Episode 5: The Buoys are BACK in TOWN…
To all our beloved sponsors, parents, friends, supporters, doctor, sports physiotherapist, team psychologist, coach, and every kid in the climbing playground at the Ettamogah Pub on the weekend… WE’RE BACK for the Fifth Oysters Circular of 2021.
Exhibit A: Stoked Coach amirite.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) outlines that the maximum distance a live heart transplant can be transported is 1400 kilometres… or 6 hours in an emergency vehicle. This week the Oysters decided to test this theory by ascending from the harbour waters and taking the M1, M2 and every other prick of a toll road in Sydney out to Kellyville, home of the mighty Renegades Rugby.
Exhibit B: Kellyville Park... If it's good enough for the Parramatta Eels, it's good enough for the Oysters
As is tradition, the Oysters gathered under sunny blue skies at the Lord Dudley Hotel, buoyed by the opportunity to play some champagne rugby on a stunning May afternoon. Before a single seatbelt was strapped on the bus, the entire team witnessed what could only be described as an outrageously obvious murder attempt of one Harrison Dormer. Upon being dropped off, Dorm’s housemate, The Driver of Death, decided it was finally time to score payback for all the times Dorms neglected bin night and run him over. Shocked Oysters by-standers were under the assumption the hit and runner had negligently selected reverse, rather than the big ‘D’ for drive. However upon seeing the black Corolla continue it’s backwards trajectory into oncoming traffic on Jersey Rd, it was concluded that this was indeed an assassination attempt, rather than mere driver error.
Of course, deep down we were very grateful Dorm’s legacy as a great bloke lives another day.
Exhibit C: Regardless, a 50 minute bus trip is exactly what the Oysters needed.
Now I don’t know much about the qualifications required to thrive in a professional career as a bus driver, but clearly the art of directions or GPS navigation is not one of them. The great Oyster Cruiseliner was particularly bumpy, swervy and outright lost this week as it made it’s journey from Paddington to the M2 (Via Darling Harbour, North Sydney and a very odd loop in Ultimo). Regardless, once we were humming along the great motorway of Western Sydney thanks to the impressive compass skills of Woody, the Oysties were feeling vibrant and enthused to arrive at the lush fields of Kellyville. Never before have the Oysties been so impressed by local facilities. The field was plush, the snags were cooking and the senior Oyster committee was watering at the mouth at the sight of SHEDS! Actual storage SHEDS(!) filled with tackling bags, witches cones and every paraphernalia it takes to train a football team. We were in the company of those who knew how to build a Rugby club. And it was game on.
Exhibit D: PEARLS!! OMG PEARLS!!
Exhibit E: Dribbler & Punter
There was a whiff of redemption in the air at Kellyville Oval as the Oystermen arrived at what can only be described as the perfect venue and afternoon for rugby union. Despite the aforementioned series of murder attempts, our Oyster boys re-focused superbly and executed a clinical warm-up that is becoming a staple of successful Oyster sides. However early momentum went the way of the Renegades, who looked to pounce on an unfortunate bounce during the kick off reception. Our forwards were up to the challenge, with strong line speed and accuracy at the tackle contest keeping the larger Renegades pack at bay.
Exhibit F: Polynesian Fullback vs Welshman Prop... Place your bets.
Our strong defensive effort translated into territory, with our first try of the day coming via a backline move off set-piece 15m out from the opposition line. James Hindle ran a beautiful line off Jack Remond’s hip, and was good enough to beat the cover defence and crash over. In what only seemed like moments later, we were back down inside the Renegades 22 and attacking off set-piece again, with a bit of deception off a similar move resulting in Seamus Frost scrambling over for our second five-pointer inside 15 minutes.
The remainder of the half was hugely stop-start, with the ruck descending into relative chaos and a series of penalties piggy backing both sides up the field at stages. This didn’t suit our beautiful brand of running, continuous rugby - but the Oystermen managed to hold their heads and go into the half with a strong lead.
