The Sky Was Blue, Oh What a View!
To all our beloved sponsors, parents, friends, supporters, doctors, sports physiotherapists, team psychologists, coaches, Max from the Light Brigade, and our new bus driver Brett, we’re BACK for the 2nd edition of the 2022 Circular
It was Saturday the 9th of April. The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the Oysters were brimming. Now if you live on the Eastern seaboard of this nation known as Australia, you’ll know we haven’t seen a whisper of blue sky since one day, last year back in November. Low and behold, the first trial match for the Oysters and we were blessed with a beautiful turquoise day as blue as our jumper. Now I’m not saying that the Sydney Harbour Rugby Club influences Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology. No I will not! But I will highlight that it’s a little coincidental that the first Oysters trial of the season coincidentally lined up with the best day in recent memory, only to turn wet, wild and downright Biblical as the Neptune Cup got underway. Much like the 2020 battle for the inaugural cup, Neptune himself descended from the heavens in small rain drop form as the game got underway, a hugely spiritual experience for all in attendance.
Exhibit A: The Neptune Cup
However it was with pretty skies that onto the bus we boarded with the usual suspects, a few new faces and a rogue homeless Irishman named Tommy. But we’ll get to him later. Powering us along the Eastern Distributor, past the Kingsford Smith airport and through the backstreets of Botany was Brett, our new bus driver. Now we already love Brett. He drove that bus just how we play football, with polite aggression. After only three near misses and a honking match with an unruly stretch limo, we made it all the way to Forshaw Rugby Park, and Lordy were we excited!
We landed at the home of the Sea Lice to the usual cacophony of jeers and cheers of suburban park rugby, as we watched the final stages of Gordon vs Southern Districts. Complete with two grandstands, an exceptional canteen and one of the most exquisite clubhouses you’ve ever seen, down south it was clear that they took their Rugby and their hospitality VERY seriously. As do we.
Now there were some new faces in training shirts for warm-ups and here at the Oysters there’s always a seat at the table. We’d like to welcome Duncan, Tatey, Ready, Dimi Aussie Tommy AND our new Irishman Tommy. We have to give a very special shoutout to the man from Cork, who’s realised that after two years wading through an Irish lockdown, has decided he’d rather spend his 2022 on the shores of sunny Australia. After arriving with little more than a backpack, and having barely unpacked his bath bag, Tommy came looking for a club, and through the wonders of search engines (and our friends at Google, yes we are still in the market for an Official Search Engine Partner) came across the Oysters! Having been in the pink and blue for less than a week, he’s already found himself some new friends, an education in NRL, AND a job in construction. Welcome Tommy! After a quick warm up and a few PB’s on the bench press in the Sea Lice gym, we were strapped and ready for carnage!
Exhibit B: The Oysters pre match ritual of 1 rep max squats
We started in the dry with a good resemblance of structure with quality setups off 9 & 10. It was a tight tussle in the first 10 minutes before we hit a shortside play through the hands and fullback Dimitri Tremopoulos was away, toeing it through to beat the would-be cover defence and finally diving on the loose pill to score. Oysters up 7-0.
We quickly found ourselves on the attack again after a quick tap from Tom Mencisnky, who broke through multiple tackles and had us peppering the tryline. Halfback Tom Taylor then hit skipper Gus McClelland with a nice pass to send him over taking the score to 14-0.
With early dominance we began to fall into the trap of becoming too excited trying to score from every phase. As the rain set in, the errors from us continued to mount and we were in a real arm wrestle heading into halftime.
With the rain continuing in the second half, both teams struggled to pull together any more than 4 phases at a time. We continued to hold the Sea Lice deep in their territory however we were constantly met with some very stiff defense, with the Lice providing some bone rattling hits. Harry managed to get over the line however was unable to ground it providing much drama as the new rule (to the confusion of most on the field) is a goal line drop out when held up in goal.
After another period of typical wet weather trial game footy, we found ourselves on the Sea Lice’s try line - only this time we threw an intercept and the Lice center went 95m to score to bring them back into the game 14-7. And that’s what the score would stay with the boys grinding down the last 5 minutes for the victory.
Key takeaways from the trial was that we need more time on the practice pitch together, plenty of opportunities to work on our shape from 9 and 10 and our communication around this. Handling was another key improvement opportunity and of course fitness was lacking.
Positives out of the game included the lineout with Morgs providing dimes from hooker along with a lot of the new boys absolutely ripping into the tough stuff. All in all it was great to come away from the first trial of the season with a win off limited to no preparation.
Wiv & coaching Staff
Exhibit C: New Oyster Tatey loving winning his first piece of silverware for the club
We’d like to put a very special mention in this week's edition of the Circular to our friends at the Southern Districts Rugby Club, who welcomed us with open arms into their fabled clubhouse. Littered with trophies of past glory, as well as not one, not two, but several TV’s playing a collection of Stan Sports and Kayo, we were incredibly impressed by the five star Hilton treatment. Of course, we were more than happy to support the funding of their newly planned steam room, sauna and mud bath treatment centre (scheduled for build in 2025), and poured numerous rounds into their club bar as an offer of financial support. Thanks to the Southern Districts AND the Sea Lice, a wonderful night indeed!
Exhibit D: Hospitality! Look at that clubhouse!
To all our friends and supporters we hope you have a happy and sensible Easter. And to all players, particular a few outside backs who seem to be working their way into Clive Palmer territory, take it easy on the Easter chocolate, we’ve got a big, fast season ahead!