RAIN, HAIL OR SHIRE… OYSTERS PREVAIL!
To our sponsors, parents, friends, supporters, coach, and players, we are already up to the 4th edition of the Oysters Circular, and luckily for you, the Oysters keep delivering, and so will we. We’re over the hump of the regular season and the men from Rushcutters are showing no signs of slowing down. Global warming, melting ice caps, plastic overuse, oil spills, general oceanic pollution, and every suburb south of Coogee can go stick it.
From the Committee
Carrying on from last week, it was the Committee’s aim to host a contingent of sponsors and supporters, all whilst complying with the Gladys Berejiklian's COVID-19 policies. Unfortunately, we were unable to pursue that dream with the Woollahra Municipal Council pulling the pin and closing the Reef (Rushcutters Bay) due to the rain (does anybody know anyone on the Council and whether they like expensive gifts or untraceable bank notes?) Instead of a beautiful sunny day by the Reef, with that salty sea breeze gently blowing against our shells, the radiant Eastern suburbs sun shining down on our nacre (noun; a.k.a. "mother of pearl"; the organic-inorganic composite material produced by oysters as an inner shell), and that slimy kelp delicately tickling our mantles (noun; fine fleshy layer surrounding the oyster body), the Oyster men were sent once against into the cold, dark depths of the great ocean south.
Some credit to the Committee here and in particular our President, Toby Honig ("the King of Admin"), who was able to organize a seaworthy vessel (bus). Done so in lightning Oyster pace after we were alerted at 2pm on Friday of our required trip southward (given Rushcutters was rained out, the Burraneer Dolphins kindly invited us to play on their field at the last minute). Credit also to the Oyster men who rallied quickly around our Admin King and who are now well drilled in (a) bus trips to the Shire; and (b) winning whilst at sea (away games). The voyage itself wasn’t as smooth as could have been, with one young Oyster in particularly bad shape. The discolouration of his shell was deemed to be caused by either (a) a bad case of sea sickness-induced nausea; or (b) a huge night on the town. You come to your own conclusions as to what happened (hint: the seas were particularly calm that day).
Exhibit A: a few nerves pre-game; an Oyster man attempts to throw his bag of sea sickness overboard.
On our opponents, the Oysters had already proven to be the superior life form relative to the sea lice, however the expectations were that the Burraneer Dolphins would be a different kettle of fish. Dolphins are commonly referred to as the most intelligent, non-homosapien creatures on the planet, with an astounding ability to process complex problem solving and social interactions including demonstrating empathy, self-awareness, grief, joy and playfulness. Naturally, the humble oysters were feeling nervous, however, the results of that day clearly demonstrated that the world's leading dolphin scientists have probably been smoking one too many crushed up oyster shells.
The dolphins had NO ANSWER for the Oysters' UNRELENTING, UNYIELDING and BARBARIC 80 MINUTE ONSLAUGHT AND VICTORY. Despite all the setbacks the oysters faced that day (rained out of the Reef, playing on the Burraneer's John Dwyer Park which should probably be called John Quagmire Park – see Exhibit B), we still emerged on top. If we had a truly poor taste in humour, at this point we would make a joke about that Cove documentary (please do not Google), however in the interest of civility, we'll leave it at that. We sit here and wonder what would have been going on in the minds of those poor dolphins who certainly would have believed the unexpected home game advantage would have led to some slip up from the Oysters.
Exhibit B: "Ideal" Playing Conditions
The Oysters carried themselves well at Burraneer, with skipper Gus McClelland leading on and off the field ensuring that the change rooms were left immaculate (particularly after the men from Rushcutters belted out their best rendition yet of the victory song). With some post game beverages shared by both teams, the Burra Boys demonstrated that whilst the loss may have been tough to swallow, there were no such problems with the dolphin's ability to quickly inhale large amounts of liquid, easily putting the Oysters’ boys to shame in a cheeky boat race.
On a serious note, the Oysters will take away two key learnings from this weekend's clash. As per usual, we were deeply impressed by the standard of post-game sportsmanship and social interaction between the two teams. We believe that, much like the Sea Lice, the Burra Boys do represent a close-knit community of mates that play hard but are respectful of the broader rugby community. This is a reputation and goal that the Oysters will aspire to perpetuate as our club grows and matures. Secondly, whilst undefeated, the Oyster men will not, for one second believe that the rest of the season will be a breeze. That kind of mentality is soft and does not belong within our tough, hardened, calcium carbonate exteriors. We play every week game by game and my word we love it as well. That's what the Oysters are about.
On that note, we’ll hand it over to coach for this week’s edition of the Coach’s Corner.
“It was week 4 in our quest to secure the Jeffrey Cup and after two consecutive wins on the road, the stage was set for an epic top of the table clash back home at fortress Rushcutters. The target, the Burraneer Dolphins, who were defending champions and coming off an impressive win against Kings Old Boys.
Knowing full well we were not at our best last week, there was plenty of communication throughout the week about resetting and putting in a statement performance to distinguish ourselves against the competition. Unfortunately, heavy rain on Friday led to a questionable decision by the council to close the home reef. Not to be discouraged, the Oysters used this as motivation, embracing the adversity as well as the opportunity to serve up some delicious Dolphin sashimi in Burraneer’s own backyard.
The game kicked off and both teams battled for momentum early. Learning from our previous experiences' in the wet against the Sea-Lice, the boys looked to gain field possession with some well-placed kicks by Jack Remond, combined with some stinging defence. This paid dividends in the form of handling mistakes by the Dolphins close to their own line. An attacking scrum saw the Oysters backline execute a brilliant set piece play straight from the training ground. The Ranger (Jack Remond) attacked the defensive line with plenty of options outside him, before dishing a perfect, flat pass to his number 12, Sam Wood who sliced through untouched and scored under the posts.
