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

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!