Sponsors, parents, friends, supporters, coach, and players, welcome to another edition of the Oysters Circular. From the feedback received regarding last week’s publication, we are going to persevere with similar content. If you have any requests for additional columns or other bright ideas in general, please feel free to contact the Oysters Committee.
From the Committee
Week 2 of the Oysters' inaugural season was another cracker with a full complement of forwards and backs attending training on Thursday night. The weekend’s fixture saw the Oysters travel away from the safety of the Rushcutters Reef and out into the lawless international waters (a.k.a. the Shire), home to the horrid Sea Lice. What better way to christen our first away game than with a bus trip, in which 28 freshly shucked oysters (players) covered in the tastiest assortment of sauces and condiments (beer) travelled without fear into the great unchartered waters of the southern ocean blue. The voyage began at the safe harbour of the Lord Dudley in Paddington, before the great El Nino-driven winds of the "Eastern Distributor Channel" blew us toward our destination, like it had hundreds of years ago for the traders seeking fame and fortune in the great Indian spice trade.
We reached our lawless port of destination (Foreshaw Park) and disembarked our vessel with some nervousness as we attempted to keep the thought of the itchy bite of those god forsaken Sea Lice out of mind. On this occasion we were fortunate enough to be granted access to the Southern District Rugby Club's number one oval: a theatre only befitting of the nature of the contest that ensued. Not only would the victor bring home the bacon, but also the glorious Neptune Cup (please pause here for a moment's silence to respect this great trophy touched by the deity of the oceans). Usually, subbies rugby is confined to smaller ovals and, as such, the typical subbies game can be seen as more manageable for all fitness levels involved. However, with the clouds darkening, a regulation game, on a regulation field, with a horrifying wet weather element from the deep was defining what would already be a tough contest.
There had been quite a lot of hype in the build-up to last weekend’s fixture, given the Sea Lice had also been able to dispatch Oatley with relative ease the week before the Oysters gave them a tune up. As such, when the Sea Lice scored within the first 5 minutes with a perfectly executed cross-field kick as the rain was coming down (top shelf footy by the way – bit of applause for the Lice here), there was some shock, fear and dare we say some itchiness amongst the ranks. It is safe to say that for the first time in an epoch of evolution, Sea Lice had found a way to penetrate the Oysters' calcium carbonate (96% purity) exoskeletons. The oceans stood still.
Exhibit A: Coastal Showers that showed no signs of slowing down as game continued
But wait… a comeback!
Dr Laura Braden, an eminent sea lice researcher, has been working in conjunction with marine biologist-to-be Allie Byrne. Allie is a graduate student at the University of Victoria, based on Vancouver Island. Allie is currently writing her doctoral thesis with Dr Braden on the potential effectiveness that pacific oysters have as an agent for sea lice mitigation. Now obviously, you must be asking yourself why we introduced to you young Allie and Dr Braden? Well, it's because Allie has now been bestowed another primary data source she can add to her bibliography as the clash of the 25th of July 2020 demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that oysters not only capable of mitigating sea lice, they are capable of ABSOLUTE, UNRELENTING, SEA LICE EXTINCTION!. The Oyster men walked off that field that fateful day with a hard fought 13-12 victory. God bless our great oceans, and my word, GOD BLESS THE MIGHTY OYSTERS!
Treated to a change room, Club Captains Lachy Argiris and Sam Wood led the Oyster chorus. We have heard reports back that some debuting Sea Lice still hear the banging and shouting as they cry themselves to sleep sucking on their stupid Sea Lice thumbs.
“WHO WON TODAY!?!?.. OYSTERS!!!”.
 The citation in Allie's bibliography reads: Oysters, The. (2020). The cause and effect relationship between the eradication of southern-Sydney Sea Lice (Caligadae Sydneyitus) and the emergence of Sydney Harbour oysters, 23(4), 245-259.  The Oysters have reached out to Allie for comment but are yet to hear back.
Exhibit B: No. 8 Lachy Argiris eyeing off some succulent Sea Lice
Whilst the eradication of Sea Lice was our primary concern, we do concede that the post-match festivities that the Lice hosted were something to be admired and respected. The Lice invited us up to the club house for beers and pulled lamb rolls which was of course finished with a quick boat race (which again the Oysters were victorious in). The Lice presented us with the inaugural Neptune Cup and to say in the least there was a little bit of cautious post-game chemistry between the two teams from the deep. At the end of the day, observations could be made that the two clubs aren't so different. The Lice are comprised of young men, all mates, and all playing for the same sense of community that the Oysters are striving for. We commend the Lice in that regard, but at the end of the day, you're a bunch of lice. Shut up, hand over the Neptune Cup, and go home.
