2024 Club Update – Round 05

Ni Hao Comrades,

Welcome to the match reviews of Rd 5 wherein we did gird our loins and sally forth some 30 minutes to the north to make havoc among the obviously economically challenged at Soldiers Field in leafy Lindfield. And what a day it was, with Colts, 5ths and 4ths making it an unnecessary struggle, 3rds and 2nds grabbing some chocolates at least, and 1sts being perhaps better left unsaid. But with no shows, late withdrawals and the flu causing all manner of re-jigs, with plenty playing 2nd matches, and a few even racking up 3 team sheets on the day, I guess a mixed bag of results was to be expected.

Sutherland Cup (5th grade) – Lost 14-7
Approaching the weekend with 2 losses and 1 draw to show from 3 games, the Red Brekky Club had amassed 3pts, which was enough to keep clear of Mosman on the bottom of the table at 0 from 2 with 0pts. But no one was satisfied with that. Accordingly, this weekend the lads were seeking to make a positive move and knock over the 1 win from 2 starts Lindfield who sat on a lofty 5pts at 4th on table. So opportunity begged for the Red Brekky Crew to grab 5pts and go careening past Lindfield into mid-table territory.

However it was not to be as two sauced pies to the Northmen was better than the solitary ‘BigT’ Stuckey and Dave ‘Fraggle’ Fraser pie with sauce.

The loss leaves the Red Brekky Crew at 6th with only 4pts to show from 4 matches, and putting the boys above only the Mosman lads who are 0 from 3 starts with zero points. So this coming weekend against the Whales on the shores of Canada Bay is a proper Wooden Spoon clash if ever there was one, with all the issues around pride that surround such matches. Let’s get it done lads.

Judd Cup (4th grade) – Lost 28-15
With 2 draws and 2 losses to show from 4 starts, the Red JugHeads had 5pts approaching the weekend which was barely enough to hold 2nd last spot on-table, ahead of the 1 from 3 Mosman on 4pts. Conversely, Lindfield had every right to be confident leading into the weekends 4ths joust given they were 2 wins from 3 starts on 9pts. But the Rugby Gods are nothing if not fickle buggers, who rarely reward those who deserve it. With one solid win the Red Juddites would be fair back in the middle-table mix again. So the die was cast and the stage was set for a titanic struggle to unfold. The only question was, for whom would this bell toll?

Post match comments from the Supercoach were that, firstly, a huge shoutout needed to go to those 9 players who lived out the club philosophy of putting stitches in the jersey by playing 5ths and multiple other grades across the day as well as their 4ths trot. Due to late withdrawals across all grades, 4th grade was the crux of covering the day up and down all grades. And with an enthusiasm that was actually both uplifting and a little humbling at the same time, an array of players just jammed their mouthguards in and got stuck into the business of playing rugby and representing their club with pride and passion. In-terms of the 4ths match itself, the game was open, entertaining, and evenly contested until the final 5 minutes. The Red Juddites started well, with both scrum and lineout dominance setting an early ominous tone. However a quick set of Lindfield replacements saw a number of blue & white ‘old heads’ take the field to even the set-piece keel. A try to Matt Moore saw Drummoyne take the lead, but some poor handling and generous refereeing saw our lads under heavy pressure from the restart, and soon after a penalty try conceded. And then another Lindfield try just prior oranges saw the break taken at 12-5 to the Lindfieldians. However, cometh the second half and cometh the man, and off the back of some of the best phase-play footy you will see any 4th grade play, Captain Josh Wheatley crossed the line, with Charlie Yeoman squirting the sauce, to bring the score back to 12 all. Charlie ‘Superboots’ Yeomans then nudged a penalty over and it was 15-12 to Red with a little over 10min to go. However, from there fatigue and nerves made for questionable Red decision making and poor skills execution which ultimately saw Lindfield grab the lead with a pie from a quick tap and then, as Drummoyne gambled to pull-off miracle plays, an intercept pie sealed the match for the financially challenged Northerners. And there did the fay lady sing.

Points went as 3pts to Josh ‘Bludger’ Davidson-Craig, 2pts to Josh ‘follow me’ Wheatley and 1pt to Dave ‘Cool boots’ Fraser.

That loss hurt. And with Mosman managing a 24-all draw with the Blue Goats, it may yet hurt more. For our Red Juddites, to be 0 wins from 5 starts for 5pts puts us last on table. Last. Conversely, Mosman are 5th with 1 win from 4 starts and a dizzying 6pts. So believe it or not, salvation is still but a single win away. All that stands between is a will to do what needs to be done. The question is, will the Red Juddites do it?

Whiddon Cup (3rds) – Won 25-17
The previous weekends loss to Waverley left the Red Widows at 6th on the table with 1 win, 1 draw and 2 losses for 4 starts and 7pts, whilst their antagonists sat one spot above the Red Widows in 5th spot with 1 of each from their 3 starts. As such, Saturday was a table set for a veritable clash of the les enfant terrible as each strove to distance and differentiate itself from the other, and thus consolidate a spot mid-table to then begin a tilt higher up. Both sides took the field determined, but which was to prove they had the minerals to see it through?

