Round 2 of the Wagga Super 6s Competition kicked off with the local rivalry between Kildare Catholic College and Mater Dei Catholic College on Thursday evening. With temperatures in the low to mid 30s at kick off the game would be a test of those who could withstand the heat and go the extra mile.
Kildare started very positively, holding onto the ball for long period of time creating immense amounts of pressure on a tiring Mater Dei team in the warm conditions. This pressure lead to an early try to Kildare just left of the uprights. The conversion was unsuccessful, and Kildare led 5-0.
From the kick-off Kildare applied the pressure once more with great control of the ball and some brilliant tight in running with plenty of support. After eight-plus phases Kildare again steamrolled across the line with some smart forward play followed by some slick backline moves to finish it off. The conversion was again missed, and this would come back later on to haunt Kildare, although at half-time they led 10-0.
After some wise words from coaches Knack and Brooke from Mater Dei and McTaggart from Kildare the players re-took the field. With the temperature now dipping just below 30, playing conditions were starting to become more friendly. Mater Dei switched into gear and score quickly to get the first half rolling with some smart play up the centre before sending it wide to some big ball runners who were chewing up the metres.
A converted try and Mater Dei could smell a comeback on the cards, and this seemed to lift the team. Some great end-to-end action then took place with the final passes being pushed or going to ground. Another converted try to Mater Dei put them up 14-10 with around 10 minutes to go. In the time that remained both teams had the chance to run away with the game, but the final passes were not going to hand. A late penalty goal to Mater Dei sealed the game 17-10.
The second game saw Wagga Wagga High School take on Wagga Wagga Christian College in a game which both teams were looking for their first win. Wagga High rolled out a very strong outfit and were the favourites for this game. However, the game didn’t start as they would have wanted with Wagga Wagga Christian College controlling the opening exchanges with some great forward running.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t turn this pressure into points and off turnover ball Wagga Wagga High School scored the first of many tries for the day. To Wagga Christian Colleges defence, they battled well all day with a period in the second half where they peppered the Wagga Wagga High School line for 10 minutes but could not cross the chalk, Wagga Wagga High School winning 34-0.
In the final game of the day dark horses of the competition, The Riverina Anglican College, took on the ever-improving Kooringal High School. In a game where strong forward carries dominated, there were some big tackles and even bigger carries. Front row went against front row in carry for carry and this turned the game into quite a spectacle.
As fatigue started to set in due to the warmer temperatures the game started to open up a little more and The Riverina Anglican College started to assert the control on the game and ran away with it, defeating Kooringal High School 22 to 5.
Next week sees the following fixtures being played at Conolly Rugby Park:
Game 1 – 4:30pm: Kooringal High School v Wagga Christian College
Game 2 – 5:30pm: The Riverina Anglican College v Kildare Catholic College
Game 3 – 6:30pm: Wagga High School v Mater Dei Catholic College
A new high school 15-a-side competition has started in Wagga. This competition is a joint venture between The Paul Ramsay Foundation, Australian Rugby Foundation and Rugby Australia who have entered into an agreement to provide funding to new competitions to bridge the gap between junior and senior rugby, especially in the 16 and 17-year-old demographic.
The Paul Ramsay Foundation was established by Australian Businessman, Paul Ramsay. When he passed away, he left a bequest worth approx. $3 billion to the foundation. Paul was a leading businessman who at his passing was the chairman and major shareholder of the Ramsay Health Care Limited, Prime Media Group Limited and the Paul Ramsay Group.
The aim of this new competition, named the Wagga Super 6s, is to create connections and develop relationships between the local clubs within Wagga and some of the local high schools. By creating this relationship, the clubs and schools can work together to firstly develop Rugby within the schools, and then from there provide the opportunity for these kids to take part in club rugby within the senior space on the weekend.
Round 1 of the tournament kicked off in some very warm conditions, with a large crowd building from early on. The first game saw Wagga Wagga High School take on The Riverina Anglican College (TRAC) in a very close encounter with TRAC taking the win in the last moments of the game 17 – 14. A very fast game for the temperature with some end to end rugby played and some great cover tackles made. The Okerenyang brothers were stand outs for TRAC scoring the 3 tries between them.
