Around The Traps: Double bookings, Vale Kelly, helping Reegs and a little dig

PLEASE, PLEASE TELL ME THIS isn’t true – Around The Traps is hearing that the Shute Shield grand final may be played on Saturday September 3, the very same day that the Wallabies take on South Africa. A venue is yet to be decided upon but my people tell me that Sydney and the brand spanking new footy stadium in Moore Park are in the mix. Noooooooooooooooo!

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I had a ringside seat to the power and skill of Kelly Meafua one day at North Sydney Oval when he just about single handedly dismantled the Northern Suburbs pack back in 2017. So it was tragic to hear the news earlier this week that he had passed away after what appeared to be some sort of misadventure following the end of Montabaum’s season in France.

Meafua had spiders on him that day and it was a gross injustice that the game ended in a draw. He was much loved by all in the Shute Shield and I think his coach from that day at West Harbour Todd Louden best summed things up this week. “Kelly was always at the centre of everything and he was a hard man on the field, that’s for sure. One of the toughest players I’ve ever coached,” Louden told Georgina

Robinson of the SMH. “He had a ton of talent and he was a leader through his play on the field, but also just vibrant all of the time. My fondest memory of Kelly was every time he smiled, he lit the room up. 

“He was a smiling assassin, someone no one wanted to play against, and everyone wanted to play with.”

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Andrew Regan, who suffered a spinal injury playing for the Orange Emus in May, has a long road ahead and needs the Rugby community to rally around and kick the tin for his future needs.

Regan is now an incomplete quadriplegic and will need to put a lot of things in place so he can have anywhere near a normal life with his wife Jesse and young song Gus.

A Gofundme page has been set up and when Around The Traps checked on it earlier this week it was ticking over at $340,000.

Richard Tombs, the former Wallaby and GM at Hearts In Union who has been down this track, best summed it up when he said: “To all of you who dug deep for me please share a little bit for Andrew and his family. They have a long battle in front of them which can be made easier through relief of some financial burden. 

“Shout them a cup of coffee, a pizza, a night out, and overnight stay no Little is too small and no big is too big, all contributions will be appreciated.”

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My podcasting mate on ShuteCast Anthony Bergelin had a spring in his step last Saturday as he strode into the post game function after the Marlins had sneaked home against Eastwood in what was an absolutely throbbing encounter at Manly Oval.

Over in the corner was a glum looking Woods coach Ben Batger quietly sipping a beer and thinking about what could have been.

‘Bergo’ worked his way over to Batger and instead of offering condolences said: “Cheer up ‘Batg’ but I’ve got absolutely no sympathy for the Woods. You guys have made our life hell over the years.”

What Bergelin was referring to was the run of close games that the Woods had won over the Marlins in recent times, not the least being the 2015 Shute Shield grand final won with a field goal in the seconds before full time.

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While we are at the Village Green, it was a pretty tough week for the Marlins club with a vigorous dose of influenza running through the club. In all 52 players were affected with training having to be cancelled on the Thursday night before the game against Eastwood.

It even floored head coach Phil Blake who wasn’t able to get out of his sick bed until game day.

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Heartiest congratulations to Northern Suburbs classy playmaker Angus Sinclair who plays his 100th first grade game for the Shoremen against Gordon at Chatswood Oval.

‘Gus’ has been central to Norths recent success and it says something about his standing at the club that every one of the 100 games have been in first grade.

Norths coach Zak Beer believes that he will make an outstanding coach one day.

“He loves talking through ways of picking apart opposition teams and just is a special player and more importantly a special person,” Beer told Rugby News.

“His approach to diet and preparation are faultless and when he is on the field there is a calming influence that spreads right throughout the team.

“He’s been doing some work with a lot of our younger guys particularly Matt Ryan who is in his first year of Shute Shield and I don’t think it is overstating things by saying that his fingerprints will be on this group for some time.”

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Look to see Gordon flanker Tom Silk to make a comeback in the very near future.

Silk has been rehabbing a shoulder and a knee injury that he picked up playing in the NSW sevens program.

Both injuries happened in the same tackle but he’s back in the weights room and ready to cause his usual havoc.

He will certainly add to the Highalnders cause as the season hots up

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One of the great local derbies has always been the game between Eastern Suburbs and Sydney Uni. There is always the whiff of an upset in the air and socially it’s one of those game you just have to be seen at.

The Beasties are running a Winter Wonderland theme and there will be prizes for the “best” Christmas jumper with numerous vouchers on offer.

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Pretty handy first grade debut for the 18-year-old lock Clem Halaholo for Sydney Uni last weekend against Norths. He’s 110kg and looks like he’ll fill out nicely.