A look forward into 2020

With the festive season upon us, the Dukes and Duchesses would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas/New Year period.

Adding to the busyness of this time of year, our AGM has taken place and a new committee for season 2020 has been formed. We would like to thank the outgoing committee members; general members Andrew Johnson and Jonothan Row and Vice President James Schulz, who all contributed to the club over their time both on and off the committee. We look forward to seeing their faces around the club going forward. The Dukes also welcome our new members; Charlotte Bryant and Laura McLaughlin who are representing the Duchesses, as well as Anthony Rip, Chris Ford, Jackson Corry, James Manderson and Reece Milne who join Corey Mangan the general committee.

The club would also like to congratulate Alex Schulz on his appointment to club Vice President. He will be working with returning executive members Vlad Yershov (secretary), Phil Hughes (treasurer) and Iain Meiklejohn (president). For the president’s report for season 2019, please follow this link.

The Dukes would also like to welcome new head coach Andrew Bernardini who joins the club after stints at Burraneer and Menai. Andrew will be looking to build on the solid foundations set towards the back end of last year by outgoing coach Andrew Meiklejohn. We thank Andrew Meiklejohn for his efforts in the 2019 season to help set the club up for the future.

Also the club was able to raise over $650 for the Rural Fire Service. The money raised is going to a good cause and we hope that this bush fire catastrophe that has hit NSW in the last few months comes to an end soon. The Dukes thank the RFS for all their efforts.

Keep returning to the website, facebook pages and looking in your emails to stay tuned for upcoming information for the 2020 season including training sessions, social events and more!

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,


Penalty try in dying minutes deals KO blow to Dukes

A 78th minute penalty try was all that could separate the Dukes and Burraneer this last weekend in a tense 31-24 loss for the boys.

The Burraneer side were clearly shocked and not prepared for the Dukes to put up the level of fight that they did to the 2018 Grand Finalists. After an early 12-0 lead, the Dukes came roaring back with a 2 fleet footed tries to fullback Andrew Johnson and centre Israel Seufale to draw even by half time.

Moving into the second stanza, the Dukes had their tails up and looking to play attacking football as much as possible. Lead by scrumhalf Manuel Grundy creating opportunities for others around him, winger Vlad Yershov cashed in and dotted the ball over the line for the Dukes to take the lead for the first time in the contest, 19-12.

Burraneer hit back with another two tries through the power of their scrum to retake the lead 24-19. Some skillful rugby saw Liam Pakau link up with Israel Seufale to streak away for another try. Unconverted though and the scores level at 24 a piece.

With 5 minutes to go on the clock, Burraneer camped themselves in the Dukes 5m and hammered away with multiple scrums before the referee had to cave in and award a penalty try with 2 minutes left on the clock, 31-24 to Burraneer and that’s the way the scores would have to stay. The Dukes coming away with 2 bonus points for their efforts on the day and providing a massive scare to the table topping Burraneer side.

Coaches point went to;
3 – Israel Seufale (Centre)
2 – Manuel Grundy (Scrumhalf)
1 – Chris Stephenson (Second Row)

* After this week, coaches points will be kept off the website as the end of season awards will be based off these.

Over on the Duchesses’ side of the ledger, the girls continue to notch up wins, pushing forward to a 44-16 win over UNSW White and into equal 3rd spot on the ladder. Well done to all the ladies who show up and play their hardest week in and week out for the team. Special mention this past week to Jen Marsden who put up her first goal for the Duchesses, fingers crossed there’s more where that came from!

On a club related note, a thanks must go to Clay and his team at One Drop Brewing in Botany for his support towards the club. Here’s to a few brews and a growing relationship between the Dukes and One Drop!

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,


Dukes Rugby set for big day

Dukes Rugby is set for their biggest day on the calendar so far in 2019 with the Old Boys & Sponsors Day taking place this upcoming weekend at Booralee Park in Botany.

Games are kicking off from 2pm where our old guard will be putting the band back together for one more go around on a mission from God, Blues Brothers style, and taking on Lane Cove in a rematch of the 2017 Noice Cup Grand Final.

There will be plenty of old heads and extra kegs on show so if you’re even half way fit and keen for a laugh and a beer with the boys from years gone by, come down for a watch and even strap on the boots for one last go around!

That will lead into the main game of the day where the Dukes will be facing Engadine in their second meeting this season. In the last game, the Lions prevailed 42-7 at home (match report here). Our boys will be out to get their first victory of the season and kick 2019 into gear in style. Game kicks off shortly after Old Boys at 3.15pm.

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.