 The citation in Allie's bibliography reads: Oysters, The. (2020). The cause and effect relationship between the eradication of southern-Sydney Sea Lice (Caligadae Sydneyitus) and the emergence of Sydney Harbour oysters, 23(4), 245-259.
 The Oysters have reached out to Allie for comment but are yet to hear back.
From the Coach
“Round 2 of the Jeffrey Cup saw the Oysters hit the road for the eagerly anticipated match up against the North Cronulla Sea Lice. Whilst the result last week was pleasing, we had spoken during the week about the dangers of complacency, knowing full well that the competition this week would be much stiffer. The inaugural Neptune Cup was on the line, with the first opportunity to secure some silverware adding to the excitement.
Exhibit C: Case Closed, the Oysters are the dominant sea life in Sydney
In fitting fashion for this titanic clash between creatures of the deep, the heavens opened and the rain poured down right on kick off. The Oysters were slow to adapt to the conditions and our initial determination to play running rugby proved costly. Handling errors led us to be quickly pinned in our own half and the Sea-Lice caught our defense out wide napping. They capitalised on some smart play as a cross field kick saw them cross over for the first try.
The Sea Lice were getting up very quickly in defense, with their outside back doing well to jam and shut down anything out wide. Realising our early mistakes, the Oysters changed tactics, kicking to the corners and attacking more directly off 9. Slowly but surely, the Oysters began to build pressure and the piggies were punching holes around the fringes of the ruck. Working well in tandem, Angus McClelland (7) was latched on too by his two back-row mates and drove his way over for the first try. The scores were tied up at 5-5. The boys dominated field position and possession for the remainder of the half, slowly suffocating the Sea Lice out of the game. New-comer Harrison Williams was very impressive in his ball carries, and proved unstoppable from close to the line, putting his head down and scoring the Oysters second try. We led at the break 10-5.
Both teams were determined not to play within their own 50 during the second half. The back three of the Sea-Lice were very dangerous, they often found our kick-chase defense lacking, and went on some weaving runs down the sideline. Mitch Rice-Brading made some excellent cover tackles to keep the lead in check. The forwards were working incredibly hard in what was an immensely physical battle. Plenty of winces were heard throughout the crowd due to the loud and aggressive hits on both sides. Continuing on from his work last week, Harri Greville again led a very impressive Oysters scrum. This was a real weapon for us and eventually resulted in Sam Wood converting a scrum penalty into 3 points, the Oysters led 13-5 with 20 to go.
Red Dog (Will Pattinson) made a triumphant return to the field, replacing Oliver Hassall at loose head prop who had put in a herculean effort. He was quickly a crowd favourite and helped continue the scrum dominance. The Oysters were forced down to 14 men for the last 10 minutes following a yellow card to James Rickard (No. 6) for repeated break down infringements. Despite the Sea Lice crossing over at full time, the Oysters sealed a signature win early in the campaign with a final score line of 13-12.
Exhibit D: Skipper Gus McClelland holding the Trident (Neptune Cup), symbolizing the Oysters as the Apex Bottom Feeders of the Ocean!
It was very pleasing to see the boys work hard for each other all game and continue to find another gear in an incredibly physical battle. In particular, the whole forward back deserved man of the match honours as they didn't stop working all game. Angus McClelland had a strong captain's knock, playing through a shoulder injury to take out the player's player. Finally, Dan Bottrell unfortunately suffered an AC joint and rotator cuff injury and will be out for a few weeks, we wish him a speedy recovery.”
- Louis Biscoe a.k.a “Coach Boone”
As always, on behalf of the entire club, we wouldn’t be able to have such a great time and success without the support of our sponsors. Each week when we take to the field, and when we notch up another victory it really boils down to the help provided by our sponsors. For that we continue to be thankful and look forward to bringing in more success and silverware.
Next game will be against combined forces, and you wouldn’t believe it but their home ground is at Oyster Bay leaving plenty of material for next week’s edition of the circular (can you imagine). It seems as though our team has been chosen by fate to compete in and win this competition and we hope that we will continue our form on and off the field.
Exhibit E: Ladder standings noting that KOBs won by default (Engadine forfeited) on Saturday, good luck to ‘em when they come up against The Oysters in Round 7.
As always have a fantastic week, go the Oysters, and above all, SHUCK ‘EM!
Sydney Harbour Rugby Club