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.

Dukes take Indianna Challenge Trophy in nail biter

The Dukes took home their first piece of silverware this weekend after a tightly fought contest against Rouse Hill 33-31. The preseason match, played for the Indiana Challenge Cup, was contested in considerably tough conditions with the heat and humidity really showing through on the day.

Not deterred by the superior player numbers on show by the opposition, the Dukes rallied together from the get go. While the boys were relatively physically fit (many thanks to Sarah from Pure Performance Coach for helping whip the boys into a shape that didn’t resemble a slob that hadn’t even thought of Rugby for 2019), match fitness can be an entirely new beast to tame, especially on a day where heat is a factor.

After the cobwebs were shaken out, the Dukes started to hit it into gear, showing some great hits, skillful offloads and tricky footwork on the way to bagging 5 tries in the 80 minute hit out. The set pieces for the Dukes looked fantastic with a solid scrum base and some nice work at line out time, giving the halves time and space to work their magic.

The game itself was very back and forth with both teams being able to score tries in reply to the other. With 5 minutes left, the scores even at 26-26, fly half Stefan von Zelewski took matters into his own hands, blasting through the opposition line and stepping the fullback to score under the sticks the converted his own try to top it all off. 33-26 in favour of the Dukes.

From the ensuing kick off, the Dukes lost possession and with the Renegades inside the attacking 22, the Renegades fly half threw a half field pass to their right winger, who despite having debuting lock Jackson Corry wrapped around his waist was (only just) able to dot the ball down in the corner. 33-31 still on the side of the Dukes.

The Renegades missed the conversion attempt and that’s the way the scoreline stayed until the referee blew full time a very short time later. A well deserved win for all the preseason work put in, with the Dukes taking out the Indianna Challenge Cup for 2019.

Also, many thanks must be given to the Renegades for being amazing hosts for the day and (as announced by the Renegades Facebook page) raising over $11k in donations for the Westmead Childrens Hospital.

Mar ’19

Well February came and went quicker than a hiccup and now we’re into the month of March. Preseason is already kicking our asses, our trial games are tentatively set for late March and early April (see below for more details), our first social outing is just around the corner and the rugby season is so close you can almost hear the calls of “get’m onside ref!” on the sidelines of Booralee Park. Yes boys and girls, this is the Dukeman’s Desktop and I’ll run down all things Dukes that’s coming up this month (and part of next…).

As mentioned above, preseason training is well and truly underway, and as usual for all rugby going people, it’s a tiny shock to the system when you realise what sitting down from September to February does to the body. Two nights a week at Booralee Park is a good start to get the body ready for the season ahead. Contact is slowly starting to come back into the fold as we’ve got 2 trial matches just a matter of weeks away.

Trial games this year are set against Rouse Hill Renegades (March 23rd for the Indianna Challenge Trophy) and Hornsby Lions/Sydney Convicts (April 6th). Last year marked our first encounter with the Renegades and immediately it became apparent that these boys were in rugby for the right reasons. Play hard on the field, drink hard off the field, and help those out in need where you can. Naturally both of our clubs hit it off by the time the first beer was drunk post game. Tragically, one of their players suffered a loss no one should ever have to endure where his young daughter passed away unexpectedly. This is where the Indianna Challenge Trophy came to be. As two clubs who believe it is best to give back to charity where possible, the trophy will be defended at each fixture between our clubs. In addition to this, donations will be made to our charities of choice on behalf of each club.

In our second trial, we’ll be facing the Sydney Convicts as well as the Hornsby Lions. Hornsby have been away from Subbies for a few years now having joined the Central Coast competition in 2015. This will be our first home trial game in recent memory.

For the Duchesses among us, registration is required by March 14th. Yes, very early on compared to rugby but different competitions, different rules. If you are at all interested, hit up the Netball tab on the website.

The fees for 2019 are set for both Rugby and Netball as outlined on the website and have various inclusions from apparel to insurance. Dukeman is always out for a bargain and $180 is about as cheap as you will find for a season of rugby or netball in Sydney.

BAREFOOT BOWLS! The day we’ve all been waiting for on the preseason calendar is on the final countdown. April 14th is the date, South Coogee Bowls Club is the place. If you’re up for a roll on the green, a beer and a feed then come on down and say g’day. The event is open to all Dukes and Duchesses – past, present and future. If you’ve been to one of these days before, you’ll know its a top day on the social calendar.

With that all laid out, I’m off for some bicep curls down at the Cook!

Cheers and Beers,


Feb ’19

Welcome back to the Dukeman’s Desktop!

We’ve motored right through January and now we’re already through the start of February, the season ahead is on the horizon and the Dukes are starting to shift into gear with beach footy and preseason in the upcoming weeks. Beach footy is set to take place at South Maroubra on the 10th and 17th and is open to all Dukes past, present and future. Even if you aren’t wanting to play this year, feel free to come down and have a catch up with the group.

Preseason training (uh-oh!) starts on Wednesday the 20th of February with PT sessions. It’s a necessary evil to whip us into shape for the season ahead. The sessions will continue for about a month (by that stage, hopefully the Christmas ham and Australia Day beers would have mostly been worked off!) before we have a ball in hand to go through proper skills drills. The season proper is set to start in late April so the later start gives us enough time to get into the swing of things.

Now into the social side of things! Our Barefoot Bowls day will be taking place fairly soon at the wonderful South Coogee Bowls Club. It’s always a great day for all involved and this season we look to involve our newly formed netball team into the festivities.

In regards to action on the field itself, a few of our (older) current and former players are having a hit out at the Bondi 10’s tournament taking place at Woollahra Ovals 2 & 3 (Colleagues and Convicts home ground) on Saturday the 30th of March. Get down and support the boys as they dust off the boots for the weekend. Who knows, 2020 may see the formation of the Dukes Old Boys for some over 35’s action (lord knows there’s enough of you out there to fill 2 teams worth!).

Hope to see you guys around the rugby traps sooner rather than later!

Cheers and Beers,


Dec ’18

Welcome to the Dukeman’s Desktop! Dukeman will be aiming to send an update out at least the first week of each month so keep an eye out to stay in touch with the club’s happenings for everything and anything related to Dukes Rugby.

Earlier this year, the 2019 committee was nominated with 9 members being elected. This year the committee will be lead by the Iain Meiklejohn (President), James Schulz (Vice President), Phil Hughes (Treasurer) and Vlad Yershov (Secretary). They will be supported by a general committee consisting of Aaron Smith, Alex Schulz, Corey Mangan, Andrew “AJ” Johnson and Jono Row.

At this stage of the year, the committee is working away behind the scenes to get the club running smoothly heading into 2019 while our players are resting up to get ready and attack the preseason sessions after the New Year. While there is no set date yet, the club is aiming for a mid-late January preseason start including fitness, strength and conditioning training while also incorporating skills and game situations to get players ready for the season proper.

Rolling into 2019 will also see plenty of action off the field with a Bowls Day set to take place at South Coogee Bowling Club in Jan/Feb to get the band back together as well as introduce the new players and supporters to the Dukes. Also make sure you keep watching this space as the boys are set to take on the Sydney Sevens (01/02/19 – 03/02/19), a group of supporters will be heading out to Spotless Stadium (Homebush) to join in the festivities and support the Aussie Sevens sides.

Finally, Merry Christmas and a Happy and safe New Year period to all and we hope to see you all at a Dukes event soon to catch up!

Cheers and Beers,