Welcome back to the fifteenth and final regular season Circular for 2022 - how quickly did that go?! In this week’s beautifully handcrafted document, we take a look back at the week that was - a week full of highs, lows, hellos and goodbyes as we continue to traverse towards a potential shot at the Mickey Cup.
As the sun sets on the McLean Cup regular season for 2022, we reflect and draw upon much of our experiences back in our Inaugural and Premiership winning campaign in 2020. It hasn’t been easy this year for us Oysters, as I’m sure many of our compatriots in the illustrious Division 4 NSW Suburban Rugby competition would sympathise with. From irregular weather patterns and ground closures, new teams added in and our first time playing with a 2nd grade, last-minute training plans and cancellations, Euro-trips and ski adventures - this season has bloody had it all.
Exhibit A:Centre N.Stubbs fending off a BOB under the watchful eye of Dr. N Findlay (more about him later)
Above all this headache and adaptation (something that Oysters are widely renowned for, who would’ve thought it!) one thing rings true: just how special Club footy is. And I tell ya, this week in Oyster history was a proper credit to club footy.
It started out with training on Thursday. A renewed sense of enthusiasm and urgency buoyed the Oysties, with the minor premiership wrapped up and our little mollusc eyes firmly narrowing in on an assault at the finals series. Whispers of a new chicken burger recipe at the culinary capital of the Light Brigade Hotel only further served to energise the session, with Head Coach J. Wivell remarking ‘this is the best team run I’ve seen all year.’
Exhibit B: Second Rower H.Williams breaking through the BOBs defence
However the night took a turn, as we learnt of our dear friends at Canterbury not being able to field a side for the upcoming fixture on Saturday. With great poise and agility, our ever reliable President Toby Honig navigated the treacherous waters of Subbies rugby organisation and came up with a solution quicker than you could say ‘forfeit!’. The Old Barker 2nd grade also had a game cancelled, and were happy to host a group of fine crustaceans out in their leafy surrounds of Turramurra. But not just any ordinary friendly, the Oysters would compete in their first ever Halligan’s Cup game, at the BOBs Ladies Days AND in the one and only Nick ‘Sluggo’ Eagleton’s 400th game for the club!
This puts lead in the proverbial pencils of all Oystermen. It’s why we play - two teams wanting to have a crack, celebrating a great clubman with a lovely little social event on the side.
Club Rugby Nirvana.
Barker Old Boys Match Report;
Firstly, we must acknowledge and thank Old Barker Rugby Club (BOBs) for hosting and allowing us to be apart of a huge milestone occasion for the club and “Sluggo”, 400 grade games for the one club is a huge achievement and it’s something no doubt you celebrated well. As a relatively young club, we can only hope that we have a number of Oysters that can reach even a quarter of that feat, congratulations from the Oysters on the achievement.
The game was exactly what the Oysters needed in the lead up to the finals series. After a number of wash outs, forfeits and byes - successive tough games was what the coaching staff was after. The BOBs really came out with some enthusiasm in defence and were ready with structured attack to challenge the oysters. Early on we managed to score some well constructed tries with Jack Remond returning from his European vacation and the ball was singing (and so were his lungs half way through the game).
The conditions were not necessarily conducive to our expansive style of play, with a bit of mud on the ball and underfoot, it was tough for the Oystermen to get out of second gear.
Throughout the game however, there were some great pieces of play from both sides with some standout’s, especially Duncan Hood and Hugh Morgan standing out with some great defensive efforts. It was great to see BOBs score at the end and have “sluggo” nail a sideline conversation, if only our goal kicking was at the same standard!
Exhibit C: Second Rower D.Hood charging towards the try line
In the lead up to the finals series the Oysters will be training and preparing with a golf day. Looking forward to the Semi final on the 27th out at Holroyd Oval, Merrylands.
LBH's Outtro Samlami
After a standing ovation for the 400 game man Sluggo, the Oystermen took to the showers, and gee whiz it took some time to wash off! The average showertime rivalled that of hygiene extraordinaire T.Taylor, who always makes sure to wash off the dirt behind his ears each week. But after the game on Turramura turf the Oysters were coated head to toe in viscous soil - and needed every single ounce of that Palmolive Gold to clean it off. Resident educator Hugh Morgan proclaimed “soap can never be dirty.” Thankyou for the insight Hugh.
