Round 3 v Northern Saints
To all our beloved sponsors, parents, friends, supporters, doctors, sports physiotherapists, team psychologists, coaches, Max from the Light Brigade, and the little comedian selling raffle tickets at Hassall Park … we’re BACK for the 5th edition of the 2022 Circular.
One of the most cherished aspects of being signed as an Oyster is that each playing membership comes with a complimentary season long pass to tour all seven corners of Sydney. Whether it’s venturing North, South, West or a blended directional combo of all three, an away game is a golden opportunity to visit the sights and streets of Sydney that many of us are unfamiliar with.
This week the Oysters travelled predominately North (With a slight Western lean as if we need to check our wheel alignment) and landed at Hassall Park, hallowed ground of the Northern Saints Rugby Club. The Home of St Ives Rugby for over 60 years, as soon as we arrived we realised we were standing on thick, heritage listed turf that sits idle all week, longing for a game of Rugby.
Exhibit A: The Hassall Park crowd enjoying seeing “Seagull” H.Morgan go over for an early try
Now at these suburban grounds, us Oysters are always buoyed to bump shoulders with local characters, and this week our Club president Toby sure met his match after being Sonny Bill Williams shoulder charged by a small whipper snapper selling raffle tickets.
Bolstering up the courage to walk up to our formidable president, the young future host of The Tonight Show unassumingly asked would we be so kind to dip our hand into our wallets and participate in some friendly club fundraising for the chance to take home a prize.
Enter Toby, always keen to understand the odds and payouts on offer:
“Sure mate, what’s the prize if I win…?”
The young Saint simply replied: “A year of free haircuts…”
BANG! OOFT! A CLANGER!
It’s a rare sight to see our follically challenged President stumped for words, but for the first time this season he seemed to have met his match in a U/12’s champion, who this week is walking away with the Circular’s Best on Ground for wit and banter. Give this kid the opening set at the Sydney Comedy Festival, these are the stories that inspire us to board the bus again next week!
Exhibit B: Lyndon “Jukebox” Christie waiting for his next Hit
It’s wedding season baby……..
As a number of the seasoned oysters were away on the first of many weddings of the year, we headed through the lovely Lane Cove Tunnel to St. Ives where the Northern Saints played hosts for the day.
It was a picture perfect day with the Oysters receiving the ball to start and paired some lovely phase play with plenty of expansive passing in the first stages. The forwards really took it to the Saints early, with Harry Williams getting over the line but was adjudged to have performed an old fashion double movement. The disallowed try and further frustrations kept the Oyster boys motivated to get on the board first. The Saints really brought the energy, enthusiasm and stubborn attack, which continued on the oysters line for well over ten minutes. The enormous efforts from Harry Tate, James Rickard, the Hit Man Will Evans and Sam Brennan on the line, kept the Saints at bay until the twenty minute mark where the oysters managed to regain some position. As we regained shape and control of the ball, we managed to continue to play with our patented width. A nice in and away by Danny Boy, Bottrell, which put Lyndon Christie into some space to set up a ruck that can only be described as a dogs breakfast, with the ball spilling out to James Rickard to get over the advantage line, for our ball running, non jumping second rower Harry Williams to score under the posts.
Exhibit C: “Hitman” W.Evans taking into into the teeth of the northern saints under the watchful eye of fellow Hitman S.Brennan
The first try brought about some rhythm and continuity within the play from the Oysties, with the Seagulling teacher Hugh Morgan scoring in the corner shortly after our opening 5 pointer. Continued possession lead to the boys really finding their feet, scoring a couple of tries whilst one of the Northern Saints players was in the sin bin. The message at half time was really simple for the oysters: have fun, enjoy yourself and play direct.
Exhibit D: Assistant coach J.Harvey providing some halftime encouragement “Fun, enjoyment & DIRECT”
As the Second half begun, the oysters were very quick to assert some hard running and direct play, scoring three quick tries. The Saints then found their groove, fighting extremely hard and showing great resilience in their play. This resulted in long phase play and continued quality possession on the oysters goal line. The Saints continued to mount possession and scored two very good tries after poor discipline which lead to the oysters naughtiest boy, Seb Gould, told to take a ten minute breather for his injection in the backrow, which wasn’t appreciated by the referee as much as he thought.
Exhibit E: Flyhalf J.Remond looking very direct with this line break
The game ended 47-12 and the Oysters boys enjoyed the great hospitality of The Saints afterwards - big thanks to all who organised and we are very keen to reciprocate the welcome in round 12.
Before we’re done, there’s two key call outs from Saturday;
- Forget Covid, the oyster flu outbreak of 2022 saw a number of a key leaders hit hard and a special shout out to our very own, kicking tee dribbler, Lyndon Christie for putting in a huge shift before turning into a nice shade of oyster grey.
- After Tommy Mencinsky went down with a Hamstring tear, Ryan Campbell put his hand up and did an absolute sterling job playing in the backrow, could this be a beginning of something special….
Exhibit F: N.Stubbs with all eyes for the try line
Thank you also to Ian Stubbs & the facebook page Rugby Snaps for the great flics from Saturday!
Next week the Oysters travel West to meet the Western Raptors. In what is sure to be a mighty challenge for us mere crustaceans. Oysters v Raptors, mollusc v dinosaur, David v Goliath, be there at Mittigar Reserve 3:15pm Saturday to see who prevails.
Country & Western Themed Bus Trip for all Oysters heading west
Exhibit G: #8 S.Brennan keeping the ball alive!
Sponsors Day : 4th June
To all sponsors please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
To everyone else put it in the diary to come and support so we can show our sponsors how popular we are!
Ladies Day : 2nd July
SAVE THE DATE: 2nd July. Woollahra Oval #1 More details to follow
Another save the date. Friday 29th July. Location TBA
Speaking of Sponsors - Thank you for your support in 2022