Special Report for Sponsors & Old Boys Day
Round 8 of the Oilsplus South West Rugby Competition saw the Young Yabbies hosting the Grenfell Panthers at the home of Young Rugby, Cranfield Oval. The weather decided to really turn it up a notch for the day, with some beautiful clear skies and the sun finally enabling the field to dry up a bit.
This week also saw another highlight of the Yabbies' social calendar in Sponsors & Old Boys Day with another record crowd at Cranfield and an action-packed afternoon of Rugby that saw these two old foes battle it out across 3 hotly contested matches!
After the Yabbies' Under 12’s played a social game against the Grenfell Panther's Under 12's in the opening first grade round of the year in Grenfell, the Panthers returned the favour on Saturday bringing along a junior arsenal to help kick off the action for a great day of Rugby at Cranfield Oval.
The Yabbies unfortunately had some of their players unavailable due to other commitments (namely Rugby League and Southern Inland Rugby Union representative players), but with the talent pool in the squad it was still always going to be a great game of Rugby. Coaches Matt Reid and Paul Cameron commented that it was important for the boys there on the day to start well and they were very proud of the effort that they put in.
The game was played, as all Rugby should be, with great spirit and sportsmanship and by half time the scoreline reflected that battle, with only a handful of points in it. As is expected in this age group, there was some fantastic running Rugby with both times find opportunities to break the line, resulting in spectators at both ends of the field getting to enjoy the spectacle up close. Both sides had some speedsters that had plenty of opportunity to exhibit their pace, with the Forwards really battling it out between those opportunities.
The end result saw the Yabbies up by a couple of tries, but the contest was highly competitive and both teams ended the game in high spirits. A big thank you to the parents and players from both the Yabbies and the Panthers Under 12's who made the game possible! This game really set the scene for what was one of the biggest days for Rugby Union in Young and for the Yabbies in many years!
With the scene set so well by the Under 12’s, it was time for the Old Boys to put on a spectacle. In this instance Old Boys is being used as a loose term for some that have aged well like some of Brian Mullany’s Grove Estate wines, some that haven’t aged so well like an Oyster in the midday sun and even a few who took the day off from having a run in First Grade to celebrate and enjoy watching the game from the sideline.
In the lead up to the game, there didn’t take much arm twisting to get a team of Yabbies old boys to dig out their vintage, cotton, slightly tight fitting yabbies rugby jerseys from yesteryear. There was the sniff of a grudge match with arch rivals, Grenfell, in the air and the taste of some delicious Tawny Port already starting to form in their mouths and warm their bellies.
Before the game, word had begun to spread that Grenfell had a formidable line up. Not to be outdone, the Yabbies pulled together a pretty handy side under the guidance of Club Stalwarts like Captain Craig Taylor, Resident DJ Doug Houston and David “I’m only half a back” Woodward.
The smell of Deep Heat and fortified port accompanied the sounds of hamstrings straining and backs cracking as the club formed a guard of honour for the Old Boys to run onto the field. Again, run is a term used loosely.
A pre-game pep talk from Coach Chris Maloney and a well-rehearsed “Foot on the throat” speech from Captain Craig Taylor was all the Yabbiemen needed to get back into the spirit of things. A little pre-match Port may have also helped with fortifying the spirits of both teams.
The game started with nervous trepidation as both sides waited to see where the tempo was going to be set at. Within 5 minutes Grenfell’s Trent McCann thumped Young’s Anthony Murphy over the sideline and with that the tone was set!
Some comments from the sideline indicated that whilst speed and fitness were lacking, ticker and timing were definitely not.
James Shannon put a classic hit on Tim Hazell that was very reminiscent of their rivalry from 15 years ago. Unlike 15 years ago, they helped each other to their feet!
Craig Taylor was at his best when looking to get a hit on Trent McCann and the Hughes brothers from Grenfell.
Grenfell hearts were shattered when they saw our secret weapon Tim Davidson rushing to lace up his boots on the sidelines. The Yabbies’ hearts began to beat faster!
Dave Crowley, Hugh McAlister, Matt Reid and Ben Simmons packed the scrum liked they should be still playing first grade! Ben Shipp made some darts from the scrum base like he was still 21!