Post showers the crustaceans lapped up the big sideline vibes, beers and wood fired pizzas flowing. Thanks very much to the BOBs for their hospitality and a great afternoon. But we were under strict instruction from the higher powers of the committee to get back on the bus and head south : enter Doctor Nick! “Hi everybody, I’m Dr Nick!, he said.” And so the movie had started rolling, tonight was to be all about our surgical serenader, it was his world, we were just living in it. When he had over-indulged in sideline courting, he demanded a big bus and a big bus he got! Brought to you buy canned rocketfuel - Ned’s 250ml 8% nectars.
Exhibit D: Flanker Dr. N.Findlay using his ever reliable catchphrase at the BOBs ladies day. HI EVERYBODY!
Tonight was a night of Greens - namely the greengate and the greenwood, with many a man left a little green the following day, no points for guessing who led the charge on this front. The Greengate supplied some lovely Will Bevan’s on sunset, before we meandered our way over to The Greenwood, where we enjoyed the company of one another beneath the Dome from The Simpsons Movie, one of the all time animated flicks of our era. What a great purchase from the filmset! Before you could say “eat my shorts”, doctor doctor had slipped in a few more sugarcane champagnes. Thanks goodness for our fellow man from the Monaro;Dunc,a true gentlemen of the team who positioned himself at one end of the table and enlightened us on the correlation between fiscal policy and carbon sequestration.
Exhibit E: EPA positioning the dome over the Greenwood Hotel North Sydney
The crowd dispersed upon return to home territory - some to soldier on and keep the lights on overnight, others to recharge the batteries for the following days City2Surf. Congrats to all oysters who participated cracking the 1 hour mark over the gruelling 14km circuit.
Before I leave you for the week a couple of special mentions. Firstly, to Mael who is doing his utmost to be Bordeaux’s best traveller across Australia - traversing the Blue Mountains and Newcastle over the last few weeks post game, all after 500 run metres and a couple Pan aux raisins (French for meat pie/try).
Secondly, a big farewell to our Irishmen Tommy. Hats off to you sir for landing on Australia soil and making your way to Oyster touch not a minute later some months ago. The club is all the better for your service and we wish you well for your future endeavours. Great man, great craic.
Ode from an Irishman
Speaking of club rugby nirvana, it doesn’t get much better than the story of young Thomas Holohan, an Oysterman through and through. Through the wonders of search engine optimisation and the club’s ever open arms to international friends, Tommy came down to a drizzly Clovelly Beach for a preseason session early one Saturday morning. What was even more miraculous is he only landed in the country less than 24 hours beforehand, knew no-one in this big land of ours and was only staying for a few months!
The rest is history. Tommy was a great example of what club rugby and indeed the Oysters is all about. We must’ve made an impression on the young lad, as he’s written the Ode below. Godspeed Tommy, we can’t wait to knock the froth off a pint of Guinness with you in the Emerald Isle soon.
My name is Thomas Holohan
I've been all around subbies twice, talked to everyone once. I’ve lost three boatraces, been to two ladies days, and I even once got pushed over in Lyne Park. I’ve shucked more shells than any other greedy piggy around.
I’m a hard-bodied, hairy-chested, shell-shuckin', lactate lovin', budgy smugglin', quatro conquerin', fired up Oysterman.
There ain’t nothing I can’t do. No lineout too high, no ruck too rough, no scrum too tough.
I've learned a lot of lessons in my life: never tackle a large Canterbury man with a small caliber effort. I've missed all kinds of tackles. Opensides, blindsides and even those real easy motherfuckers that run right at you and scream USO!!
Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderations for cowards. I’m a lover, I’m a fighter, I’m a Sydney Harbour Rugby Oysterman.
I’ll wine, dine, intertwine and head straight to the Light Brigade when the winning is done. So if you’re feeling salty, then you better jump, cos this Oysters been there, done that and is going back for more.
If I can say as well I'm heading back with a pair of RMs, a seedy mo and memories of the greatest footy club in the world that welcomed me like one of their own 🦪🦪
Exhibit F: Hooker & Poet T.Holohan with a watchful eye over the ruck.
With the regular season now done & dusted we turn our attention to the finals series.
A 6 team finals series begins this Saturday and concludes on 3rd September with the Grand final. The Oysters have the week off thanks to finishing top of the ladder and we will face the winner of this week's qualifying final Redfield Old Boys v Merrylands.
20/8 - Golf Day at Woollahra Golf Course
27/8 - Semi Final - Oysters vs ROBs/Merrylands
Location: Holroyd Oval, Holroyd
Kick Off: TBA
Thanks again for our sponsors for 2022