The second game saw tournament favourites Mater Dei Catholic College come flying out of the gates against a new and raw Wagga Wagga Christian College. Mater Dei took control of the game with a try in the opening minutes. Wagga Wagga Christian College showed glimpses of brilliance with their 10 showing some great strength through contact when carrying and making some great cover tackles. A late consolation try to Wagga Christian College helped spirits but Mate Dei Catholic College were far to strong winning the game 65 – 7. Nathanael Mooney was a stand out for Mater Dei, moving from his preferred 2nd Row/Back Row position into Flyhalf, playing distributor throughout the game.
The final game of the day saw Kildare Catholic College take on Kooringal High School as the sun set and the temperature cooled off. Kooringal High School came out of the blocks with a lot of pressure on Kildare’s line, but Kildare were able to hold off wave after wave. Kildare then switched into gear, running away with the game 37 – 0. Standouts for Kooringal High School were the fullback, Nic Carl, who made numerous cover tackles throughout the game stopping certain tries.
After week one of the competition local Development Officer, Zac Elliott said “the quality of rugby on display across the afternoon has been phenomenal, especially in some trying temperatures”. He added that “the idea behind this competition is grow the game by connecting the Schools with the Senior Clubs to create a pathway for these boys to play Senior rugby in the coming years”. Asked whether there was scope to add the female space to this competition, Zac said “definitely in the years to come we will look at having girls games along side the boys or as a stand-alone fixture”.
Week 2 of the tournament kicks of next Thursday afternoon with Mater Dei Catholic College taking on Kildare Catholic College in what should be a very interesting affair with no love lost between these two schools. The second game will see Wagga Christian College take on Wagga Wagga High School as both team search for that first win. The final game of the day will see Kooringal High School take on what some are calling the dark horse of the competition, The Riverina Anglican College. Get down to Conolly Rugby Park from 4:30PM to see what Round 2 will bring!
SIRU is pleased to announce the majority of its Finals locations have been confirmed.
Our Juniors will travel to West Wyalong on Sunday 18th August, with 8 grades playing a total of 24 games occurring. The draw will be released later this week.
Teams advancing from West Wyalong will play their Grand Finals in Cootamundra on Sunday 25th August with 8 Grand Finals occurring from U10s to U16s in both Tackle and Touch formats.
Our Senior Finals series now has two confirmed weeks.
Week 1 (Or Semi Finals) will be hosted by Wagga Wagga Waratahs at Conolly Rugby Park on Saturday 17th August. This will see a total of 8 games occur. Draw will be released following the Regular Season.
Week 2 (Or Preliminary Finals) will be hosted by Griffith Blacks at Exies Sports Club on Saturday 24th August. This will see 4 elimination games occur, with the winner advancing to the Grand Finals the following week.
Week 3 (Or Grand Finals) will be hosted by the winner of the Major Semi Final in Week 1 of 1st Grade, at this stage one team in this will be Waratahs, but their opponent will only be confirmed following this weekends fixtures. Grand Final day will see 4 games played, and a range of awards given out, including the Bill Castle and Alicia Quirk Medal.
We hope you can join us at any or all of these events, further details will be released through our Social Media channels as things are finalised.!
Well, what a rollercoaster 1st Grade has been this year.
Many early predictions were correct, with the top 2 tipped to be last years participants in the Grand Final.
But what is happening underneath that is something no one would have estimated.
Big changes this year include the introduction of 2 extra rounds at the start of the season. Rivalry Round celebrated the geographical rivalries within our competition.
Country Round saw all four Wagga teams leave town to take on a random opponent from outside town. This was to balance the travel component during the season.
We also saw the reduction in the number of teams to make finals, with only four being accepted come August. It was tight to make it in 2018, going to be even tougher in 2019.
Wagga Agricultural College:
Our current ladder leaders have come to 2019 with a very similar squad to 2019. One major addition is Gabe Brown, who brings a wealth of experience to the Front Row, but has now suffered a serious elbow injury. Their other bookend in Duncan Woods has also suffered a hamstring injury, will their scrum woes affect their ladder positioning come August?
WAC have also started the season without their Club Captain, Cam Duffy suffering a facial injury in a pre-season trial (2nd time in 2 years), his return last week against CSU is only going to improve our table toppers coming into the back half of the season.
