Dukes knock off competition heavyweights in thriller

It took all 80 minutes to finally get the W, but with all 15 men pulling together, the Dukes have finally broken through for their first competition points of the year. Topped off with a fantastic last second try, the Dukes ran out 38-34 winners in a thrilling contest over Engadine.

This wasn’t the only action on the day though as our Old Boys strapped up for their first encounter of the season against Lane Cove. Many of the old heads from years gone by represented Dukes from all the seasons previously played. The game also gave the opportunity for some Dukes debuts with Thomas Ray and Troy Hodges pulling on the black and white for the first time.

While the bodies were stiff and some were moving as slow as they ever have, the boys put on a good showing, going down narrowly 10-5 against a solid Covies outfit. Some slick footwork and ball play from the Ramea boys were not to be out done by their old man Teddy Ramea, displaying his power and strength showing he could still mix it up with the younger crowd (only that he would need a bit more recovery time!).

Old Boy Anthony Te Arri showing he still has what it takes!

Some great games played by the boys out there on the day and a big thanks to all involved on the Dukes and the Lave Cove side of things.

On to the main game of the day which started off in a less than positive fashion for the Dukes, dropping 3 players in the first 15 minutes (Kev Morris, Bryn Grantham and Luke Cleary all succumbing to injury). This didn’t deter the players though, with Chris Stephenson leading the forward pack from the front in a strong display of attack and defence and captain Stefan von Zelewski distributing the ball to the back line, keeping the opposition guessing at all times.

The Dukes lineout – clinical for the entire game

After Engadine’s dangerous centre combination teamed up to score early, the Dukes struck back with Isreal Seufale crashing over in the corner to level the scores at 5-5. Engadine wasted no time in hitting back to make the score 10-5 with a nice chip and chase. With 5 minutes to play in the half, second rower Alex Schulz found himself wide open 10m out and running over for what he thought was a certain try. Some desperate Lions defence denied the try however shortly after, utility back Reece Milne went over for his 3rd try of the year. Conversion successful and going into half time, the Dukes are up 12-10 over a shocked Lions outfit not expecting this level of a fight.

Soon after half time, the Dukes on the attack in the Engadine 22m, a mishap with the ball in hand saw the Lions streak away down the touchline to retake the lead and then put on another try straight after to take the scoreline out to 22-12. The Dukes were determined not to let the game get out of hand and some nice ball running got centre Nathan Tui over the line, followed by a tremendous run by second rower Chris Stephenson who blasted his way over the line for a much deserved try. Conversion successful and the Dukes have clawed back the score to 24-22.

Man of the Match Chris Stephenson barges over for a try

Engadine ended up with the ball in hand and pushing towards the Dukes 22m with solid forward play. When the ball was spun out to the backs, they attempted another chip and chase but was read perfectly by Stefan von Zelewski who charged down and caught the ball in one motion then darted away and (only just) made it over the line after a 65m sprint, Dukes back in front 31-22 with 15 minutes left. The Lions weren’t done yet and let it be known, hitting back with another try to bring the score to 31-29.

Flyhalf and Captain Stefan von Zelewski on his 65m dash

4 minutes left on the clock and the scores level, Engadine with the ball in hand marched downfield for 10+ phases before sneaking in in the corner to give them the lead 34-31 with the seconds ticking away. That close to victory and the Dukes had it snatched away from them in the final minutes…or so it would seem.

Captain Stefan von Zelewski together with Dukes veterans Reece Milne, Doug Cusack and Chris Stephenson rallied the boys together, letting them know that this game was far from out of hand and all they needed was the ball in hand to make it happen. A minute left on the clock and the Dukes defending the lineout on the Engadine 22m, the Lions gave up a free kick which the Dukes were more than happy to capitalise on.

Liam Pakau’s 5 pointer that clinched victory for the Dukes

Maintaining possession for 5 phases, holding the ball in close in the forwards but unable to get over the line, the ball found Dukes debutant Liam Pakau who together with some nifty footwork and power running dotted the ball over the line from 5m out. Conversion taken, successful, and the whistle blown for full time. The Dukes finally shaking the monkey off the back after a long 18 months without a competition win.

Coaches points went to;
3 – Chris Stephenson (Second Row)
2 – Doug Cusack (Flanker)
1 – Israel Seufale (No. 8)

That winning feeling…

A special mention to Dukes on debut – Liam Pakau, Timothy Rolton and Sefa Joey who all played tremendously to help the cause on the day with some big hits, big runs and a nose for the try line.

