ROUND 4 vs WESTERN RAPTORS
To all our beloved sponsors, parents, friends, supporters, doctors, sports physiotherapists, team psychologists, coaches, Max from the Light Brigade (hope your back is okay big fella), and the wider Australian geographic society … we’re BACK for the 6th edition of the 2022 Circular.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s (BOM) latest Climate Driver Update (10th May) was grim reading for not only us Oysties, but for the wider sporting and sun-loving Australian community. Pacific sea surface temperatures, coupled with the continued strength of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), has resulted in an elongated La Nina period into Autumn. What does this mean I hear you ask? It means Sydney is continuing to experience increased rainfall, the arch-enemy of the council groundsman and their rubber-armed knack for closing our home Reef(s).
What’s this got to do with the price of Sydney Rock’s? I hear you enquire again (inquisitive bunch you are).
Well it means grounds all over Sydney are closed. Closed for business. Shut up shop. No entry granted. Just like a bouncer at a King’s Cross nightclub (Vale Iguana Bar) the council has denied entry to any over enthusiastic patrons looking for a good time. That’s forced us Oysties to do what we do best: adapt adapt adapt!
Head Coach James ‘Wiv’ Wivell embodied the Oystie adaptive spirit this week, canvassing the wider Sydney area for a ground that would be open for our crucial Thursday training session. He stumbled upon a new little facility called the Gunyama Aquatic and Recreation centre. Immediately our little Oyster pricked up at the prospect - “you’re saying there’s a place with water AND recreation! That’s what we Oysties know best!”
Exhibit B: #8 L.Argiris stepping his way to the try line to score next to our brand new post pads
The inner city suburb of Zetland was the location, and boy were we surprised at the facilities on offer. Rarely trekking WOAP (West of Anzac Parade), us Oysties were amazed at the transformation of the area. A true credit to both gentrification and urban renewal, the newly created suburb was appointed with great synthetic turf and pool facilities, ample parking and nestled in between towering apartment blocks. In an hour of need, the Gunyama pitch was a saving grace, allowing us to stretch our Oystie legs amongst the gloomy and La Nina affected sky.
But wait! The adaptiveness isn’t done yet!!!
With the Blacktown City Council ruling on Friday afternoon that our upcoming fixture against the Western Raptors could not be played on Mittigar Reserve due to the wet pitch, us Oysties went into ADAPTIVE OVERDRIVE. Using the words of the greatest naturalist of all time, Sir David Attenborough, an Oyster in ADAPTIVE OVERDRIVE is one of “the Earth’s most beautiful sights.” We hustled and bustled and after pulling a few political favours with various Sydney councils, managed to secure space at Christison Park Vaucluse, which would be our FOURTH home reef in our short (yet illustrious) history.
Exhibit C: #1 Ticket Holder Captain C.Biscoe & #2 Ticket holder and former premiership player/motivational speaker W.Pattinson enjoying the game
Many thanks and also appreciation must be extended to all players, staff and supporters of the Western Raptors – who on short notice forfeited their home ground advantage and made their own way into one of Sydney’s most easterly grounds. We are extremely grateful, and will enjoy the wet weather week off!
Magic Round hits Vaucluse
After another week of La Nina causing havoc around the eastern states, it saw a roller coaster of emotions when the game was in the balance with the Western Raptors ground being closed till the following week, the oysters where on ice until a godly sized rainbow came through the torrential rain and landed on Christison Park Vaucluse, with the magical touch from El President, the oysters found their a new home for the weekend.
As we went for a walk over the field, there where a number of large pot holes that required some additional soil to ensure that we could see the oysters starting wingers, Hamish “Can I start Ladies Day” Lorang and James Hindle in open space and not be slowed down. Needless to say the patchwork was better than a cash job at the panel beaters and the Oysters boys where ready to rock and roll.
Exhibit D: Winger H.Lorang getting his hips worked on for ladies day. (Save the date July 2nd)
The start of play saw Jack Remond put a nice contestable kick off for Ryan Campbell to apply enough pressure for the ball to be spilled by the Raptors forwards and given the severe anxiety from Hugh Morgan pre game lining up at prop and requiring to scrummage, this made the coaching team a little nervous, however the Oysters forwards held strong and created a great platform for a neat little play by the backs, that saw the speed man Hamish Lorang, glide through for the first try under the post. As the Oysters boys received the ball off the kick off there was a nice amount of structure to exit their end and apply some pressure of the Raptors lineout, causing a turn over and putting the Oysters back on attack. In the lead up to the second try, there was a nice little short side play between Lachy Argiris and James Hindle to set the platform for nice phase play, before a nice little hop, skip and a dive from Lachy Argiris to score the second try.
Exhibit E: Not sure what everyone is pointing at here but it must have been important
The Raptors really strung some quality phase play together in the Oysters attacking half and with some quality line speed and defensive shape from the Oysters, it saw a mistake by the Raptors, leading to an attacking lineout by the Oysters. The Lineout saw had a barnstorming Sam Wood give a nice ball to Dan Bottrell, who then skipped on to the outside of his opposing player to put Hamish Lorang in space, running some distance to score the Oysters third try. The sustained possession continued by the raptors, which placed the Oysters under some pressure, however the most pleasing part of the first half was how the Oysters defended and worked hard off the ball to ensure they all worked together to not concede a point in defence and managing to cross the line to score another couple of tries.
Exhibit F: Another lineout win for the OysterMen
After the half, the Raptors side came out strong and put some enormous hits on the Oysters, seeing our Irish import, Tommy Holohan being hit a few too many times, you couldn’t begrudge him wanting to head back home after the game. The Raptors continued with the aggression for the entire second half and really found their grove to score two tries and winning the second half over the Oysters. The Oysters bench was emptied and everyone managed to get a taste of the action which saw the Oysters gain further momentum and enterprising play which saw the Oytsers play right through to the final Whistle.
We would really like to thank the Western Raptors for making the last minute locational switch to play the game and everyone that made the effort to come out to cracking afternoon.
Exhibit G: The coaching brains trust already drafting this week’s match report.
- Next Saturday is a Wet Weather Week Round. Somehow amidst the Autumn Rain Armageddon we have managed to not have a single match rained out, as such the Oysters will be enjoying a week off. For those who can’t do a Saturday without their beloved Oysters you can watch all of our replays on NSW Rugby TV https://nswrugby.tv/
- 28th June: THE FERRY CUP - That’s right the Oysters will be at Lyne Park Ferry Wharf ready to defend the Ferry Cup as the lads from Manly Savers catch one of the few remaining Freshwater Class Ferries across the Harbour to do battle with the Oysters.
- 4th June: Sponsors day v Renegades at Woollahra #1 Oval
- 11th June: Queen's Birthday Weekend. No Games. Long live Liz.
As always thank you very much for your support in 2022. Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible at Sponsors Day on the 4th June.