Jul ’19

Penalty tries! Yellow cards! Arguments with officials! Boat races! Delightful wins and heartbreaking losses…it’s all happening!

This last month has been one of the most thrilling in Dukes history and Dukeman can feel the excitement in the air. The rugby boys are on the cusp of a finals berth if we can keep the winning vibes and the netball girls are kicking some serious ass on the court. 2019 is shaping up to be one of the most electric finishes to a season where we could potentially see post-season action for both sides.

Of late the rugby team has been hitting their stride and really pushing the opposition in every aspect of the game. Dukeman has been loving the performances across the park with some solid forward play and expansive back line play. It’s hard to look past Israel Seufale and Liam Pakau killing it in the centres in both attack and defence, these two have been throwing it back to the original “Bash Brothers” duo of Dennis Lee and Luke Greer from the Dukes early years. In the forwards Zinzan Mann has been getting around the park making some great cover tackles and being an all-round pest at the breakdown for the opposition while Chris Stephenson has been his usual self, wrecking opposition defences with some bustling runs. Linking the forwards and the backs for the last month has been Manny Grundy who has been amazing at scrumhalf getting the forwards out of trouble if needed and delivering the ball out to the backs allowing them to weave some magic.

On the court the netball team has been flexing some muscle on the opposition in the last month, winning 3 of 4 match ups in June, 2 of them where they put up 40+ points. In their last 3 match ups they have outscored the opposition 131-66! Keep on killing it ladies, Dukeman loves your work!

In other news, one of the Dukes original sons Corey “Mango” Mangan tallies up game 100 against crosstown rivals, Sydney Convicts. Mango joins the Schulz brothers in the 100 club where Alex and James currently reside. All 3 started with the Dukes back in the inaugural season where the Schulz boys haven’t changed positions from second row and flanker and Mango was (of all positions) a winger! Since then he’s made the pilgrimage from to where he currently holds down the fort as the loosehead prop. On the day we’ll have a 2nds game for any and all who wish to celebrate the occasion by taking the field with Mango (and maybe a couple of other surprise cameos!). Congrats Mango!

The club says a tearful goodbye to some of our playing contingent as they sail out for their naval duties with the R.A.N. Thanks a bunch for coming down for a run guys and we hope you come back down as soon as you are back in Sydney town for another hit out in the black and white hoops. The Dukes wish you boys safe travels.

While on the subject of goodbyes, coach Andrew Meiklejohn has had to step down as coach and drastically reduce his playing capacity for work reasons. For all you have done throughout the season on and off the field Andrew, thank you. 

Finishing off on some happier news, the Dukes are happy to announce that the end of season trip will be taking place in the lovely city of Byron Bay for the 30th anniversary of the Byron Bay Sevens. The boys have been up there wreaking havoc on the town and the football field for the last few years after the town of Mudgee had a few too many “wanted” posters up of our players…

I’m also hearing around the traps that with the wet weather week coming up, a crawl of the pub kind may be in order! Yeehaw! Giddy up!

Cheers and Beers,

Dukeman

Jun ’19

The Dukeman is back! 

Here to give you your run down of all things Dukes and Duchesses for the upcoming month! To start, a much needed pub crawl kicking off proceedings in June! It’s been too long between drinks and Dukeman is jumping and jiving ready to chug-a-lug and help the Queen celebrate her birthday in my own very special way – getting shitfaced in The Rocks. Come along in your best “royalty” themed dress ups but please, no Wally “The King” Lewis impersonators…the wounds are too fresh from Wednesday night…bloody Queenslanders…

Enough about the other code but keeping with the “drinks” theme – boat races. Now, last time I had a platform to speak at the tail end of last month the boys had blasted their way through the preseason and the opening round of the competition. But ever since the boys have dropped off! What’s doing?! Thankfully it has been somewhat resurrected after Old Boys day but even then, some of the netball girls are drinking you under the table! Two things, first, girls you’re in the right place and at the right club for you! Second, boys, up your game!

Now onto the field and the court where the guys and girls have been giving it their all this past month and both teams reaping the rewards of their efforts, gathering wins in both the Rugby and Netball competitions. On the rugby field Dukeman can’t keep his eye off Chris Stephenson. This massive human just doesn’t know what giving up is and has been killing it on the field with some huge runs and massive hits. Sooner or later the other teams might actually learn to avoid him. For the Duchesses, Laura McLaughlin has been bagging goals left, right and centre on the court and has been smashing the boat races off the court! Keep it up Laura and we’ll have to put you in a rugby jersey before the season is out just to get our boat race team back on track!

Old Boys Day! Boy oh boy did it live up to expectations. While the old boys weren’t able to get a win themselves, first grade finally got the first competition points against Engadine. The OB’s played and drunk just as hard as they used to back when they were regulars for the Dukes. Unable to get the win over Lane Cove but still showing the current crop of players they were far from done when it came to their playing days…even though the space in between the days they play may need to be extended. Each year of the Dukes was represented on the day from our inaugural game through to last year, we had a player from each season take the field, something I hope continues for a while! Maybe one of these days, Dukeman might make an appearance 😉

Coming up this month a lot of our games are away from home base, but that wont stop Dukeman from sniffing out a post game meal and beer back at the Captain Cook Hotel. Top food, top drinks and great company, if you enjoy a schnitty & chips with a schooner of liquid gold, the CCH is the place to be. Our only home game for the month is against Burraneer late in the piece (29/06), with away games against the Convicts (15/06) and the Sea Lice (22/06). Meanwhile on the netball court, the Duchesses are up against Marrickville RSL, Saints Blue and UNSW White (each Saturday except for the Long Weekend).

Well, thats it for another wrap up so until next time…

Cheers and Beers,

Dukeman

May ’19

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our long national nightmare is over. After countless weeks sitting around on a Saturday afternoon with nothing to do, RUGBY IS HERE! We can finally all meet at Booralee Park, have a beer, eat a snag and kick on into a late night at the Cook without the WAGs asking questions! Sadly, the girls will still have to wait for netball to roll around. Keep working on your excuses to avoid questioning…only 2 weeks to go though!

We have many events on the horizon, not the least of which is our Old Boys & Sponsors Day (01/06 vs Engadine). Needless to say, I’m excited! The barbie will be firing, the beers will be cold and the Dukes will be looking to snatch a victory from the Lions on the day before a big night back at the Cook. All Old Boys, Old Supporters and Sponsors are more than welcome to attend. If you are thinking of attending, hit up Mango (Corey), Schulzy (James) or the club website via email, Facebook, text, phone call, smoke signal, carrier pigeon, whatever your method of communication is.

Other home games this month include a clash with North Cronulla (11/05) and a match up against Maccabi (18/05). Get down and show the boys some support and grab a beer and a snag while you’re at it.

The Duchesses kick off their season on the 11th of May against a yet to be named opponent at a yet to be named time at Heffron Park Netball Courts. Dukeman wishes you all the best in your inaugural match, give em’ hell girls!

Now onto the most important piece of information in this article. The boat races. The boys continued their fine preseason form (2 from 2!), motoring through the Convicts after the Round 1 clash. I’m hoping at this rate that the boys may be able to go undefeated for the year, get some extras in at the Cook boys, Dukeman believes in you!

For this weekend against Engadine boys, May the Fourth be with you!

Cheers and Beers,

Dukeman

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,

Dukeman

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,

Dukeman

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,

Dukeman

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,

Dukeman