Other games this round saw Burraneer too strong for North Cronulla 44-5 and Maccabi winning at home 35-12 over the Convicts.

This week the Subbies competition has a bye week, but that doesn’t mean the action stops! The Dukes and Duchesses are putting on a royalty themed pub crawl (link here). Feel free to come along for a great day with some of the best drinkers in suburban sports!

Duchesses continue winning ways

The Duchesses have scored themselves another win, running out winners 46-22 over Randwick Rugby NC. Awesome performances from Laura McLaughlin in the attacking third helped along by the debuting Tinky Kaur at Goal Attack helped the girls to a 24 point win.

Duchess of the Day goes to Rachel Appleby playing Centre who assisted the team, moving the ball from the defensive end into attacking position for them to capitalise on. Special mention to Caren Ang who hadn’t played before this season, has put together 2 really good games in the previous weeks.

The Duchesses now look forward to this week’s game against Bronte Sports at 2.10 pm on Court #6 where they will be hoping to put together 3 three wins in a row. The day is also coupled with Randwick Netball Association’s “Crazy Hair & Sock Day” for the Kids Cancer Project where our ladies will have the opportunity to get wacky with their styling and donate to the charity on the day.

Duchesses roll past Ascham to 30 point win

While the rugby boys were having a tough time on the field, the Duchesses were putting Ascham through the ringer on the way to a 30 point victory. Jumping out to an early lead and never looking back, the Duchesses put up 46 points in total, showing what can be done after shaking away the cobwebs that were evident last week.

Duchess(es) of the Day goes to Laura Mclaughlin (again!) and Jess Schulz for their antics off the court – giving the rugby boys a lesson in how to skol a drink! Seriously, they put the boys to shame back at the pub.

This weekend the Duchesses take on Randwick Rugby (14) at 3.30 pm, Heffron Park Netball Courts #6. Then join them back at the Captain Cook Hotel afterwards with the rugby team for drinks and many laughs to be had.

Keep up the work on (and off!) the court ladies!

Rough day at the office for Dukes

14 vs 15. That was the task handed to the Dukes on Saturday after being decimated by injuries in the first 3 weeks of the season. With the sideline resembling that of a physio waiting room, it was always going to be a rough outing for our boys. The Dukes toughed it out for the first half, keeping the score to 19-0 by the time the half time break rolled around.

At half time, Maccabi changed their strategy and shifted the ball from sideline to sideline, tiring out the already ravaged Dukes boys by using the man advantage. With this, scoring points was elementary despite the efforts of the Dukes and Maccabi made sure they maximised their opportunities, putting over an additional 6 tries in the second half.

The Dukes were able to cross the line late in the half, a try and conversion to flyhalf Luke Cleary seeing the only points of the day for the home side. Final score 57-7 by way of Maccabi.

Coaches points went to;
3 – Zinzan Mann (Flanker)
2 – Kevin Morris (Hooker)
1 – Doug Cusack (Second Row)

Special mention to Dukes newcomers Mark Townsend and Cody Macfarlan, well played guys and we hope to see you back in the Dukes colours soon. Another special mention to Luke Cleary for his tireless efforts in the halves.

In other games across the competition, Engadine were able to squeeze out a win despite a late surge from North Cronulla, winning 26-21. Burraneer also returned to the winners circle beating the Convicts 26-19.

Coming up next round the Dukes head to John Dwyer Oval in Caringbah to take on Burraneer to close out the first round of games between the clubs in the competition. Also be sure to mark down Old Boys day the week after (01/06) back at home.

Promising Duchesses take the court for the first time

The Duchesses donned the black and white and took to the netball court for the first time on Saturday but were unable to come away with the competition points, going down 49-29 to the Saints (Gold).

After a rough first quarter of play where the ladies were trying to find their feet on the court and shake out the cobwebs from the off-season, they came roaring back in the second period of play to put pressure on the Saints side.

The Duchesses.
Back Row: Laura McLaughlin, Gail Clews, Caren Ang, Charlotte Bryant, Matilda Koroitamana.
Front Row: Rachel Appleby, Jessica Schulz, Laura Elizabeth.

While the younger legs of the Saints were able to outlast our girls in the latter stages and ran out eventual winners on the day, things are looking upward for the Duchesses for the season ahead.

Duchess of the Day went to Laura McLaughlin for a strong showing as Goal Shooter. Special mentions on the day to Kev Morris’s better half Laura Elizabeth for copping a wound similar to Kev but complaining way less, and also to Caren Ang who played her first ever game of netball.

