The Rogues Rant #314

June 17th 2022

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

By Ron Wood

It was a big weekend of Rep Rugby last week. The Caldwell Cup was decided in Tamworth along with the Colts Under 19’s Country Championships and all the Junior age groups at various venues around the state. The senior Illawarriors finished third in the Caldwell Cup with a two win, one loss record for the weekend. Unfortunately the Colts had four losses over the weekend to finish at the wrong end of the Points Table. It was clear that both sides were under prepared for the tournament compared to their rivals. That’s understandable given that the weather problems we’ve experienced recently saw two trial matches and several training sessions washed out in the lead up to the championships. The Junior Illawarriors fared better with two Country Titles coming the Boys way and one for the Girls. The Under 14 Boys defeated Hunter 17 – 7 in the final while the Under 16’s also beat Hunter 21 – 7 to take the Country Titles. The Girls Under 16’s played a 7 all draw also with Hunter to be declared Joint Champions with the Hunter Girls. Central West won both the Women’s and the Colts titles in Tamworth, while Central Coast won the Caldwell Cup with a close final win over Central West 32 – 29 via a penalty goal in extra time.  

The IDRU Board has formed a Working Group to take a look at the future of Illawarra Rugby. There are plenty of issues surrounding Illawarra Rugby at the moment both locally and in regard to where we sit in the game as a whole. After attending the Country Championships regularly over the last twenty odd years, I have come to believe that this representative model has become quite tired and at the risk of becoming irrelevant. That brings me to say what I have said a couple of times before. NSW Rugby and Rugby Australia for that matter, must seriously look at the whole competition structure of Rugby in NSW if Rugby itself is to remain relevant.  

It’s Final time for Super Rugby this week with The Blues at home in Auckland against the Crusaders. The Blues can consider themselves very lucky to get away with the semi win over the Brumbies. The Brumbies started well with an early try only to see the Blues fight back with the brilliant Beauden Barrett very prominent. The last few tense minutes of the match could have easily seen the result go the other way. Unfortunately for the Brumbies the luck went with the Blues. I’m going to stick with the Blues to take the Final this week against the Crusaders.

Back to local Rugby this week with a couple of interesting matches to come. Camden hosts Avondale at Camden Rugby Park and will be up against it on current form. Avondale to Win. Vikings get to use Vikings Oval for the first time this year against Tech Waratahs. Tech Tahs have lost several players with injuries over the last two weeks but still should have too much fire power for the struggling Blueys. Tech Waratahs to Win. University and Kiama clash at Wollongong University. On form the Students should get the points in this one, but Kiama are capable of causing an upset. University to Win. Shoalhaven who take on Bowral at Shoalhaven Rugby Park this week will be looking for win number 17 on the trot. Bowral are down on experience in their side at the moment with the loss of several of their better players from the last few seasons. What the Blacks lack in experience they more than make up for in enthusiasm and will give Shoalies plenty to think about. Shoalies will continue their unbeaten run. Shoalhaven to Win. In this week’s Match of The Round, Shamrocks are hosting Campbelltown at Ocean Park in what will be an interesting contest. The Rocks will give up a lot of weight to the Quinnies but will no doubt give the big Campbelltown boys a hard time. I think the Quinnies can win this in a close one. Campbelltown to Win.              

Rugby Diary

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

25th June                  IDRU Round 11

                                   Campbelltown V Camden

                                   Shoalhaven V Avondale

                                   Vikings V Bowral

                                   Shamrocks V University

                                   Kiama V Tech Waratahs

2nd July                     IDRU Women’s Competition Round 1

                                   University V Campbelltown

                                   Tech Waratahs V Avondale

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.