The Rogues Rant #310

May 19th 2022

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

By Ron Wood

Following on from the announcement of the Illawarriors Under 18 Squad last week, eight Illawarra players have also won selection for NSW Country Under 18’s. After recent open trials were conducted a squad was chosen to compete at the next level of competition in this age group to be conducted later in the year. It’s a real opportunity for the players to push for selection in the NSW Gen Blue program. The eight young Illawarriors were Tyla O’Brien, Darnell Te Ahuru, Dom Uliana, Josh Parrish, Nate Makotsvana, Leo Malaesilia, and Harry Velavatu. Well done and good luck to all our Under 18 players.

Great news this week with the Rugby World Cup and Women’s World Cup both coming to Australia in 2027 and 29. It was a fantastic celebration of Rugby last time around and hopefully we will see some matches in the Gong again this time. With Rugby struggling around Australia behind the other football codes this is just what the Doctor ordered. The Rugby World Cup is one of the genuine world tournaments in the true sense of the word, rating just behind the Olympics and Soccer World Cup in participating nations. The interest and financial income this will generate for Rugby Australia will hopefully be put to good use to raise the profile of the game in Australia.

New NSW Rugby Development Officer Shaun McCreedy has put together a series of Coaching sessions open to all Illawarra Coaches. Shaun has secured the services of four highly regarded Rugby men for the series of lectures to be conducted over four nights during June and July at Wollongong University. First up will be NSW Waratahs Skills & Development Coach Illawarra’s own Shannon Fraser on 6th June followed by fellow Illawarrian, Wallaroos Head Coach Jay Tregonning on the 22nd June. The local guys will be followed up by UOW Crusaders Global Rugby Program Head Coach Andy Gibson on 4th July and NSW Waratahs Assistant Coach Sam Needs on the 6th July who will cover Scrummaging. These will be quality sessions and are open to all interested Illawarra Coaches. Check out the Flyer on the Illawarra Website and Facebook pages and follow the link to Register for these big nights.

Congratulations to the Rogue, even if I do say so myself, on tipping six from six in Super Rugby last week. The only problem with that was that it meant five Kiwi winners and five Aussie side’s running second. The Waratahs and Rebels went agonizingly close to pulling off the wins but once again the Kiwi sides showed just how well educated at this game they are and pulled of miracle escapes. What about the second half performances of the Hurricanes stars, Jordie Barrett and Captain Ardie Savea? They were just plain brilliant, taking control of the match to get the result in the end. With two rounds left before the Qualifiers, The Blues have a strangle hold on top spot and the Brumbies and Crusaders have a share of second. The Waratahs and the Reds should make the Qualifiers but the Rebels and the Force seem to be done for the year. My tips for this week Crusaders, Reds, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Blues and Highlanders.

Hopefully after nearly a week of beautiful sunshine we’ll get some football locally this week. As of 8.00PM Thursday the Vikings and Kiama match has been transferred to Kiama Showground on Friday night at 7.30PM. It will be the first of their contests for the Black and Blue Cup. Kiama looked very good in Round One against Shoalhaven and will probably be a little too strong for the Blueys this time round. Kiama to Win. There are showers forecast for the next couple of days, so keep an eye here to check on anymore changes. Also this week Campbelltown play Bowral at Campbelltown and should be too good for the locals. Bowral to Win. Shoalhaven hosts Shamrocks at Shoalhaven Rugby Park and should also be too strong for the Rocks. Shoalhaven to Win. University and Camden at Wollongong University is an interesting one. Both had losses in Round one but the Students were pipped at the post by Avondale and should get the points here against the Rams. University to Win. The Match of the Round is Tech Waratahs V Avondale at Saunders Oval. This should be another interesting challenge for the Wombats from a club that has recruited some talented players during the offseason. Both sides will want to play an expansive game and if we get a dry track should entertain their supporters. I think I’ll tip what many may consider an upset here. Tech Waratahs to Win.    

28th May                    IDRU Round 8

                                   Campbelltown V Kiama

                                   Shamrocks V Vikings

                                   University V Shoalhaven

                                   Avondale V Bowral

                                   Camden V Tech Waratahs

11/12th June                        NSW Country Championships – Tamworth

6th June                    IDRU Coaching Series – Shannon Fraser: Attacking Game

22nd June                 IDRU Coaching Series – Jay Tregonning: RWC Planning, Training                     & Scheduling, Team Culture

4th July                      IDRU Coaching Series – Andy Gibson: Team Defence, Structure & Skillset

6th July                      IDRU Coaching Series – Sam Needs: Scrum    

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.