Welcome back to the sixteenth Circular for 2022, and our second last of the year!
Can you feel it? Finals footy! Not only finals, but it’s GRAND FINAL week and here at the Circular we’re struggling to contain our salivating lips from causing a flood of biblical proportions, such is the excitement to dine on the next few days to come. But before we get ahead of our collective heads, we must reflect on what was a wondrous week to be a crustacean…
After a well earned week off, which was filled with golf, karaoke and finest satay sticks in the East, the Oysters gathered at Woollahra No.1 for Thursday night under lights. After months of trudging through dog holes at Barracluff Park, it’s safe to say the Oysters are thrilled to be training on the exquisite grounds at Easts Rugby Club, and to which we profess an extra special Circular thanks. Toast your glasses to Easts people, long may our sweet partnership prevail!
Exhibit A: Winger H.Lorang taking it to his opposing number
On the grounds, it was all hands on deck for a lightning fast session, as we worked quick to sharpen our calls and keep the bum taps extra light. Whilst the Sydney weather has kept our shoulders warm these past days, it wouldn’t be a training of prophetic proportions unless we battled the last wind of August rains. So as the rain came down, the cheers came up, it was clear from all the boys that this would be another incredibly joyful week to be an Oyster.
Now the Oysters are so in tune with the rhythm of the season, many of us now live our weeks on autopilot. Training on Thursday leads to the frist beer of the week at the Light Brigade, before we awake to the pinging sounds of tickets to the bus going live and the Oysites flood the website to secure a seat on the bus. Now we’re even more excited to announce that for this week’s Grand Final, we’ll be treating YOU, our humble supporters, to the same first class coach treatment that we experience every away game. So we encourage you all to jump aboard the Oysters P&O Cruiseliner, as we sail along Parramatta Road and take our Premiership credentials towards Holroyd Oval, Merrylands. Further ticket details to come!
Exhibit B: Hooker H.Morgan duking out a ROBs defender
Saturday the 27th came and the sky was blue and air was warm. Now that dark clouds have covered the Northern hemisphere and the promise of a Greek Summer is over, it appears almost all Oysters are back in Australia for the business end of the season. As a do-or-die semi-final approached, the Oysters were told to sharpen up and pay closer attention to our game day fits, with many getting out the iron to crisp up our black and pink polo shirts. Some learning the hard way that even the finest polyester doesn’t fare well under a Sunbeam iron. This week Paddington bystanders seemed super impressed with our professionalism as R.M Boots were polished, Ariats were reheeled and even as if by some form of magic, our Plan B bus arrived EARLY! Yes early! Even the half pissed locals at the Dudley raised an impressed eyebrow, as it seems our good friends at the transport deport are on board with our full tilt charge towards the premiership. With a bus packed, shoes shined and haircuts extra slick, we sailed along to Merrylands for our battle with Redfield, for a place in the Grandest of Finals…
For the first time since our inaugural 2020 season we are back playing finals football! After a really sharp and productive training session, the Oysties were ready to rumble on Saturday, as we came up against a formidable opponent in Redfield Old Boys. ROBs have the distinguished honour of being the only club to beat us in competition play and were to be treated with such respect.
Exhibit C: No.8 A.McClelland looking for a gap during the dark second half
The messaging was simple this week, needing to play with intent and pride ourselves on our execution. We also played at a later timeslot at 5pm, under lights and despite a big game not too much of a crowd!
Kickoff came around quickly, and it was obvious from the outset the Oysters would be in for a tough, tight affair. As the sun dipped below the horizon, a dew came across Holyrod, and coupled with the three previous games of rugby played that day, conditions became slick and slippery. We started with that all so important intent, in particular championed by strong early carries from flanker Tom Mencinsky and inside centre Nick Stubbs. Despite the conditions, we did well to adapt and concentrate tighter around the ruck before spinning it wide.
The right edge looked deadly when let loose, with Dan Bottrell and Seb Gould combining to bust the Redfield defence open. Seb unselfishly popped the ball back into Bottcho who dove over for our first inside 5 mins. 5 - 0 to the Oysties.
Exhibit D: Winger S.Gould looking for support on the edge
The game then became tense and tight, with Redfield doing a great job of spoiling quick ball at our ruck and also defending with tenacity. The Oysters set piece was a shining light, doing a fantastic job of disrupting the Redfield line out and continually pushing their scrum back as well. The centrefold of the set piece was Hugh Morgan, who had a great day out from hooker and was the beneficiary of a sneaky rolling maul from the Oysters 5m out, just before halftime. Oysties 10 - Redfield 0 at the half.
The second half was a greasy and again tight encounter. In a bruising affair, both sides were desperate to cross the white line. In an unbelievable defensive effort, the Oysters defended for what seemed like 20 minutes consecutively. Every Redfield raid was met with strong shoulders and fast line speed, in what can only be described as one of the best team efforts seen in Oyster history.
Then, in the final stages of the match, the Oysters marched down the field and with clear intent and direct running, needed the game through a Daniel Bottrell jink and a dive.
Fullback: D. Bottrell on the charge
Full time Oysters 17 - Redfield 0.
A fine effort from all those brave men out there, both sides included. We rest, recooperate and plan for the biggest game of all against Savers this weekend.
Saturday September 3rd is Grand final day
Location: Holroyd Sports Ground
Time: 3pm Kick off
Opponent: Manly Savers
In great news we have a supporters bus leaving from the Lord Dudley at 1:30pm and returning to the light brigade where we will toast the season from 7pm. All family, friends and Oyster fans welcome. You can purchase your ticket from the link below;
Thanks again to our great sponsors for your support in 2022.