7. Win v Leeton (54-19)
8. Win v Albury (29-22)
9. Win v CSU (64-0)
10. v Waratahs (H)
11. v Tumut (A)
12. v Wagga City (A)
Last years Premiers entered the season slowly, suffering a loss to their local rivals on a Friday Night special event at Conolly.
They shook that off quickly, and haven’t lost a game since, including a notable win over WAC in Round 3.
The return of Blake Hart last week is particularly notable after his representative duties for Australian Army and a small injury suffered during that. The surprise arrival of a Canberra Premier Division player in Sam O’Leary has been quite low-key but he has already making an impact after his 1st Grade debut last week.
We’re all looking forward to next week when they come up against WAC again, many tipping this a preview of the Grand Final on 31st August.
7. Win v Tumut (55-5)
8. Win v City (77-18)
9. Win v Albury (39-10)
10. v WAC (A)
11. v Leeton (H)
12. v Griffith (A)
Everyone wondered what Wagga City would present in 2019.
Having finished 2018 with no wins to their name, an early announcement of James Curgenven coaching the 1st XV was welcomed by the players and the memories of 2018 quickly disappeared.
With JC’s arrival, some big names suddenly moved into Wagga Wagga with intentions to play for City. Some pulled through, some disappeared again.
City certainly turned out in Rd. 1, hosting a Friday night spectacular where they took down the undefeated Premiers of 2018, Wagga Waratahs.
Since then they have had mixed form, but with no wins in their last 3 games, can they hold onto 3rd spot, or possibly even a spot in the top four?
7. Loss v Albury (24-31)
8. Loss v Waratahs (18-77)
9. Draw v Tumut (26-26)
10. v Griffith (H)
11. v Reddies (A)
12.v WAC (H)
Many didn’t see Griffith as a threat in 2019, they missed the top 5 in 2018, and there were no positive rumours coming out of MIA leading into the 2019 season.
This transpired into a loss against Leeton, a strong win against CSU, then 4 consective losses to start the season. By Round 6 everyone thought Griffith were likely to hold 7th spot. Then 3 quick wins have turned that around quickly with them sitting in the all important 4th position at the half-way point of the season.
Some notable arrivals include David Serukai (mostly known as DJ) who has joined the region as a Teacher, but has shown his prowess for his club and representing SIRU at the BPC. Saione Ahomana is a mid-season exclusion, anyone who has played against him would know that the No. 8 is near impossible to stop when at full pace. Oh and don’t forget Chris Latu.
7. Win v CSU (62-19)
8. Win v Tumut (32-19)
9. Win v Leeton (29-27)
10. v Wagga City (A)
11. v Albury (A)
12. v Waratahs (H)
Tumut came into 2019 quietly confident, only dropped out of finals in 2018 due to a close loss to Leeton. If they had win it would have been a Home Semi Final against WAC.
2019 saw the return of nearly all of their players from 2018, some notable departures were made also. Tumut knew they had the cattle (pardon the reference) to be competitive, but they didn’t expect to encounter so many injuries in the early parts of the season. Injuries included Broken Finger, ACL x 2, Shoulder, Blue Card, and Blood Clotting.
Tumut came out of Round 3 undefeated and sitting on top, after that they have only had one win and a draw.
With some of the injuries returning this season, and some not, we’ll have to wait and see whether Tumut can be one of the elite four that play in Finals.
7. Loss v Waratahs (5-55)
8. Loss v Griffith (19-32)
9. Draw v City (26-26)
10. v CSU (H)
11. v WAC (H)
12. v Leeton (A)
Albury were unfortunately placed in 5th at the end of 2018, and couldn’t get past Tumut in the first week of finals. With the change in Finals for 2019, we wouldn’t see Albury in Finals, so they knew they had to improve.
A particular DO of the zone tipped Albury to be the dark horse of the tournament this year, after 4 Rounds you might have wondered how he got his job, but a big win over CSU in Round 5 started a 3 game winning streak, that was halted temporarily by our two top teams. This has put Albury right in contention for spot in the coveted top four.
Albury will be looking to get the W against their upcoming opponents with two home games against the MIA teams before travelling to CSU again.
