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Regional Sports News
New South Wales
Men’s Shute Shield Spring 7’s – Round 3 Results
The Shoremen 7’s have claimed their 2nd cup final victory, defeating series rivals West Harbour in a tight 14-10 victory at Concord Oval to wrap up the 3rd and final leg of the Premier Spring Club 7’s.
Unbeaten across the tournament, North took care of business will pool game wins over Western Sydney Two Blues, Randwick and Eastern Suburbs to top the pool stages.
Having gone down in the playoffs a fortnight ago, Norths were determined not to suffer the same fate when they met the First Nations in the cup semi-final. With tries to Jack Burey and Max Burey (2) Norths got off to a fast start and controlled the match through the 2nd half.
Facing West Harbour in the cup final who had already done enough to secure the series, Norths found themselves behind 5-nil early before Nathan Russell and Max Burey combined to score a try each to put the Shoremen in front. A tight second half, Norths defence had to hold strong in the closing stages as they run out winners 14-10
Northern Suburbs claiming 2 out of 3 tournament wins, unfortunately, wasn’t enough to claim the series outright after their 4th place in tournament 2, finishing 2 series points behind West Harbour.
- Pool Games
- Norths 33 df Western Sydney Two Blues 21
- Norths 34 df Randwick 7
- Norths 31 df Easts 15
- Cup Semi-Final – Norths 19 df First Nations 7
- Cup Final – Norths 14 df West Harbour 10
- Tournament placing: 1st
- Series placing: Runners Up
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Northern Suburbs Announce Head Coach
Northern Suburbs have appointed vastly experienced Kiwi coach Earl Va’a to lead the club’s Shute Shield campaign in 2020.
The 47-year-old former Samoan Test flyhalf at the 1999 and 2003 Rugby World Cups has a much decorated CV after leading the Wellington Lions in the Mitre 10 Cup (2015-2016) and the Coca-Cola Red Sparks in Japan in recent times (2017-2019).
Va’a has played and coached all over the world with jobs in Italy at L’Aquila and Worcester in England before further appointments in Japan and then the famed NZ pathway in Wellington.
He takes over from Nick Hensley who led the first grade side to the Shute Shield grand final qualifier in 2019.
Norths director of rugby Chris Hall said he was looking forward to working closely with Va’a.
“Earl’s philosophies on the game and on how it should be coached and played along with his values really aligns with what we are about as a club,” Hall said.
“He is passionate about developing players, from top to bottom and will lead us in what will be a new chapter at the club.
“His CV speaks for itself and his experience in the NZ system in Wellington where he worked with the likes of Ma’a Nonu, Piri Weepu, Tana Umaga, Tamati Ellison, Jimmy Gopperth and Hosea Gear speaks volumes of the respect that he has earnt over time.”
Va’a has started preparations for the 2020 season already but will be on the ground in the new year as the club starts the second block of its pre-season.
In the meantime first grade backs coach Zak Beer, who has come up from the Manly Marlins to join Norths, will drive the current pre-season block on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturday mornings until just before Christmas.
“It’s a huge honour and privilege to be associated with a club with such a great history as Norths,” Va’a said.
“I’m keen to continue what’s gone before me while at the same time endeavouring to make our own slice of history.
“I’m also looking forward to working with Sape Misa (Norths forwards coach) who I coached here in Wellington as he transitions from his playing days into the coaching sphere.”
Va’a’s playing career was highlighted by two Rugby World Cup tournaments with Samoa and in the 27 Tests that he played for the Manu he started in 24 of those for a total of 174 points from three tries, 33 conversions and 31 penalty goals.
He grew up playing rugby league in Wellington but was quickly brought into the Manu when he crossed the great divide in 1996.
His Test debut came against Ireland at Lansdowne Rd in 1996 while his last was against South Africa in Brisbane at the 2003 Rugby World Cup – a game where both teams joined a prayer circle at Suncorp Stadium after full time.
The appointment of Va’a to the top job at Norths continues a strong link to Kiwi coaches where they have struck gold with the likes of Denis Brown (1998 grand final appearance v Gordon) and Kevin Horan (minor premiers in 2001).
Then, of course, there was Simon Cron who learnt the coaching ropes in New Zealand and he brought Norths their first Shute Shield title in 41 years back in 2016.
One of Va’a’s referees Steve Hansen, the former All Blacks coach heading to Japan to work with Cron, valued his great passion for the game and the players he coaches.
He has a sound technical knowledge of the game and will give everything to the role, Hansen said.
Forwards coach Sape Misa was coached by Va’a when he was playing in New Zealand and rates him highly.
Misa will sit down with him next week when he is in Wellington for some coaching development with the Wellington Rugby Union.
By Mark Cashman, Cashcow Media
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Men’s Shute Shield Spring 7’s – Round 2 Results
Having claimed the cup in round 1 of the spring 7’s series. The Shoremen had to settle for a top four finish after bowing out of the cup finals contention with a narrow loss to West Harbour in the Semi Final.
The Shoremen started the day off on fire as they recorded 3 wins over First Nations, Randwick and Manly to top pool A.
With regular captain, Sam Myers reduced to only a coaching capacity. Gary Bautz and Hugh Taylor were two welcomed additions to this week’s lines up.
After a tight first half affair in the cup semi, West Harbour lead the Shormen 7 nil at the break only to go try for try in the 2nd half with West Habour eventually claiming the win 19-12 in the dying stages.
The Shoremen were left to play off for the podium 3rd place honors in a matchup against game 1 opponents First Nations who took the win, leaving the Shoremen to settle for 4th.