Comments from Supercoach Scully were that all wins are good, wins away are very good, wins away under adversity and after a previous loss are even bloody better! With 3 late changes on the morning of the game and heading into the match without the regular skipper and goal kicker, against a club that is still very used to winning matches, the Red Widows knew it would be tough. However, pleasingly, the attitude from warm up right through the game was positive, precise and strategic. Supercoach effused that every player executed their parts of the plan to precision, and so the day was won. Defence was a standout and scoring 5 pies, even sans any sauce, was fantastic. Supercoach continued with ball-carries now being ‘rampaging runs’ and kick chases being ‘ring fences’ with special mention going to Sam McKenzie. The quandary now is that, with some handy players returning, there are some brutal selection decisions to make this coming week.

Points were 3 to Sam ‘my girlfriends watching’ McKenzie, 2pts to Jim ‘Evergreen’ Davis and 1pt to Josh ‘Bludger’ DC.

The first Red win of the day took the Thirsties from 6th to 3rd on table with now 2 wins from 5 starts for 12pts. So how the tables may turn. Against that, this weeks upcoming opponents were belted 41-8 by the Blue Goats and so tumbled to 7th with 1 win from 4 starts for 5pts. As such, the Red Widows have a real opportunity this weekend to consolidate a spot firmly in the top part of the table.

Barbour Cup (Colts) – Lost 13-7
The previous weeks frustrating and unexpected loss to Waverley saw the Red Barbourians tumble from 3rd to 5th spot with 2 wins & 2 losses from 4 starts. Against that, the blue & white stripes of Lindfield were stone, motherless last on 0 from 3 and 1pt coming into the weekend. So a good thrashing was in the wind if the Red Baa Baa’s could muster their mettle. But desperation can drive animals to amazing acts, and thus caution was a watchword for the Red Barbourians, to approach the match with nary a scent of anything remotely cavalier or overly-confident. Well, that was the plan at least.

Comments from Supercoach Rowdy were that a second loss in 2 weeks made for some disappointed players, coaches and supporters. Supercoach bemoaned that Drummoyne had started off well and were dominant in the first quarter, but two tries judged by the referee to be held up saw the wind sucked from Red sails and momentum turn to the home side. Thereafter, Lindfield also leveraged their dominant scrum and lineout to strangle the Red BaaBaas out of the match. But Drummoyne showed plenty of heart to stay in the contest until the final whistle.

Best on ground was Josh Rhodes (3 points), with the pick of backs being Charlie Kelso (2), and the now expected solid performances from Ned Greenwell and Nick Baksa earning them a point a-piece.

Such a loss as that is beyond just ‘disappointing’. But in terms of table damage, the Red Baa Baas are somehow still in 4th spot with 2 wins from 5 starts. Thus, the stage is set for the lads to dust themselves off and set their sights on the battle royale against the 4 from 4 Mosman Whales, currently in 2nd spot behind only the 5 from 5 Hunters Hill lads. So while the Red Barbourians surely go into this fixture as the underdogs, they are nonetheless very much in the hunt to pull an upset and throw a cat among the pigeons well and properly. Go hard Boyos. Who dares wins.

Burke Cup (2nds) – Won 19-15
All things in life have a price – be it in cash, blood or pride. And the price of last weeks loss was to Waverley was for the Red Burkies to slide from 4th to 5th on ladder. On the other side of the chalk, Lindfield sat in 6th with 1 win from 3 starts and 4pts. So a win was seen as valuable to both sides to salvage the early season and get back onto an even keel. The question was, which mob would step to the plate and do what needed to be done…

Supercoach Woz was laconic in his reflections, musing that ‘the mighty 2s’ had responded well to a turbulent week. With five changes to the last weeks team and two further players dropping out on the morning of the game, a team was bundled together and tied up with wire with clear instructions to “Just Get On With It.” Special mentions went to Jude, Maclean, Burke, and Sam Yip who trotted back out with full games already under their belts. And Niall McDermott was also introduced to the turf only minutes into the game after a bump to Marcus Castle. And the proper Dirty Reds did themselves proud with Sam Yip opening the scoring from a well worked overlap play, before James “Freshman” Sheppard took a more direct route to the tryline after some dominant ruck and maul work. And Zech ‘Showman’ Browden bagged a memorable pie in the second half from a clever switch of play, with his somersault over the line only robbing a few years from the usually stress-free Supercoach. Supercoach Woz’ final observation was that ‘sometimes when you shuffle the deck, you get aces’ and ‘all things considered it was another step in the right direction’. Wise words indeed. And speaking of coaches, Jono Sage has now officially joined the Red Ressies Coaching Crew and is a very welcomed addition to the group I’m sure.