All the news was around the two Chileans who moved to town before the 2019 season, whilst Thomas Boyle was secretly training the house down to turn up in 2019 in his best condition yet. Don’t forget the late arrival of Liam Krautz who all can agree makes a lot of difference across the park.
7. Win v City (31-24)
8. Loss v WAC (22-29)
9. Loss v Waratahs (10-39)
10. v Leeton (H)
11. v Griffith (H)
12. v CSU (A)
Our 2018 Semi-Finalists came into 2019 wanting to improve on 2018 and take the next step to the Grand Final.
With Vunibaka stepping down as coach, Seru Rogo returned to the region, and even in early season training you could see a change in the team mentality. Leeton started the season with mixed results, but their main concern was their discipline. Multiple Yellows and trips to the Judiciary made for a very distracted mindset.
They will be looking to start the second half of the season strong, and rise up from 7th into the top four.
Marika may have stepped down from coaching, but has returned to playing. A crop of young Fijians are making waves also, notably Semi Rokodinono, Mesulame Navakayala and Eroni Naua.
7. Loss v WAC (19-54)
8. Win v CSU (60-17)
9. Loss v Griffith (27-29)
10. v Albury (A)
11. v Waratahs (A)
12. v Tumut (H)
CSU finished 2018 glad to have gotten two wins against cross-town rivals City, but were hoping for an improved effort in 2019.
The appointment of Club Legend Paul Hood as 1st XV coach was a solid start, as well as the introduction of two internationals in Jacob Holt and Oliver Telfer. Dean Smart is always a welcome inclusion also.
Unfortunately CSU hasn’t found their feet, or a win yet. They have improved since their tough 1st Round match against WAC, and took Tumut right to the end in a close loss in Rd. 3. They will be looking to recreate that form this weekend.
7. Loss v Griffith (19-62)
8. Loss v Leeton (17-60)
9. Loss v WAC (0-64)
10. v Tumut (A)
11. v City (H)
12. v Albury (H)
2019 saw the expansion of our Women’s competition from 7-a-side to 10-a-side.
Whilst the 7s tournament saw all the fun and excitement in the past, the limited game time each week had the athletes wanting more. The exciting pathway to 15-a-side also an enticing option for all athletes through the Brumbies Super W side.
Last years premiers continue to dominate, even against the other top teams, but a home game against last years finalist saw the end of the unbeaten streak of CSU.
A highlight for the Women’s comp was the introduction of “Women’s Rugby Round” where a Gala Day style event was hosted at Conolly, all 8 teams played one after the other, and it was a great celebration of Women’s Rugby in our zone.
CSU entered the competition as hot favourites, coach Andy Bedford tried to hang up the whistle, but the temptation of 10s was too much for him, and the girls may have done a little begging (and threatened a riot).
With some of the best players in our zone featured in their team, things were off to a great start, Ellen McIntyre often scoring hat tricks in the first half of the game.
Unfortunately Biola Dawa has moved on to pursue higher honours in the capital, she is sure to hold a spot in the UC7s team this year, and we hope to see her in Brumbies colours again in 2020.
The return of Ivy Merlehan should see improvement at CSU, as well as occasional celebrity appearances from Emma Hickey and Brittany Bedford.
8. Loss v Griffith (17-42)
9. Win v Leeton (58-10)
10. Win v WAC (58-12)
11. v Tumut (A)
12. v City (H)
13. v Waratahs (A)
Tumut saw the demise of their League Tag team entering 2019, so there has been some new faces in the Bullettes this year. Many who have seen them play would agree that it has been a huge positive. A new coach appointed in Lorraine Ngauma was a bonus (notably, she is the only Female Coach in the zone), and a heavy pre-season focussing on fitness and contact has paid dividends.
Some of the stars include the Freeman girls (Shanae and Teisha), whilst not many can drop kick from the sideline, Monique Bullock sure can. The list could go on and on, but one of their senior members, in Kylie Jensen has really stepped up this year, rumour is she scored a long distance run away try this year.
If the girls can string some strong results together starting this weekend, they will be looking to knock over CSU for top spot.
8. Loss v Waratahs (27-29)
9. Win v Griffith (43-7)
10. Win v City (29-27)
11. v CSU (H)
12. v WAC (H)
6. v Leeton (A)*
Waratahs had a slow start to the season, with concerns starting around playing numbers at the club, they have since become one of the top teams, knocking over all opponents except CSU over the last 5 weeks.
