Undermanned Dukes fight hard, unable to get W

The Dukes 2019 campaign didn’t get off to a winning start this past weekend, however there were many high points in a tough fought 42-17 loss to the Sydney Convicts.

After an arm wrestle of a first 20 mins where the Dukes were in opposition territory for the majority of play, yet unable to crack the line, the Convicts struck against the run of play twice to jump out to a 14-0 lead.

The Dukes once again found themselves with the ball in hand inside the Convicts half. Newly converted fullback Reece “Tank” Milne took matters into his own hands, placing a box kick in on the blindside, pressuring the Convicts 15 who had trouble under the high ball. Once again the ball was put down and Tank was off and away, dotting the ball under the posts just on halftime, Dukes trailing 14-7.

The boys were out on their feet at half time after a great effort put in in the first half, but weren’t done yet. A dropped ball from the Convicts gifted the Dukes possession and were quick to capitalise, new recruit Kyle McDonough diving over in the corner in what may be the quickest try within strapping on a pair of boots. Conversion unsuccessful from out wide, 14-12 to the Convicts.

55 minutes into the tussle and the Dukes boys were willing yet the body was unable to hold up, everyone out on their feet the Convicts struck back with their fleet footed and rested backs, breaking the Dukes line and running away 70m for a try. From there the floodgates opened and another 3 tries soon followed using a very similar formula.

Right on the 80th minute, flanker Doug Cusack found himself on the wing and able to put the ball over the line after nice catching and passing from the forwards on the short side. Conversion unsuccessful from the touchline, Convicts running out winners 42-17.

Special mention to “Big Poppa” Michael Malone who left work early and made a 2 minute cameo before receiving a phone call (while on the field) which forced him to leave straight away for an emergency job, and also to Kyle McDonough who was talked into playing for the first half and pulled on a jersey during the halftime break to help the team.

The game was a lot closer than the scoreline sounds and it should be noted that the Dukes were playing with 14 players for a majority of the game, injury tolls and public holidays playing a factor in playing numbers, an issue the Convicts definitely didn’t have on the day.

Coaches points;
3 – Reece Milne (Fullback)
2 – Andrew Meiklejohn (No. 8)
1 – Chris Stephenson (Second Row)

Other games around the competition saw Burraneer run out winners over next week’s opposition Engadine 36-19 and North Cronulla traveled to Rose Bay to take the win from Maccabi 18-7.

Dukes and Convicts face off in 2019 season opener

It’s taken nearly all off season however we can now share that our season opening match up is set to kick off at 3.15 pm at Booralee Park and will be against the Sydney Convicts.

The Dukes and the Convicts took to the park a short 2 weeks ago in the final preseason trial where the Dukes were narrowly edged out 12-0 (see full match day report here). In contrast to the previous match up, it is set to be a much cooler day for all involved with a forecast 20°c across Sydney.

This also means the division is set and will feature 6 teams in total (including the Dukes). This means a total of 15 rounds across the season, with the finals (1 v 2, 3 v 4 format) beginning on the 24th of August. The other teams in our division are the aforementioned Sydney Convicts, our other trial partners the Engadine Lions, 2018 Meldrum Cup Premiers the North Cronulla Sea Lice, Maccabi Rugby Club and Burraneer Rugby Club.

Other games in the division this week see Burraneer at home to Engadine and Maccabi to host North Cronulla.

The Fixtures page has been updated with all upcoming games for the season.

Dukes take two from three in final trial day

The Dukes were able to come away with 2 wins from their 3 games on Saturday in a strong showing from the club. In what was again, a very hot day, the fitness was put to the test yet all players were able to make it through the games relatively unscathed.

To start the day, the Dukes took on Convicts’ 2nd XV. Despite some mistakes with the ball in hand, the scrums looked very solid with at least 3 won against the feed throughout the game. 2 tries from Reece Milne helped the Dukes shoot out to an unassailable lead. The Dukes winning their first trial 24 – 0.

The second game was a tougher affair facing the Convicts 1st XV. While the scoreline showed a loss, the Dukes played hard across the field and were unlucky not to have put up points, having numerous shots at the Convicts line but not able to come up with the goods. Dukes going down 12 – 0.

Last game of the day had the Dukes taking on Engadine. Both sides were well and truly out on their feet by the time this fixture came about however both teams put on a show and played some hard-nosed football. A lone try from Phil Hughes was the deciding factor in the end, the Dukes winning out 5 – 0.

For scores from the other games played on the day, please see below for a full run down.

Many thanks to both the Sydney Convicts and Engadine Lions for travelling to Botany for the afternoon. Also thanks to our sponsors; Captain Cook Hotel, TLH Group Recruiting, Robson & Robson Property and South Coogee Bowling Club. Without your help, the club would not be able to continue the way it is.

A reminder to all of you reading this that next week (April 13th) is our 2019 season opening event at the South Coogee Bowling Club, kicking off at 2 pm. Be sure to head over to the “Events” tab above to stay up to date with all club occasions.