With West Harbour taking the cup final later in the day, it was disappointing to give them a 6 point swing in the overall series. West Harbour now lead the series on 30 points with Norths in 2nd on 26, all attention will turn to Tournament 3 on Saturday, December 7th to decide the series at Concord Oval.
- Pool Games
- Norths 17 df First Nations 14
- Norths 24 df Randwick 5
- Norths 40 df Manly 7
- Cup Semi-Final – Norths 12 df by West Habour 19
- Cup Final – Norths 12 df by First Nations 19
- Tournament placing 4th
- Current series position 2nd
Tournament 3, Saturday, December 7th at Concord Oval.
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The Norths 2020 Foundation Membership, provides a tax-effective method of becoming a member and directing your contribution to specific areas.
The Northern Suburbs Rugby Foundation will focus on 4 key pathways to help support the Club:
Education and vocational support through scholarships.
Attracting top talent
This project’s goal is to provide funding for educational scholarships and vocational support for the Club’s colts recruits over the next 3 years.
Funding is valuable for both the Player and the Club as it will allow the player to focus on improving their rugby development while studying or commencing trade qualifications. Supporting Colts, especially those relocating from country regions is a proven method of enhancing the Club’s on-field and long term success.
Options for donors include:
A. Contribute to the pool of funds to provide aspiring Norths Colts an educational scholarship or vocational support.
B. Back a Colt for the Future. Donate $5,000 and work directly with the Rugby Director and nominate a specific promising colt to support directly. The support can be anonymous or can provide you with the opportunity to mentor the player as they develop their career and rugby
C. Contribute to the pool of funds that will grow over time to support the Club acquire a Shoreman’s Shack. A Shoreman’s Shack will provide accommodation options for interstate Colts as they relocate to the northern suburbs of Sydney.
2. Junior Development
Assisting local schools and clubs with training programs for juniors.
Northern Suburbs Rugby is proud of its support of junior rugby in northern Sydney. In order to ensure the ongoing success and participation of rugby in the northern suburbs we hope to engage a full-time junior development officer to provide training camps, pathway representative programs and facilities for aspiring junior rugby players.
Equipment and Staff
Providing the Club’s players with the best medical support and equipment is essential to keep players healthy and enhance rehabilitation processes and equipment to return them to fitness as soon as possible.
Supporting the Club with funding will allow us to engage with qualified medical practitioners for both Grade and Colts teams, ensuring we are not limited by the lack of equipment or supplies at any time.
4. High-Performance Enhancement
S&C support, equipment, pre-season camps, end of season tours and aspirational training development camps.
Donating to this project will assist the Club with engaging quality S&C professionals and purchase quality equipment to enhance the Club’s performance on the field.
Additionally, donations can be directed towards critical pre-season camps and end of season tours to build and continue the Club’s proud culture.
The Northern Suburbs Rugby Foundation will also focus on 4 additional membership packages through the foundation:
- Silver Foundation Memberships – $250
- Gold Foundation Memberships – $1,500
- Platinum Foundation Memberships – $3,000
- Diamond Foundation Memberships – $5,000 +
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Colts Head Coach
With Colts Pre-Season kicking off Tuesday, November 12th.
Meet new Colts Head Coach, Ben Molloy.
Ben began his Norths Career playing Colts in 2013, before going on to amass over 50 Grade Games in the Red and Black.
As a tough and competitive backrower, Bens’s natural passion was for coaching and transitioned into 2nd colts coach in season 2018. Having coached 2nd colts for 2 seasons, reaching the semi-finals in both ’18 and ’19, Ben has been a natural fit for progressing to the Colts Head Coach Role.
Along with coaching, Ben also plays a big role in the clubs junior engagement strategy as the clubs ‘Juniors and Pathways Coordinator’.
For more information on Colts or Junior Rugby, Ben can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Colts Pre-season, Tuesday, November 12th at The Shore School Ovals, Northbridge 6pm.
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Men’s Shute Shield Spring 7’s – Results
Coming off a disappointing 7th place last week at the Western Sydney 7’s, the Norths Shoremen 7’s hit back in emphatic fashion by taking out the Cup Final, in Round 1 of the inaugural Shute Shield Premier Spring 7’s.
Having met West Harbour twice the previous week, the Shoremen were unable to convert a narrow early lead and began their campaign with a 2 point loss to the Pirates who they would eventually meet again in the final.
Recording pool game wins over Manly and Easts to finish 2nd, the Shoremen then edged out rivals Gordon in a tight Cup Semi-Final.
Meeting West Harbour for the fourth time in two tournaments, it was a far different result.
A first-minute try to Sam Giltrap, helped ease the tension as scores got back level at 7 a-piece before some good support and a runaway try to Max Burey edged the Shoremen in front at the break.
Holding on to a narrow 14-12 lead, second-half tries to Gabe Cooper and Nathan Russell sealed the win and the cup for the Shoremen.
The aerial skills from Sam Myers and Nathan Russell proved to be a big point of difference along with some pinpoint restarts from Sam Giltrap
- Pool Games
- Norths 19 df by West Harbour 21
- Norths 33 df Manly 12
- Norths 26 df Easts 0
- Cup Semi-Final – Norths 12 df Gordon 7
- Cup Final – Norths 26 by West Harbour 12
- Overall placing 1st
Norths now leads the 3 tournament series on 16 points ahead of Tournament 2, Saturday, November 23rd at Woollahra Oval.
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