The second half started much like the end of the first, with rumblings on the sideline that it felt like watching a game at half speed. It was becoming difficult to play our expansive, up-tempo game plan. Key advocate of this style of play and skipper of the side Angus McClelland became fed-up with the situation we found ourselves in, and decided to take matters into his own hands. After being awarded a penalty just inside our own half, Gus snatched the ball and took a quick tap, managing to beat the first two defenders before stabbing through a delectable penetrating grubber. As if he had magnets in the Gilbert, the ball bounced perfectly onto his chest at full pace, as he beat the last edge defender and shrugged off the fullback to score on the right 15m line. A truly wonderful individual effort.
Exhibit G: Angus "DON'T KICK THE !?*&#^@ BALL" McClelland.
Without blowing too much more smoke up his bum, Gus’ try coupled with a few fresh legs set the pace of the game alight. Lach ‘the Croc’ Argiris was full of energy, putting his hand up for some strong carries and bear-hugging (or rather croc-rolling) the opposing ball runners. More fresh legs and renewed continuity culminated in one of the best team tries in Oysters history. Off the kick off, silky hands resulted in our outside backs linking well on the left edge. Coming forward in formation down the field, the ball managed to spit out to Mack Bowman, who took to running directly towards our sideline to evade the cover defence and score to the right of the sticks.
Exhibit H: I've heard Remond hits harder than a Freight Train
A fantastic come-back game for the Oysties who executed a well-thought out gameplan amidst a frustrating, stop start contest. We’ll look to build on this game plan this week against Macquarie Uni.
Now the boys had heard whispers that after full-time we were venturing to the most famous establishment in the Western Sydney corridor, the Ettamogah Pub. But nothing, NOTHING could prepare us for this incredible destination that one could only describe as the WESTFIELD of SCHOONER SHOPS. It was MASSIVE. A literal Gold Coast Dreamworld for those who enjoy a frosty bevy and the odd tickle on the Pensioner’s Piano (Pokie machine). Of which we most certainly do. This pub had EVERYTHING. A bistro, a bar, a beer garden larger than Lynne park, about 83 television screens playing an assortment of Saturday night sports, a McCafe, a children’s play room, a JUNGLE GYM and a freakin’ CLIMBING WALL! We were in literal heaven as we shared a number of cold jugs with the Renegades Rugby team. And for that, we must sincerely thank them for the amazing hospitality and the chance to gobble on a pizza and share some yarns about the history of our respective clubs. The entire experience was topped by a cherry, as the Brisbane Broncos decided to provide the upset of the season, killing everyone’s multi with an outrageous win over the Sydney Roosters. VALE to everyone’s multi this week and goodluck to Victor Radley fighting about 13 week’s of judiciary treatment.
Exhibit I: $$$$ MONEY SHOT $$$$
Time was ticking, we had far outlasted the AMA’s recommended time outside of natural habit. So we bid farewell to the Etta and jumped on the M2 back to the harbour. The bus was boisterous as many a classic karaoke banger was sung, rapped and choired as we participated in an all-time sing-along session. The Oysters had discovered a new bus favourite, ‘Give It Up’ by KC & The Sunshine Band. A new one to add to the extensive list of songs that warm the hearts and ignite the souls of the good time Oysties. To top the trip home, the Oysters made a quick Pitt stop at the marvellous Macquarie’s chair for a very happy team snap and to admire the harbour. It was here we met our final friendly characters of the day, Sydney’s late night motoring enthusiasts who were only too happy to impress us with their revved engines as we clapped and cheered the high octane smell of diesel and burnt rubber. A truly beautiful way to bond as a team before heading to the Club House where the night abruptly ended.
With a new year, we have the chance to bring on some new sponsors as we look to continue building our bonds within the community. We thank you for your commitment to the 2021 season and look forward to seeing you down at our games. We know that 2020 was a tough year for everyone and appreciate the support. There is simply no way we would be able to have the kit, equipment or ground hire without the valued contribution of our sponsors and for that we are grateful.
Exhibit J: Sponsors, please come on down to Rushcutters Park
Exhibit K: Got ‘em
Exhibit L: itchyeah, we love the road.
Exhibit M: Up2 Oysters
As always, have a fantastic week, go the Oysters, and above all, SHUCK ‘EM!
Sydney Harbour Rugby Club