Episode 6: OYSTERS CONTINUE REBUILD
To all our beloved sponsors, parents, friends, supporters, doctor, sports physiotherapist, team psychologist, coach, and the BBQ pitmasters who almost burnt down the Uni with those the blazing onions on the weekend… WE’RE BACK for the Sixth Oysters Circular of 2021.
The Great Australian chef, Rockpool Dining Restaurateur and Qantas in-flight meal designer Neil Perry once said: “If God wanted us to eat snags every weekend, he would’ve put Church next to Bunnings…”
RE: Variety is the SPICE of LIFE!
Exhibit A: Chippy one day, Footballer the next, a real Jack of all trades our Johnny... I mean Jordy.
Now the Oysters have for many week’s been making their way through the delightful menu of the Light Brigade Hotel. Sticking close to the pub classics that fill the menus of most establishments, the Oysters thrive on a diet of Schnitzels, Burgers and the odd QUATTRO SALAMI! For only brave individuals such as one Jimmy “The Cans” Manns wanders off into the slightly uncharted waters of a Prawn Gamberi pizza with extra rocket. Strange. Very strange…
Alas, this week there was indeed a new exotic flavour in the air as a Super Moon basked it’s lunar rays upon us in the top corner of Hugh Bamford Reserve. The call cry? It was time for the boys to be introduced to OYSTER CURRY!!
Exhibit B: Speaking of Curry, Wooda bringing some HEAT.
That’s right, few men have been bold enough to toe outside the lines of the classic North Indian cuisine, seasoned with a mixture of pungent spices. The Oyster is familiar with the run-of-the-mill Masterfoods family favourites: the Butter Chicken, the Lamb Rogan Josh and Nick Stubb’s personal favourite the almighty Beef Madras. But as tonight’s session was built on defence, the team were challenged to put aside the sweet, pleasant flavours of a Chicken Tikka Masala and embrace a dish so HOT, so FIERY, so inconceivably INNOVATIVE that many an Oyster lay panting on the grass, crying out for a cooling hit of Cucumber and Mint Raita.
Round after round after round, the Oysters tackled-cleaned, tackled-cleaned, tackled-cleaned-SEALED! withstanding a barrage of HOT CURRY from teammates reenacting defense with the aid of a Rugby pillow. For the session was designed to pressure the boys into submission and only those who savoured the taste of a spicy slow cooked Oystie stew, would survive the blazin’ wrath of a coach keen to see us sweat…
Exhibit C: Sleaves up, socks down, get to work Pete.
And sweat we certainly did.
The Oyster woke up Friday morning feeling uncertain, unsure and unfamiliar. For no bus had been booked, the expectation was for players to “carpool” to Macquarie Uni for our game against this week’s opposition. The Oystie is unfamiliar with the concept of carpooling… for why gather in an automobile with three sole passengers when we can instead board the famous Ruby Princess Cruiseliner which can FIT ALL of US!! Magically, the twisting of arms and subtle hints was quickly picked up by the senior Oyster committee, who rapidly reinstated the famous tradition of journeying together on the Lord Dudley P&O Cruiseliner of the Sea. And off to Macquire Uni we sailed...
Exhibit D: Righto... Who let Dadsy have the camera, Toby... I'm looking at you.
Now the Oystie is a good learner. A few of us were lucky enough to receive a Tertiary education and subsequent $55,000 HECS debt (Cheers Scomo), so felt right at home upon the plush green fields of the famous Macquarie University. The Sports Complex brimming with a plethora of Weekend Warriors competing in games of DiveGrass (Soccer) and Victorian Leg Tennis (AFL). The Oystie however had eyes for one field and one field only. And it was the 100 metre x 50 metre stretch of turf with uprights and Bundaberg Rum sponsored post pads. This buoyed the team spirits, for nothing excites the country born Oysters like a game of Rugby followed by a glass of the Sugar Cane Champagne, The Cane Cutters Cordial or the North Queensland Fighting Fluid (I’ll be honest I could write these for days…)
The time for laughs was over. It was GAME TIME. And the BOYS were ON!
Exhibit E: Someone obviously has a Pie for Tommy under the posts.
On a cold & windy May Saturday there was nothing but warmth and excitement to be found on the Oysters’ cruise liner as it ferried the squad out to Macquarie University for our round 6 clash. There were a few fresh faces in the team who were particularly keen on making an impact and the buoys as a whole knew the importance of getting another win streak going as we approached the halfway point of the season.
Exhibit F: I'm hearing Boonie has nightmares about H-Willy's flick passes.
Possession flowed our way in the opening exchanges as we looked to put some phases together in the opposition 40. Whilst we were finding some space down the right edge, we got caught napping a few times around the breakdown and Uni were able to force relieving penalties. They looked to gain field position through their kicking game and this paid off early on, intercepting a pass as we counter-attacked to score the first points.
The buoys didn’t take long to answer, off an attacking left hand scrum Ryan Campbell received a delicate ball off fly-half Sam Woods’s hip and punched through a hole. Lachy Argiris and Jordan Simonovich both backed up with strong carries the next two phases with Jordy unlucky not to score, being called held up over the line. Thomas Taylor attacked the blind side from the resulting scrum, going himself to score our first try.
After a period of stop-start play dominated by free kicks and penalties, the buoys looked to quicken the tempo. Lachy Argiris took a quick tap around halfway and shifted to Nick Stubbs who bulldozed his way towards the Uni 22. A quick recycle saw the ball cleared to Sam Wood, who ripped a cut out pass to David Robertson, sending him on a darting run down the left touch line. The piggies hit back towards mid field before James Willets gave a flat pass to Mack Bowman who picked the gap and raced away for a great team try.
Exhibit G: Moment, captured.
I was really impressed with the way we closed out the half. Guys were linking well together with lots of short passes and playing at a really quick pace, never giving the Uni defensive line time to set. Our accuracy at the breakdown definitely lifted and was a key reason for the strong platform laid by the forwards which allowed the backs to operate. We led 33-7 at halftime.
Uni came out keen to make amends in the second half, playing a much tighter game and looked to their pick and drive. We defended well for the most part and the guys were communicating really well to each other. In attack, Sam Brennan, Peter Fenwicke & Lachy Argiris were getting through a mountain of work, constantly bending the line in the mid field and dragging multiple defenders with them. Whilst our phase play was looking really dangerous, we probably weren’t as clinical in the second 40 as we should have been and let a fair few tries go begging. Despite this, I was really pleased with the finishers who injected a lot of energy and directness into our play when taking the field.
All in all it was a very positive result as we ran out winners 54-19. The lads are stinging to make it 3 on the trot back on the home reef this week.
Exhibit H: Tune... Never again will there be a week without the Oyster Song.
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 I: Sponsors, please come on down to Rushcutters Park
Shop | Sydney Harbour Rugby Club (oystersrugby.com)
Exhibit J: Got ‘em
Exhibit L: Come on Down to Lyne
Exhibit M: Up2 Oysters
As always, have a fantastic week, go the Oysters, and above all, SHUCK ‘EM!
Sydney Harbour Rugby Club