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Thread: Sydney University is worth its weight in rugby gold

  1. #1
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    Sydney University is worth its weight in rugby gold



    Sometimes I’m asked whether rugby writers get the best tickets to big games for free and invitations to those wonderful lunches that the rugby family puts on during the season. My answer invariably is “yes. Someone has to do it!”

    So on the Friday before the finals of the Shute Shield competition, there I was at table 29 for Sydney University Football Club’s famous Finals Lunch 2008.

    Just to give a taste of the people and interests at the Westin Hotel, I’ll mention that our table included David Mortimore, the chairman of the club and a director of Telstra, Rod Kafer, Rich Smith, a former ambassador to China and Indonesia, John McCarthy, a brilliant lawyer and ALP identity who told me that just an hour or so earlier Joe Tropodi capped his revolt against the then NSW Premier Maurice Iemma by nominating Nathan Rees for the leadership, and Paul Sheehan, the brilliant and controversial SMH columnist and a fiercely passionate rugby fan.

    And a further taste of the sort lunch it was can be gained from one of the auctions and the money it raised: first class air tickets from Etihad Airways, with a couple of nights accommodation at the best hotel in London and two tickets for the best seats at Twickenham for the England-Australia Test in November.

    Among the fine list of speakers was Robbie Deans. And couple of snippets from all this gives some insight into his character.

    He was one of the three last people left in a trivia test, mainly about rugby subjects. Deans knows a lot about the history of rugby, the laws and, of course, the art of coaching.

    Asked for instance why he broke with tradition and allowed some of his Wallaby squad the chance to play for their clubs, he made this excellent reply: “I was a player. Players like to play, rather than train.”

    His first hero, he said, was Alex Wyllie, who played at the Glenmark club when he was an All Black and inspired Deans and others to aspire to higher honours. Deans learned from him the value of the team as part of the community, and loyalty to the grassroots.

    And in response to a question about the difference in rugby cultures in New Zealand and Australia, he made the interesting observation that because rugby had to battle for recognition more in Australia than in New Zealand, its supporters were more passionate than their New Zealand counterparts (something I’ve observed, too).

    It has always been my belief that if ‘Doc’ Evatt, then a student at Sydney University, had succeeded in converting the rugby club to the ascendant rugby league code in 1921, rugby might not have survived as a mainstream sport in Australia.

    The history of Sydney University Football Club, note the archaic use of the term ‘Football’ in the title, is one of the glories of Australian rugby.

    It is the oldest rugby club outside of Britain and the eighth oldest in the world. One of its earliest games was reported by the Sydney Morning Herald on 19 August, 1865, the first report of a rugby-football match in Australia:

    “After an exciting struggle, which lasted an hour and half, during which no goals were obtained by either side, the game was stopped owing to a misunderstanding with regard to the rules.”

    Since the Sydney club premiership started in 1900, the club has won 25 first grade premierships, and 50 across all the grades and colts.

    The club has produced 103 Australian representatives, which is about an eighth of all Wallabies. It has won the Club Championship seven times in the last 10 years. This year it has secured minor premierships in 1st Grade, Colts 1, Colts 2 and Colts 3, with six teams in the finals series.

    It’s a measure of the stupidity of some of the administrations that have run NSW Rugby that from time to time there have been moves to kick Sydney University out of the premiership competition.

    To those administrators, if some of them are still around, let them come to the annual lunch.

    They will see a club that has been worth its weight in rugby gold for NSW and Australian rugby.


    http://www.theroar.com.au/2008/09/06...in-rugby-gold/

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  2. #2
    Legend Contributor fulvio sammut's Avatar
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    Who'd a thought our favorite bookie is a social climbing little name dropper!

    Gerry, did you happen to dance with a girl who danced with a man who danced with a girl who danced with the Prince of Wales?

    Just kidding, glad you had a great night and I'm envious.

    Bring back some souvenirs with you. A couple of players for Palmyra would be nice. Make that six.

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  3. #3
    Legend Contributor fulvio sammut's Avatar
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    By the way, did you happen to cast a postal vote before your little jaunt/junket?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fulvio sammut View Post
    By the way, did you happen to cast a postal vote before your little jaunt/junket?
    Read the LARGE detail Fulv....it was Spiro....not me,....

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  5. #5
    Legend Contributor fulvio sammut's Avatar
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    Ah, so now your plagerising without giving proper acknowledgement Gerry!

    It gets worse and worse.

    But really, it sounded so... well... you.

    Anyway, just send the players.

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    Legend Contributor Flamethrower's Avatar
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    Did you chat to a girl named Jess??????

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    Posted via space



    Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

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    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    Fulvio,read the link at the bottom of the post

    A lawyer who doesnt read the fine print

    whats the world coming to?

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  8. #8
    Legend Contributor fulvio sammut's Avatar
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    Attributions are always placed at the beginning of an article.

    Site addresses at the end without any other indications of significance could be spam, advertising, irrelevant material, or worse.

    My grandmother told me never to open a link unless you are aware of it's source and content, otherwise you could be inadvertantly downloading porn. Nonna always gives good advice.

    And finally BDG, never argue with a lawyer, they never listen and never admit they are wrong.

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  9. #9
    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    & charge you for the pleasure

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  10. #10
    Legend Contributor fulvio sammut's Avatar
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    BDG, are you a lawyer?

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  11. #11
    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    no,just been on the receiving end of some of their advice from time to time

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