Half-time saw a ceremonial slurp of Port supplied by Brian Mullany, which is the same as half-time Oranges really… it’s all fruit. As expected, that dose of half-time fruit was more than enough to fortify the spirits of both camps and put the fire back in their bellies ready for the second half!
The front row of AJ McNair, Conan Scott, Scott Nuthall were boosted by Danny Evers arrival to the game after travelling from Campbelltown that morning where he had been visiting a new acquaintance. Mick Bryant also showed off his old form, with some typical seagulling in attack looking for any opportunity for contact in defence.
Pete Maher and Andrew Parkman directed the backline well without breaking into a sweat, whilst making Adam Cockburn and the old man Noel Schiller set up the tries!
Mark Coupland saw plenty of space in the first half, whilst all that Steve Corbett saw was white line fever when he dropped the ball with 2metres to go. To add insult to injury he was also penalised for an “illegal” kick of the ball.
A once powerful combination of David Woodward and Doug Houston re-combined for a ruck move called “Rats” which saw many tries scored in the olden days... but on this day it saw Dougy run into a Grenfell brick wall, resulting in no meat pie for Dougy! Instead the Yabbies’ Resident DJ got a bruised ego and is probably still feeling a bit sore.
Throughout the game, Young never looked troubled and were overall winners! As all Rugby should be, the game was played in good spirits and both teams went away with pride (and health) mostly still in tact.
There are a few special mentions and thank yous, although I’m sure we’ll forget someone, we would like to thank the Grenfell Panther’s Old Boys for their effort and their fantastic spirits on and off the field! And special to thanks to some of the Yabbiemen who travelled from far and wide including Mick Bryant, Mark Coupland and Adam “Basil” Cockburn!
With two wins for the day already, the Yabbiemen went into the game with a mounting pressure for a Green Wash to celebrate Sponsors & Old Boys Day. The energy from the crowd was flowing well and truly onto the field when the game got underway!
For the first 20 minutes the Yabbies were camped in the Panther’s half, with wave after wave of big hits in the middle providing opportunities out wide, but the Grenfell defence stood strong!
The second half of the first half saw a more even see-sawing battle, with neither team able to crack the other’s defence enough to make a difference.
Finally, very late in the half, Grenfell tried an exit move, however the ball stayed in the field of play and provided James Schiller with his first touch of the ball. With his first run, the sound from the contest as he bumped off the first tackler could probably have been heard in Grenfell and the crowd’s reaction was just as loud!
Only a few minutes later, Brendan Shoard was able to clean up some sloppy ball headed his way feeding the ball in to the Centres with a flying James Schiller ending up on the receiving end and busting through a few tackles to crash over for the first try of the match right on half time! Conversion kick successful by James Schiller.
Young 7-0 Grenfell
Half Time Young 7-0 Grenfell
Early in the first half James Schiller showed his brilliance again, off a Grenfell exit kick Nick Schiller collected the ball just inside the Yabbies half and fed it to his brother James who found only holes in the Grenfell defence, running more than 50 metres to score his second try of the match. Conversion kick successful by James Schiller.
Young 12-0 Grenfell
The Yabbies hit back hard again off the kick-off and ventured deep into Panthers’ territory. Some fantastic structured play off the back of the ruck with Ned feeding the Forwards and then instructing them to pick and drive saw the Yabbies eating up metres and sucking in defence. After a period of at least 8 phases Ned saw an opportunity for himself and made a dart from the back of the ruck, finding himself over the try line in no time. Conversion kick successful by James Schiller.
Young 19-0 Grenfell
The Yabbies found themselves once again deep in the Panthers’ half when a crash ball from Jeshua Smith put them within mere metres of the line. Some pick and drives from the back off the ruck saw the Yabbies creep closer, inch by inch, when Jesh took it upon himself to have another crack off the back of the ruck and found some empty real estate on the try line which he quickly populated with the ball. Conversion unsuccessful by Brendan Shoard.