1.30 pmDukes Rugby240Convicts 2’s
2 pmEngadine Lions012Convicts 1’s
2.30 pmDukes Rugby012Convicts 1’s
3 pmEngadine Lions145Convicts 2’s
3.30 pmDukes Rugby50Engadine Lions
CancelledConvicts 1’s00Convicts 2’s

Apr ’19

Welcome to the month of April. This month has A LOT going on. We have plenty of action on and off the field that is coming up and has already passed us by so let get into it!

The Dukes are currently 1-0 on the season after a solid win against Rouse Hill in the boat race! That’s right, Dukeman reports on the real news here folks! The boys looked in mid season form and I hope this continues for the year ahead. On the field, the first hit out of the season saw our boys take home a win on the field too, beating the Renegades 33-31 for the Indianna Challenge Trophy. A great way to start the year for us as a club and as mentioned above, over $11,000 was raised in charitable donations for the Westmead Childrens Hospital. Well done to both clubs for their efforts on the day both on and off the field.

In other on field news, some of our older guard strapped on the boots for the Bondi Tens in the over 35’s competition. The club was represented by AJ, Hughesy, Benny Watts and Kev playing in the “Viagra Falls” team on the day. The boys were also able to lift the trophy on the day after winning the tournament. Congratulations guys, fingers crossed we can have a Dukes team running (plodding) around the field for next year’s Bondi Tens.

One trial down, one to go! This weekend (06/04) our boys are taking on both Engadine Lions and the Sydney Convicts from 1.30pm at Booralee Park. Set to be a great afternoon of rugby, our guys will be looking to build on the momentum from their first trial win. If you’re free for the arvo, come down and grab a beer from our canteen and watch the current crop of players do battle against these 2 clubs.

On to our first social event of the year, taking place at South Coogee Bowling Club on April 13th is the Dukes and Duchesses barefoot bowls afternoon. Kicking off at 2pm, we’ll be doing our best Crackerjack impressions as we channel our inner Mick Molloy with a schooner in one hand and a lawn bowl in the other. The event is open to all club members so come on down and say hi to the guys and girls.

ANZAC Day is later on this month so come and join the Dukes boys down at our fantastic sponsor, the Captain Cook Hotel on the day for a beer and a chat and try out their brand new bistro menu (shown here). Dukeman’s personal pick is the Schnitzel with mushroom sauce. Grab that and a schooner and you’re set for dinner for under $20, talk about a bargain!

For Dukes and Duchesses alike, as shown above, we have no draw for the season yet! As soon as Subbies and Randwick Netball throw it our way, I have it on good word that our website will be updated straight away so keep an eye out on the “Fixtures” pages under the Rugby and Netball tabs.

A reminder as well that playing fees are $180 (yes, still only $180!) for both sports. As I mentioned last month, this is an absolute steal for playing fees in Sydney – especially for rugby. Dukeman has seen some clubs ask for up to $380! Robbery! Try get this money in ASAP as it helps the club afford various odds and ends that keep the club rolling.

I’m also selling off some of our merch at the club sheds on game days and training nights. Old playing jerseys (great to train in with contact), training/polo/casual shirts, playing shorts and socks, beanies, etc. you name it and chances are the Dukeman can sell it to you for a price! If you’re after something we don’t have, if we get enough interest in a particular item we can always order more.

Shhh…just thought you guys should know, keep it quiet, but I’ve heard whispers around of a pub crawl happening before the season! Giddy up!

To you and yours, have a safe Easter long weekend and bring on the season!

Cheers and Beers,


Second trial sees Dukes take on heavy opposition

Hot off their 33-31 win against the Rouse Hill Renegades in the Indianna Trophy match, the Dukes are set to take on 2 of the formidable opponents in their upcoming second trial at Botany this coming Saturday. The games kick off in a round robin format from 1.30pm at Booralee Park and is set to be a great afternoon of Subbies rugby.

The Engadine Lions have been a mainstay in the Division 6 finals fixtures since their reentry into the Subbies competition in 2015. Always a tough match up on the field, the Lions will be a hard hitting and fast outfit this coming weekend.

The second of the teams, Sydney Convicts, are the reigning Bingham Cup champions and have taken home the Cup 5 of the last 7 times (’06, ’08, ’12, ’14 and ’18). Fresh off a very competitive 2018 campaign where they were unlucky not to make the finals, the Convicts bring strong numbers (2 teams) to the trial this weekend.

Have a look below for the tentative draw for the day.

Game TimeTeam ATeam B
1.30 pmDukes RugbyvsConvicts 2’s
2 pmEngadine Lionsvs Convicts 1’s
2.30 pmDukes Rugbyvs Convicts 1’s
3 pmEngadine LionsvsConvicts 2’s
3.30 pmDukes RugbyvsEngadine Lions
4 pmConvicts 1’svsConvicts 2’s

Please note that game times and fixtures may change at short notice throughout the day due to the informal nature of trials.