Next week the ladies take on the Ascham School 7 team, starting at 2.10 pm. Best of luck Duchesses!

Solid effort yet no reward against defending premiers

It was a solid effort from the Dukes side this past Saturday, however injuries and white-line fever halted them on more than one occasion, allowing the Sea-Lice to capitalise and score a 38-14 victory.

For much of the first half, the Dukes were camped in the Sea-Lice’s half of the field yet were unable to cross the line with handling errors and turnovers at the breakdown costing them. 2 long range tries from the Sea-Lice plus a nice back line move set up another for a 19-0 halftime lead. This could have very easily been 14-14 (or similar) with the amount of possession and position the Dukes had, just being unlucky and pushing the final pass or using too much of the field allowed the Sea-Lice to regain the ball and push down field fast in counter attack.

After half time, the Dukes struck back through fullback Reece Milne making the score 19-7 after the successful conversion. Much of the same occured again with the Dukes not being able to capitalise on the amount of possession and the Sea-Lice using the ball on the outside to gain valuable field position. This resulted in another 2 tries, pushing the score to 33-7.

10 minutes to go in the half, the Dukes had the feed to the scrum, 10 out from the Sea-Lice line. After a masterful play call from the front row club, damaging centre Isreal Seufale was put in at #8. Drawing in two Sea-Lice defenders he offloaded the ball to captain Stefan von Zelewski who finished over the line under the posts for the Dukes second try.

From the kick off, the Dukes attempted to spin the ball wide and lost possession to the Sea-Lice. 3 phases later they worked themselves into a 3 on 2 situation and put themselves over for the final try of the day, 38-14 the final score.

Coaches points on the day went to;
3 – Isreal Seufale (Reserve – Outside Back)
2 – Reece Milne (Fullback)
1 – Phil Hughes (Wing)

3 rounds into the season and the Dukes could almost fill out an entire squad with those in the casualty ward at this stage. We wish all those who are injured a speedy recovery and hope to see you on the field soon.

In other matches occuring this round, a few upsets around the grounds. Engadine thumped the Convicts 58-19 despite 3 yellow cards, and Maccabi sprung an upset at home over Burraneer 28-24 thanks to the boot of their flyhalf.

This week the Dukes take on Maccabi at Booralee Park from 3.15 pm. Stay tuned for the match preview.

Wounded Dukes miss out on points

The Dukes were unable to get competition points in their Round 2 match up with the Lions, going down 42-7 in Engadine.

For the first 15 minutes the Dukes were unable to get the ball in hand with the Lions forwards recycling the ball from the kick off and working their way down field before some slick back line play saw Engadine jump out to a 12-0 lead.

Finally, 20 minutes into the game, the Dukes had their hands on the ball for more than 3 phases and were making strides. Fullback Stefan van Zelewski was able to make a defender miss and cut through the line to cross over for his first try of the season, despite being coathangered while putting the ball down. 12-7 by way of the Lions.

The Lions went back to business and held the ball in the forwards and marching downfield, earning 2 penalties on the Dukes 22 and slotting both attempts to hit 18-7.

5 minutes out from half time and the Dukes had the ball in hand inside the Lions 22. A penalty earned by the forward back was capitalised on by halfback Reece Milne with a quick tap and a try…or so we thought.

The referee brought the play back and the ball was soon turned over, the Lions putting together some play straight out of the Fiji sevens playbook, crossing over to push the score out to 23-7. Another quick hit try from the kickoff sent the score to 30-7 at half time.

The start of the second half was tightly contested with both teams unable to crack the line. 15 minutes into the half and the Lions backs put on another try off the back of their forwards maintaining possession, pushing it out to 35-7.

The Dukes were found camped in their 22 again and were holding the fort after multiple phases from the Lions pressing the line. A penalty for offside was taken quickly by the Engadine halfback and was able to sneak across from 10m out. Full time was blown 10 minutes later, 42-7 to the Lions.

A strong showing by the Lions on home turf showed that they were not the same team the Dukes faced in the trial match. The Dukes injury ward may have grown a touch with at least 3 players going off during the game for various issues. Hopefully we see them back on the park soon.

Coaches points went to;
3 – Chris Stephenson (# 8)
2 – Alex Schulz (Second Row)
1 – Stefan von Zelewski (Fullback).

Other games on the day had the Convicts knock off Maccabi 23-14 and a late try from North Cronulla got them over line against Burraneer 28-24.

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 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

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.