The introduction of Mark Macarthur as Coach was welcomed by all, his coaching history in Women's Rugby eclipses many in our zone, and is starting to pay off now that he has got a consistent squad. Not to mention he has the woman who never stops, Judy Grant, as his team manager.
The team is led by Holly Stephens, and she continues her form as the best play maker in the zone. When she isn’t running through holes, she is putting the ball in front of others to go through them. Consistency will be the key for this team, and if they continue their form, they will be a team to watch deep into the Finals.
8. Win v Tumut (29-27)
9. Win v City (45-34)
10. Win v Albury (47-17)
11. v WAC (A)
12. v Leeton (A)
13. v CSU (H)
Griffith were tipped to be a team to watch this year, with the introduction of 10-a-side, Griffith were known to have some of the strongest athletes in the competition, and this was their chance to show off. They have suffered from mixed results due to travel being an issue for some players, but now they have found their rhythm with wins over two of the 3 sides above them, they will be confident again heading into the back half of the season.
Fan favourite Lele Katoa is unlikely to be seen for the rest of 2019 as the code jump to league has paid off with selection for NSW to play in Origin, as well as a contract to play professionally.
The Lolotonga girls continue to cause headaches out wide for defences, as well as Eliza Baddock as a former Australian Touch Representative.
8. Win v CSU (42-17)
9. Loss v Tumut (7-43)
10. Win v Leeton (49-0)
11. v City (A)
12. v Steamers (A)
13. v WAC (A)
Wagga City had to deal with the loss of their coach leading into the 2019 season, with a general call put out for coaches for all grades, local boy and SIRU employee Tom Martin was offered the role of Women’s Coach.
The City girls are a tight knit group, but with Tom came some young players fresh out of school, bringing some future proofing to the team.
City have seen mixed results this year, and have regularly lost close ones. Finishing games strong may be the key to the back half of the season.
Club stars include the two Aprils (April and Apryll), who are often seen crossing the try line.
8. Win v Steamers (32-17)
9. Loss v Waratahs (45-34)
10. Loss v Tumut (27-29)
11. v Griffith (H)
12. v CSU (A)
13. v Leeton (A)
Leeton were our Premiers in 2017, but have since just fallen short in 2018, and have slipped down the ladder in 2019.
The loss of Kaitlyn McKay (or Chook as most know her) has played a huge part in this, but their coach Stuart Stout would still be positive leading into the backend of the season.
With some future stars in their team including SSA athlete Sarah Allen (16), the future is bright in Leeton.
8. Win v WAC (39-20)
9. Loss v CSU (10-58)
10. Loss v Griffith (0-49)
11. v Albury (A)
12. v Waratahs (A)
6. v Tumut (H)*
Wagga Ag College were excited about the return of Harriet Elleman to start the season, with a group of new girls joining the club, but a horror run of injuries brought all of that to a half early on.
We don’t see a lot of mid-season transfers in SIRU, but Clare Harpleys move from Tumut to WAC might be the most notable in recent history. Due to Clare schooling in Wagga she wasn’t available for training, but now with some fitness under her feet she could become one of the big names in the competition.
Tiffany Furniss continues to lead the team into every game, and their one win over Albury got them off the bottom of the ladder.
8. Loss v Leeton (20-39)
9. Win v Albury (20-15)
10. Loss v CSU (12-58)
11. v Waratahs (H)
12. v Tumut (A)
13. v Griffith (H)
Albury were hoping to climb the ranks and assert themselves as serious contenders in 2019. With a lot of new players to the sport, it was going to be a challenge. They have come to every game with aggression (sometimes too much) and passion, but just lack the flair that some other teams have.
With stars like Susan Curby clocking up some serious runs, as well as pace out wide from Olympia Achillea, things could turn around in the back end of the season.
The return of Jade Batten should help their forward pack, but they need to find some width if they want to score some more points.
8. Loss v City (17-32)
9. Loss v WAC (15-20)
10. Loss v Waratahs (17-47)
11. v Leeton (H)
12. v Griffith (H)
13. v Tumut (A)