaven club, were well represented, and led by Former Brumby and Waratahs player Will Miller. Will’s little brother George, Harry Hibbs and Mark Brandon also made the trip north and trained solidly. There were four Cockatoo Players present with a very fit looking Paul Tuala leading the charge. Jack Hobbs, who is returning to Vikings in 2022 after a stint in the Shute Shield with Randwick, trained beside Blueys and Cockatoo teammate Dane Nethery, and Kiamas Leighton Cowley. More sessions will be conducted during January with plans afoot for a trial match on 29th January.

The Leukemia Foundation is $6200.00 better off following an outstanding effort by  Viking Halfback Tom Sawden recently. Tommy took part in the World’s Greatest Shave promotion allowing his Trademark 13 year old Dreadlocks to be cut off leaving the diminutive No.9 with a whole new look for 2022. After losing his Granddad to the disease ten years ago, Tommy took the opportunity to raise funds for the Foundation, after making the decision to remove his appendages. The funds will be put to good use by the Foundation in ongoing Research and assistance for Leukemia sufferers and their families. After many years of rarely getting through a match without defenders getting their groping hands entwined in his long Locks, Tom reckons he is now a better chance of breaking the defensive line and adding to his already impressive try tally. Well done to Tom Sawden.

A new format is being devised for the 2022 Caldwell Cup with the Nine Country Zones to be divided into three Pools of three for the Championships in Tamworth in June. Each team will play two matches on the Saturday with the best performed sides qualifying for the various Finals matches to be played on the Sunday. It will be interesting to see just how it all comes together and whether Zones will be able to  have bigger squads to cope with the extra workload.

Form Wallabies, Michael Hooper and Samu Kerevi have been named in World Rugby’s Dream Team of the Year. They have also made the four man short list for the World Player of the Year which is to be announced on December 10. After Aussie Referee Andrew Cole was named the recipient of the World Rugby Referee Award, it would be a real shot in the arm for Australian Rugby if either Hooper or Kerevi were to  take out the Players Award as well. They are both in with a real chance after outstanding performances throughout the Wallaby program.

Rugby Diary 2022

15th January                        Shoalhaven Womens 7’s

29th January                        NSW Waratahs V Brumbies – Eridge Park, Bowral.

19th February           Macarthur 10’s – Camden Rugby Park

26th February           Kiama 7’s

26th March                IDRU Premiership Round 1

11/12th June                        NSW Country Championships – Tamworth

10th 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.