Exhibit C: Five-Eighth Jack Remond Slicing & Dicing
The Oysters didn't dwell on the hot start and continued going about their work. The pigs were playing tight and together, flourishing in the wet weather conditions and enjoying doing the dirty work. Justin Sayer & Oliver Hassall were running hard at and over the advantage line, and the whole pack was priding themselves on providing good clean ball at the breakdown. Their efforts helped to suck in defenders, and the Oyster’s pearls were finding some good space down the left hand side. Another strike play off a half-way scrum had outside centre Seamus Frost hit a hard unders line at pace and leave his opposite player grasping at thin air. Seamus exploded through the line, stepped one defender and bumped aside another before being finally dragged to ground. Lachy Argiris continued the momentum, putting on some nice footwork to beat the first tackler and follow the line break with another positive carry. The whole backline showed good awareness and execution, quickly spreading it left through the hands to winger Mack Bowman. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, the Chicken Man had bought his jet shoes and raced away to score an electric try in the left corner.
The Oysters were starting to turn the screws and the pressure was building. The Dolphins had another scrum on their own line but a botched exit play saw the ball fumbled by their kicker. Roy Harrison was Johnny on the spot and quickly jumped on it and scored the Oysters third try. Being down 19-0 early, it would have been easy to let doubt creep in. However, full credit to Burraneer as they hung in and scored a fantastic length of the field try to close out the half. Their outside centre caught our backline defence a bit narrow and ruthlessly exploited it with a run from their 40m line, showing great pace to cross over under the posts.
Exhibit D: Positive half-time words from Backrower Justin Sayer… As an aside, our thoughts go out to Daniel Cheung who suffered some coral bleaching last Sunday, hopefully the Reef makes a full recovery.
We spoke at half time about the importance of relentless intensity and how crucial the first 10 minutes
of the next 40 would be. The boys took this challenge on, as we proceeded to be camped in our own 22 for the opening stanza of the second half. The Dolphins were throwing everything at us in attack, but I was immensely proud of how the boys kept getting up, making tackle after tackle and supporting each other. They held the line and eventually managed to get down into the Dophin’s territory & capitalise on a penalty kick to extend the lead. Discipline was becoming an issue and the penalty count started to really stack against us. Despite piggy-backing the opposition down the field, we didn't let in any more points which was massive positive from the game. Another left hand raid by the backs allowed Seamus Frost to fix his defender and put Hamish Lorang away, down the sideline to seal the win in true Oysters fashion, with a final score line of 27-7.
Exhibit E: Throw, Catch, Flick… Burra boys looking to the heavens for answers
It was a very satisfying win in which everyone contributed and played with heart. A special mention goes to man of the match Seamus Frost who always straightened the attack out wide and was a constant threat. Nick Peper & Will Valerie had a strong impact off the bench, immediately shoring up an Oysters scrum that was under pressure for the first time this season. The boys look to go again and make it 5 from 5 next week against Merrylands.”
- Louis Biscoe a.k.a “Coach Boone”
Exhibit F: A home game has become such an enigma that if you so much more than whisper it, you will scare it off.
We continue to be thankful to all of our sponsors. It is a big ask to put your hard earned money into a club which was put forward as only an idea. For that idea to gain such support is truly reflective of the character and faith shown by those who helped us get where we are.
Exhibit G: Who Won Today?... OYSTERS!!!
Around the Ground – Presented by Punt Hub:
“G’day Punters, Mark from Punt Hub here, pleased to be with you.
Before we look at the market for next week’s game, let’s have a quick look back at last weekend. A nice win for the Oysters and a nice win for those who took the “Whistle to be blown over 40 times” bet, (un)fortunately we were able to pay this off at half time. Our stat of the week: Four try scorers last weekend, all backs, will this trend continue?
Looking forward to this week and a new market we opened up “where are the jerseys and when will they arrive?”. Insiders are saying they will be here for the GF, stay posted.
– Before Round 5 10/1
– Before Round 6 8/1
– Before Round 7 5/1
– No Oysters jersey in 2020 3/1
Speaking of jerseys, we have had to adjust the “jersey number of first try scorer market’ to reflect the loaner jerseys that are not 1-23, and have a few duplicates.
First try scorer to be wearing jersey number:
– 1 to 8- 3/1
– 9 to 15- 5/1
– 17a,17b,19,20,21, 23- 6/1
Lastly our same game multi of the week paying- 30/1
– Sam Wood to bring his own kicking tee 5/1
– A red headed player to score a try or cop a yellow card 3/1
– Second half to be highest scoring half 2/1
Have a great weekend, and up the Oysters!”
(Please note all bets above are for banter purposes and not real bets).
Exhibit H: Aquatic Superiority
So there it is, 4 Games, 4 Wins, and we aren’t done yet.
As always have a fantastic week, go the Oysters, and above all, SHUCK ‘EM!
Sydney Harbour Rugby Club
Fun Fact: It is interesting to note that Rolex have their own line of watches named after the oyster, stemming back to 1926 when Hans Wilsdorf produced the first waterproof and dustproof wristwatch, giving it the name "Oyster". We have reached out to Rolex to see if we can get some sponsorship, however they are yet to return our various emails, phone calls, faxes, telegrams and carrier oysters. Apparently 5th Division suburban rugby isn’t their cup of tea. Their loss.