Episode 8: The Oysters Enjoy a Holiday…
To all our beloved sponsors, parents, friends, supporters, doctor, sports physiotherapist, team psychologist, coach, and Max from the Light Brigade who was looking absolutely magnificent in his suit on sponsors day… WE’RE BACK for the Eighth Oysters Circular of 2021.
Believe it or not, before the world was swept up in the chaos of the Miley Cyrus (The Virus), the Oyster quite liked to travel. Stalk the deep depths of many of the Oyster’s Instagram pages and you’ll find shirtless selfies in Greece, snow escapades in the Hakuba East and the odd Guinness on a stag do in the south of Wales. Such is the Oyster’s thirst for travel, the week off was warmly welcomed as Oysters stretched their flippers and journeyed to far flung regions for rest and relaxation. Ahhh, a holiday!
Exhibit A: Reef Tings
But hang on, it was only a weekend you say? Well the Oyster is a fast swimmer, able to cover great distances across our nation, whilst maintaining a dubious 120km/h speed on the Hume Highway. The road trips were long but oh they were glorious.
Exhibit B: KA MATE! KA MATE!
On the hit list for the June break were many regions including The Plains of Plentiful (Grenfell), The Swamp (Canberra) and of course God’s Country (Newcastle), the nucleus where many of the Oysters were birthed. But as anyone who’s been on a two week holiday to Hawaii knows, distance from loved ones only makes the heart grow fonder and not too soon after the Oyster switched on the ignition in the Commodore, we were all dreaming of being reunited with their teammates. And therefore quickly returned back to Sydney, faster than you can say “Sorry Officer, I thought the speed limit was 120…”.
Thursday Night at Hugh Bamford felt a lot like December 25th. We were finally back together like it was Christmas. For those witnessing our reunion, you could be excused for thinking we were reenacting the final minutes of the 2003 Christmas-themed romantic comedy, Love Actually. For Oysters were kissing, cuddling and squeezing one another in a joyous moment of elation, after being brought back into each other’s company. Despite our rugged, tough and often blood thirsty demeanor, we are actually quite an affectionate bunch.
Exhibit C: Sweet Slinky Sliding Through
Now we’ve been receiving emails, texts and fax machine messages from sporting coaches all around the world. They’ve all been asking; “What is the secret to a famous Oyster training session, how long does it actually go for ???”
Everyone from Bill Belichick, Craig Bellamy and even Sir Alex Ferguson has been sliding into our DM’s asking what’s the magic number of minutes and seconds spent on the training paddock that clearly continues to pay winning dividends (See: Our recent results). Is it a clear cut 60 minutes? Is it only 45 with 15 minutes of Oyster touch?? Is it no training at all???
Exhibit D: Where'd this one go Hame
The answer is VIBE. All VIBE. The Oyster training session is timed purely on the metrics of what feels right for the players and our coach. You can’t time VIBE. Vibe is VIBE. Our response to the international raft of coaches pricking and prodding our brains for training advice, we simply reply…
Did Michelangelo put on a stopwatch when we painted the Sistine Chapel?
Did Sandro Botticelli chuck on an egg timer when he painted 'The Birth of Venus'?
Exhibit E: Men of Culture
Do you reckon Jørn Utzon was watching the sundial when he designed the pride of our harbour, the Sydney Opera House???
Of course not. They stuck to VIBE. And like all the great wonders and artistic glories of the world, that’s the time schedule we like to stick to. So as any poor mother (or father) of an Oyster knows, don’t even bother to try and time Thursday dinner for the return home of an Oyster. Check the lamb chops in the fridge, we’ll heat it up when we get home!!!
(To all parents of the Oysters we do sincerely apologise for our rough home time schedules and we love you and appreciate you please don’t write us out of the family will…)
Exhibit F: Bott & Stubbsy... Same Age, Same Income
It was high tide on the Rushcutters reef as the buoys braved wet and windy conditions when arriving for what was to be an epic round 9 clash against Manly. The weather was certainly appropriate for the harbour-side battle and adding to the excitement was the fact that there was silverware on the line, we were very keen on keeping hold of the treasured Ferry Cup.
Exhibit G: Definition of Home Ground Advantage
The game kicked off and I thought we controlled the opening exchanges nicely. We had
a bit of field position and kept the ball in hand. Recognizing the conditions, the piggies were playing tight and direct, fighting for every meter against a stingy Manly defense that was certainly up for the occasion. I thought the handling was rather good all things considered, we managed to put multiple long phase sequences together however our breakdown work would ultimately let us down.
As Manly began to build up some possession our defense was equally up to the task. Guys like James Willetts & Harri Greville were coming up fast off the line and making accurate low chop tackles. The game settled into a real arm wrestle between the 40-meter lines as neither side wanted to play in their own half. Jack Remond was controlling things nicely from the fly half position, kicking into territory (and the harbour) and was not afraid to go himself to counter a strong outside in defense from Manly. Before the break, Lachy Argiris ran a great switch line and found himself in plenty of space. The croc, keen to showcase his full skillset, placed a delicate kick over the top for his winger Seb Gould in the corner. Manly just beat Seb to the punch and we went into the half with the scores tied, 0-0.
Exhibit G: I Like these odds, 2 vs 1
The mood was positive coming into the second half, I thought we were playing well, it was just a horrible day to try and score points and we had to remain patient. The weather cleared up a bit and the guys looked to spread the ball more into space. Nick Stubbs was bending the line in the midfield, creating space for Hamish Lorang and Dan Bottrell outside. After a few raids down the right-hand edge, we were awarded a penalty in front of the sticks. Hamish punched it through to put us in the lead 3-0. A lapse of concentration saw the resulting kick off bounce into touch. Following a fumbled lineout, Manly were immediately on the attack in prime position. Some very slick hands through their backline saw them score a great try in the left corner, they now led 5-3.
With 15 minutes to go I was impressed with how the boys kept their composure under pressure. We worked back into their half and built pressure through phase play. Eventually, Angus McClelland found some space in the wider channels. Gus pinned his ears back and burnt the cover defense en-route to scoring a classic try to put us in front. Harry Williams iced the game with 5 to go, picking and driving from close to the line to seal the deal.
Exhibit I: Here he bloody is again... Angus "Don't kick the f****** Ball" McClelland
Overall, I was incredibly pleased with the mammoth effort that was put in to win a game that was the epitome of a grind. Full credit to Manly who were exceptional as well and left it all out on the field. It was great having them back at the pub after the game and I know both teams would love another crack at each other come finals time.
Coach Boone – Louis Biscoe
Exhibit J: Finally a win off the field as well.
Exhibit K: YTGs #pearls braving the wind & rain
With a new year, we have the chance to bring on some new sponsors as we look to continue building our bonds within the community. We thank you for your commitment to the 2021 season and look forward to seeing you down at our games. We know that 2020 was a tough year for everyone and appreciate the support. There is simply no way we would be able to have the kit, equipment or ground hire without the valued contribution of our sponsors and for that we are grateful.
Exhibit L: Thank you Sponsors!
Exhibit M: Merch Merch Meerrrrch
Shop | Sydney Harbour Rugby Club (oystersrugby.com)
Exhibit N: Covid willing... Come. On. Down
TICKET LINK : https://www.oystersrugby.com/event-details/pearls-day
Exhibit O: "Rain is the Great Equaliser"... well, almost.
Exhibit P: Bus Trip Baby
Exhibit Q: Up2 Oysters
As always, have a fantastic week, go the Oysters, and above all, SHUCK ‘EM!
Sydney Harbour Rugby Club