Points went as 3pts to Mack “I don’t need ribs” Long at 10, while Ben Austin jagged 2pts and Jimmy ‘But I play no8’ Vuniwa taking 1pt.

The positive result surprisingly kept the Red Burkies at 5th with 2 wins from 5 starts for 10pts. But given Forest and Hunters are likewise 4th and 5th on table with 10 & 11pts on ladder, opportunity knocks to make a move northwards into the top section of the table, if the Red Burkies can ‘do the business’ on Mosman this coming weekend. That said, Mossy surprised all by pushing the Blue Goats to a 29-all draw on the weekend, so the lads best have boots on, mouthguards in and heads screwed on.

Kentwell Cup (1sts) – Lost 37-17
Being the most successful team in the Red fold to date, with 2 wins from 4 starts and so 9pts, the Red Kenty’s came into the weekend as 4th on table. Conversely, Lindfield sat 2nd bottom with 0 from 3 for 2pts, ahead only of Colleagues on zero. So again, the stage was set for the DDR Kenty’s to post a good win. But given the disappointment of the loss to Waverley, would we be ‘in the right space’ to do what had to be done? Were we up to it? Or would nerves and a lack of focus undo good intent? Such questions sat heavily in expectant air as the ball was nudged and the struggle unfolded at Soldier Field.

Comments from the Supercoaches were that the team travelled up to leafy Lindfield aware of the importance of the game and brimming with confidence to get the job done. However there must have been something in our Staminade as seemingly from the opening whistle we were off our game, whereas the opposition were surprisingly fluent in theirs, and the referee was, well, let’s just say that he was also ‘surprising’ – leaving both our players and supporters stunned at the creativity and velocity of the penalties blown. And all this discontent only served to feed the Lindfield momentum and confidence. Somewhere in all the penalties, Lindfield opened the scoring with a penalty goal, to which we responded with a try in the corner to Max Salabogi. However Lindfield then lifted further and scored the next 2 pies to announce to all and sundry that they were up for whatever DDR was going to serve. With the penalty carnage building, and despite Junior being shown a yellow card, Sione Takelo finished off a nice pie, duly sauced by Ben Halmarick, and we were ‘back in it’ with oranges called at 20-12 to Linfield. In the huddle, to say the coaches were ‘not happy’ would be a wonderful understatement as they demanded more from everyone, particularly around discipline and focus.

The second half was a solid tussle and started well with an early Lindfield penalty being answered by another Red try to Max. As such it looked like the DDR was inexorably coming back into the match almost despite ourselves. But two more sauced pies to Lindfield, and yet another penalty goal, was only answered on the Red side by another yellow card, this time to Riley Alcorn. And so the match skipped away to 37-17 and there ended to the wild celebrations of the Lindfieldians and the dour disappointment of the Reds.

Points went as 3pts to Liam ‘Fat Man’ Doyle so tagged as he gave away more kilos to his opposition than we thought he actually had, 2pts to Lachy ‘Smash em bro’ Jackson and 1pt to Max ‘Pie Man’ Salabogi.

The loss certainly surprised the sideline. But it was what it was. Law 6.5.a says the Referee is the sole judge of fact and law, and such is the way it stood, no matter how much we wanted it otherwise. The loss moves the Red Kenty’s to 5th on table on 2 from 5 for 9pts. Against that, Mosman were humbled last weekend by 45-12 by the Blue Goats, but are still traveling high and mighty at 3 from 4 for 14pts. So the Red Kenty’s are well and truly underdogs going into this coming weekends fixture. But we are at home. And it is Vets Day. So the air will be thick with expectations and ‘In my day…’ stories. So if ever there was a day to unleash the clear potential that the side obviously has inside of it, well there would be few better occasions to do so than this one.

So there it is. Drummoyne went 30 minutes north to Lindfield and, whilst not completely humbled, didn’t do what it could or should have done otherwise. Good wins in 2nds and 3rds were posted and congratulations to them. But losses in Colts, 5ths, 4ths and most disappointingly 1sts were difficult to take. Congratulations to Lindfield. They rose to the occasion. And so now the same falls to us this coming Saturday 01 June, as the financially challenged denizens of Mosman do scrape up their coins, catch the bus down Military Road, and do sally forth over the iconic Harbour Bridge to pay us a visit on the shores of Canada Bay, where on Veterans Day, Sponsors Day and Colts Auction Day all combined, the Drummoyne Dirty Reds flag will fly and we will do it all again.

So, grab your wallet, grab your missus and bring a donation for the Mosman lads bus fares home. We all know that bankers and brokers always have their hands out for someone else’ money. Come on down and show your colours, tell some poor bloody 1st Grader stories of your glory’s past (I’m sure they will appreciate it) and just get your booty down to Drummoyne Oval for a rollicking good day out in the Sydney winter sunshine.

Boire le vin.