Around the Traps

We’re into the third round of the Shute Shield competition and the phone has been ringing hot with all the news and views from the greatest club competition in Australia. Here’s what we are hearing:

SUCH DEVASTATING news to hear of the passing of Manly Marlins great TUI MALIFA earlier this week.

Tui came to Manly from Hornsby at the start of the 1982 season and had a telling effect on a generation of players (and props) at the club.

Business on the field and great, great company off the field once time had been called.

Lots of tributes on social media with tales of the Samoan Open that was played with his mates at Warringah Golf Club and thanks from the likes of DAMIEN CUMMINS who wrote: “Thanks for showing (me) some ‘dark arts’ when I was just starting out. It was a great introduction to grade football.”

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I ALWAYS THOUGHT that the Hunter Wildfires and their head coach SCOTT ‘BUBBA’ COLEMAN would come up with something out of the box when they played their first home game of this year’s Shute Shield.

Well they didn’t disappoint not only on the field for the first 60 or so minutes but in that all important “third half”.

Once full time had been called at the wonderfully boutique Newcastle No.2 Sportsground in the game against Eastwood out came the Wildfires off-field team with a couple of Eskys with cold beer on ice.

Each of the first grade squad grabbed a couple of beers and sought out his opposite and had a beer with them – great stuff and very reminiscent of days past when fluid replacement post game had a different feel about it.

From there four players from each team was nominated to participate in a boat race – all the time while respecting social distancing in these times.

And I can report that the Wildfires won – bring on the boys from Sydney Uni!

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MATT DAMON got the role of FRANCOIS PIENAAR in the movie INVICTUS (directed by CLINT EASTWOOD) about NELSON MANDELA and the 1995 Rugby World Cup and the next big thing may well be within our ranks.

Mitchell Casting are looking for male rugby players between the age of 18 and 28 years to throw their hat in the ring for some filming opportunities in October and again in February of 2021.

You’ve got to have the height and build of a professional rugby player – haven’t we all? – and be available for those times. No acting experience is necessary.

Just email a photo along with a short blurb about your height, athletic experience and current location. The email address is [email protected]

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RANDWICK FAREWELLED the legendary JEFF SAYLE last year and this week they said goodbye to another part of the fabric of their club with the funeral of TERRY ‘CHANGA’ MCMAHON.

‘Changa’ was one of those blokes that played at Coogee Oval and then went on to perform a number of off-field roles.

Covid-19 meant that the numbers on hand weren’t what they normally would be but many tuned into a live stream of the ceremony.

The McMahon connection at the club continues with his only son Nathan, who is heavily into the women’s sevens programs around the country, the attack coach at the Galloping Greens’ colts.

Good luck to all.



GOOD TO SEE some of the wider Waratahs squad coming back into the Shute Shield with the Tahs releasing five this week for the rest of the season.

JOE COTTON (Southern Districts), CARLO TIZZANO (West Harbour), HENRY ROBERTSON (Sydney Uni), TRISTON REILLY (Randwick)
and ANGUS BELL (Sydney Uni and from the Australian Sevens program) will all be available from this week.

It’s a common sense move that was summarised perfectly by NSW Rugby GM of Rugby, TIM RAPP: “These lads can train until the cows come home, but if we want to see them improve as footballers they need to be playing week-to-week against men.”

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YOU DON’T NORMALLY notice the guy that referees the reserve grade game but the bloke who had the whistle at Bon Andrews Oval last Saturday was one of those you just couldn’t miss.

Former Brumbies and Shute Shield regular DYLAN SIGG looked like he knew what was going on and then completed his afternoon by running the line in the first grade game between Northern Suburbs and Penrith.

Sigg, who played Aussie Schools from Waverley College in 2003, was hulking figure when he played at the Manly Marlins but he has stripped back a lot of that and referees’ coach PETER MARSHALL said he had ripped 15kg off since his splaying days.

There are high hopes for his progress through ranks of Sydney’s whistleblowers and from what I hear regular Shute Shield games aren’t that far away.



BIG DAY AT RAT PARK on Saturday with the first grade side in need of a win when they take on Eastern Suburbs, but the boys could well be upstaged by the girls with ELIA GREEN, CHLOE DALTON and SHARNI WILLIAMS all turning out for the Ratettes.

JON GEDDES, the Editor at Large of RATS TALES, reports that they are claiming all three as locals.

Dalton and Green are going back to where it all started after kicking off their distinguished careers at Warringah.

“Sharni lives in Newport and is a Rat by default now,” Morton told the well-informed Geddes. “And she has had a fair bit to do with the Newport juniors helping to coach down there. She is a Rats’ supporter and pumped to play.”



THE EMU BURGER at Nepean Rugby Park, the RAT PIE from the canteen underneath the grandstand at Pittwater Rugby Park and the REBEL BURGER at Forshaw Rugby Park.

That’s just three from the great variety of footy food that you can get around the Shute Shield and we are interested to know if the standards have be kept in these times of the pandemic.

Shoot us a line with a review once you’ve tasted the fruits of the grounds and as an old mate of mine said: “Good food is important in these trying times.”

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