Old Collegians Rugby Union Club


A summary of 1981


From the editor of the 1981 Newsletter, John Douglas



It all began at 1100am on Sunday 1st February. There was this fanatical man driving a group of masochists along West Beach and each Sunday a few more joined this group Then "training proper" began an Tuesday and Thursdays and we saw more and more of the lunatics "gunning along Greenhill Road", neighbouring roads and up and down Tregenza Oval. All this training culminated in twenty or so making the trip to Mylor for a Pre-season Training Camp. Two days of blood, sweat and tears hardened the tissues of these men and the booze added to the further hardening of the arteries. Borchard's pub made profit and we made men out of the younger players. The true story of what occurred on the Saturday night will never he fully divulged as no-one will be able to remember it.

The trial Games were played in adverse heat and the high standards of those games demonstrated what a great year we were in for on the field. With the commencement of competition games our Club looked really good with first and second grades destroying University in the opening round; the club's committee doing a marvellous job behind the scenes and a working bee made our facilities even more presentable. Unfortunately we couldn't fill a fourth grade team.

The Good Friday Keg once again proved a huge success and successes continued on the field of play. The Under 18s were playing great Rugby and notched up a few half centuries in their pre-competition games; First and second grades defeated Brighton and all was going well. It was a shock to the club that Grant Grace had to resign as a coach due to business commitments. John Davies did a sterling job coaching the two grades and he and Denzil Church set up our Weights Room.

Erie Theile's Thursday Night Meals began to be a regular feature and Joyce Spry and the Rugby Widows produced great meals on Saturday evenings. The traditional Progressive Dinner was organized by Ross de la Motte and proved to be an overwhelming success and Henry Rymill and Nick Urodas were selected in the State Under 21 Team.

Phil Mead broke an ankle against Elizabeth and folk hero Sean Beaton adds another scar to his facial features against Burnside. Brian Williams the Burnside coach puts our backs through their paces and John Davies reciprocated by working Burnside's forwards. We kept winning games and the Social Calendar looked healthy with a trip to Loebethal to collect wood and headaches at Harry and Merlin Clarke's place.

Mark Douglas won the Inaugural Goal Kicking Competition and second grade go through the first round undefeated with First Grade losing only one game and third and fourth grades winning nearly all theirs. The third and fourth grades had a great Barbecue at Darry Bradbrook's and we made history by having all four grades defeat Brighton in the first round.

The Old Collegians Newsletter was renamed the Tregenza Times and we finally found out Wasys correct name, Wasea Raikiwasa. Owen Clark scored the most points by an individual in a game (22) and Dennis Hay scored a try in each of the four senior grades (... and he reckons he's not a 'seagull"). Woodville defeated Mick Finn's Collegians’ Veterans and all grades continued to do well on the oval. Tony Spawton becomes the second grade coach and Roger McDaniel was forced to make an early retirement. Shona Barbour again co-ordinated one of the highlights of the year and once again the Revue is a huge success - What a night!!!. Training then included Sundays again and some of the second graders went on a Car Rally which was won by Marilyn and Tim Kinsella.

Doc and the third graders miss out on a semi-final battle when they narrowly lost to Army 7-10 and then the Under 18s are out of the finals race when they lost their last game. So close yet so far for both these teams who had a great season.

Due to the tremendous success of the First Progressive Dinner a second one was organized and the trip to the Seaview Winery was again a great day's outing. The players Dine-in Night before the Finals (supposedly to thank the ladies for their efforts and tolerance during the year) proved to be a "first" in more ways than one. A great night!

Fourth grade were defeated by Southern Suburbs in their Minor Semi-final game which "was one we should've won." Brendan McCartan and Peter French took each other "out" of that game. Second Grade progressed to the Grand Final and the Firsts had to meet the much improved West Torrens in the Preliminary Final. This was one of the best games seen in South Australia for years but unfortunately we succumbed to Torrens' persistence and lost, 16-18. The Firsts' Grand Final was a farce with Brighton steam-rolling their opponents.

Although all grades had played extremely well all year they did not make their Grand Final; all was not lost as our Second Grade defeated Brighton 13-3 to be the 1981 Second Grade Premiers. It was a most pleasing victory and Collegian Supporters were out in force that day.

Grand Final Night once again proved to be a "night-of-nights" and was celebrated as only Old Collegians can ..... rafter-boat-races and so on. Then the real Night-of-nights - the Presentation Dinner. A night of enjoyment, reminiscing, honour, female relief ("Whew, another season out of the way"), applause, guests, heart warming speeches, dancing, back slapping, congratulating, planning for next year and of course booze.

I can remember the next day waking up (a resurrection?) and thinking about what Rugby really means and what the 1981 season meant to me. John Davies can give you a far more thought provoking idea of what Rugby means, and no doubt wives, girlfriends, relatives have a. different, definite view, but what Rugby, with Old Collegians in 1981 meant to me, was enjoyment, winning and hard work, but most importantly of all, people. Yes, dear reader, I will always remember 1981 with fond memories thanks to the birth of a. lovely second daughter and Rugby.

The Editor




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