From the agile speedsters still in school to the tenacious forwards on the wrong side of 30, it’s been another stellar weekend of Rugby League across all NSWRL competitions.
NATHAN GREMMO MEMORIAL SHIELD
First and foremost, we are approaching the anniversary of the tragic passing of Nathan Gremmo, a 13-year-old boy who represented the Hills District Bulls junior Rugby League club and had his life cut short in a pedestrian road accident. Last year, thousands of people turned up to a match in the Ron Massey Cup between the Bulls and the Guildford Owls, which was a tribute match for young Nathan. Yesterday, those two teams came together for the first time this season, and played for the Nathan Gremmo Memorial Shield in his honour. There was a moment of silence before kick-off, and the there were a large number of people on hand to support. Guildford came away with a 24-20 victory, and the match will be played in his name each year in honour of the Oakhill College student.
WHEELY COOL GRAND FINAL
Meanwhile, big congratulations must go out to the St George Illawarra Dragons team who captured a victory in the NSWRL Wheelchair Rugby League Grand Final. The new premiers came up against the Penrith Panthers where they came away as 62-40 winners. We hope you enjoyed the night of celebration fellas.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION...RESPECT
40,000 kids kicked off their season at local field accross New South Wales last weekend. Alongside this, the NSWRL also kicked off their 10-week initiative of putting cameras on referees to ensure players have a stong mutual relationship with referees, opponents, spectators and all officials.
KURT DRYSDALE GOLF DAY
Last Friday, in conjunction with the NSWRL Referees Association and the NSWRL, a benefit golf day was held at Marrickville Golf Club for Kurt Drysdale. 60 people played on the well manicured course, with Mario Fenech capturing the victory along with the Marrickville Golf Club. The day raised around $9000 for the Drysdale family which made it a highly successful day for all involved.
The junior representative competitions had two outright undefeated respective leaders in heading into this week, but that has dramatically changed over the past couple of days. The Parramatta Eels sit nicely on top of the Harold Matthews ladder, as they notched up an eighth consecutive victory of the season on Saturday with a hard-fought 34-26 victory. The Illawarra Steelers undefeated streak came to an abrupt end, however, and in a cruel twist of irony, the loss came at the hands of the Eels. The slightly more senior Eels side helped their little brothers become the only undefeated side in either both junior representative competitions with a 44-10 victory over the Steelers.
If two cricket players score 80, and another two score 70, they would be considered quite successful innings. That is why we are not throwing the term “cricket score” around lightly this week, with four teams across three competitions hitting at least the 70-point mark. In the SG Ball, the Newcastle Knights defeated the St George Dragons 70-10, while the South Sydney Rabbitohs put on an 80-0 showing against the Central Coast. The Canterbury Bulldogs won 70-0 in their Harold Matthews match, while the biggest score came from the Wentworthville Magpies in the Ron Massey Cup, an 84-4 demolition of the Kingsgrove Colts.
MAGPIES YET TO SPREAD THEIR WINGS...
A massive upset occurred in the Sydney Shield on Sunday, with the Peninsula Seagulls proving they are the real deal this year after a 44-24 win over the Wentworthville Magpies. Since defeating the Hills District Bulls in last year’s Grand Final, the Magpies have had a shaky start to the year, while the Seagulls are four from five.
...BUT THESE MAGPIES ARE FLYING HIGH
Another team that is surprisingly on four from five are, ironically, the Wentworthville Magpies in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW. They came dead last in 2015, and anyone who has watched a couple of games would swear it’s a different side out there. Sure, new recruits such as Mitch Cornish have certainly helped, but the dramatic turnaround so early into the season is a testament to the Joe Grima and the players.
WHERE ARE THE PREMIERS?
On the other hand, the defending premiers are struggling. Their only win was a scrappy come-from-behind performance where they didn’t score a point in the opening 55 minutes, and this week they went down to the North Sydney Bears. We know they have the talent – they won the competition last year – but when will we see the Knights of old?
LATE HOP FOR THE ROOS
The Canterbury Bulldogs just can't take catch a break. For the second week in a row, they seemingly had the game in the bag, only to be beaten at the death. Wyong were a 22-6 deficit in the second half, and as we all know, once you gain a bit of momentum, it is a very tough thing to stop in Rugby League. Mitch Williams, Omar Slaimankhel and Zane Tetevano inspired the miraculous comeback, which certainly gives them a leg-up in their shaky start to the season.
That’s the week that was in the NSWRL. Stay locked on the website for team lists, highlights packages, player features, and videos on the various competitions.