Young 26-0 Grenfell
A brief lapse in Grenfell’s concentration in defence had cost them dearly, and so they knew they needed to get points on the board to stay in the game. Some big hits off the kick-off saw the ball spill in to Panthers’ hands. It was now the Yabbies turn to have a hard crack at defence!
The Yabbies discipline began to slip under fatigue and they were quickly marched backwards, giving away 3 penalties in a row. Some good pick and drives from the Panthers saw them inching towards the Yabbies line when William Brown popped up from the back of the ruck and spotted a hole. The Yabbies defence closed in on him, but not before he found the line with the ball. Conversion unsuccessful.
Young 26-5 Grenfell
Grenfell hit back with a vengeance! The Yabbies were defending in their red zone like their lives depended on it, but with the pressure of defence came the same issues with discipline under fatigue. Repeated team infringements saw Cooper Green sin binned within minutes of taking the field for simply being the next offender.
A mistake from the Panthers saw the Yabbies make a safe exit from their red zone and to a safer spot downfield. Once the Yabbies had momentum some quick, handy ball from Mick Hudson saw Nick Schiller spot and exploit a gap quicker than a Prop when you mention free beer, crashing over the line for the Yabbies fourth try. Conversion kick successful by Angus Crawford.
Young 33-5 Grenfell
With only 14 Yabbies still on the field, the Panthers started their tirade back down deep in the Yabbies’ half. Again, the Yabbies’ discipline started to slip and saw quick thinking from the Panthers off a penalty saw Jake Taylor crash over the line. Conversion successful by William Brown.
Young 33-12 Grenfell
With less than 10 minutes to go, the Panthers seemed to really find their second wind and continued to pummel the Yabbies defence. Yet another Yellow Card was awarded for repeated team infringements to a play who had just taken the field, this time Ed Brand was the culprit.
The Panthers continued to build momentum, pushing hard against the Yabbies defence. Some big shots from the Yabbies backline in defence saw the Panthers move backwards, but only momentarily. They continued their march, inch by inch before Mark Amey crossed the line right on full time. Conversion kick successful by Scott McKellar.
Young 33-19 Grenfell
Full Time Result Young 33-19 Grenfell
The job was done, the Yabbies had successfully undertaken a Green Wash by taking out all three games of the day!
Once again, Club Captain Brendan Shoard proudly lead the boys through the club song to much cheering from the crowd.
Coach Ned Mullany didn’t say too much in the huddle post-match, but his lasting comments were “The squad continues to build momentum every week! Our line speed, one-one defence and structured play were phenomenal today. I really think we helped turn it on for the crowd, which was what we were aiming for. We had a few issues with discipline under fatigue and probably got a bit too complacent in that last 15 minutes, but overall the positives from this game far and away outweigh any negatives. The boys have done the home crowd proud!”
Whilst the games on the field had finished, the games off the field were only just beginning. Vice-President Jeshua Smith commented “The crowd and the vibe around the day was just awesome, I’ve never seen anything like it at a local Rugby derby! The momentum at Cranfield Oval transferred itself to the Australian Hotel, where the silent auctions saw the Captain Coach Ned Mullany taking out the top gong for most expensive jersey buying his own claret covered masterpiece. Unfortunately, Grenfell got their first win of the day in the boat race, but I think we can confidently say that Bush Rugby was definitely the winner on the day! If this is what we get to experience in our first year back in the Oilsplus South West Rugby Comp, I am very excited for the future of the Yabbies and this competition!”
Tries James Schiller (2), Ned Mullany, Jeshua Smith, Nick Schiller
Conversions 3/3 – James Schiller 0/1 – Brendan Shoard 1/1 – Angus Crawford
Tries William Brown, Jake Taylor, Mark Amey
Conversions 1/1 - William Brown 1/1 - Scott McKellar
Best & Fairest Points:
3 – William Munday
2 – Nick Schiller
1 – Dan Dowson
Players Player – Dan Parker
On behalf of all the Yabbiemen I would like to thank our Sponsors, the Young Rugby community and the Grenfell Rugby community for getting behind this event and helping the day be the massive success that it was!
Next weekend is a general bye for the Oilsplus South West Rugby Competition, with the Yabbies next hit out against the Boorowa Goldies in Boorowa on Saturday 15th June.
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