Good Cop, Bad Cop: How Hamish Angus pipped Josh Holmes for the 2019 Catchpole Medal

The on-field dynamic with the man with the whistle is an important part of winning any game and it has led Warringah skipper and flyhalf Hamish Angus to a record third Catchpole Medal victory. 

Warringah captain Hamish Angus reckons the “good cop, bad cop” effect helped him claim his third Ken Catchpole Medal earlier this month. .

Angus held off his great mate and partner in crime on the field, Josh Holmes, as he added to the medals he won in 2012 and 2014.

“Josh is probably the most passionate and in my mind close to the best player in the Shute Shield and he’s never backward in coming forward when the refs make a call that he doesn’t agree with,” Angus said earlier this week.

“That’s the signal for me to come over the top and smooth things over and get on with the game. It’s a formula that has worked very well for the Rats for the past couple of seasons.

“That process has probably put me in a good light with the refs.

“The medal win hasn’t really sunk in for me as we are still very much in season with the grand final against Sydney Uni looming this weekend.

“But it’s a great honour and nice to get for not only me but the team as a whole and at the end of the day that’s why you do these things.”

Former Eastwood and Wallabies backrower Scott Fava is the only previous three-time winner, collecting a hat-trick of gongs from 2002-04.

The Catchpole Medal – named in honour of the late and legendary Wallabies scrumhalf  Ken Catchpole – is voted on a 3-2-1 basis by referees after each Shute Shield game.

Angus added: “From a personal perspective to win this so long after the first one (in 2012) … to know that I’m still respected in the game at this level seven years apart, that’s probably the best thing about it.”

On a memorable night for the Rats, first-year coach and former Wallaby Mark Gerrard took out the Dave Brockhoff Medal for coach of the year.

Gerrard took over from premiership-winning coach Darren Coleman at the start of the year with a fresh playing roster and has guided the Rats to a third consecutive grand final appearance.

Big Eastwood breakaway Michael Icely won the Shute Shield rookie-of-the-year award, with Matt Kellehan taking home the Dick Byres Medal for referee-of-the-year.

Eastern Suburbs scrum half Jack Grant received the gong for the top try scorer in the Shute Shield crossing for 14 during the regular season.


1. Hamish Angus (Warringah) 14

2. Josh Holmes (Warringah) 13

3. Dion Spice (West Harbour) 12

4. Mack Mason (Eastern Suburbs) 11

Kotoni Ale (Manly) 11

Connor Vest (Northern Suburbs) 11

5. Hugh Sinclair (Northern Suburbs) 10

6. Enoka Muliufi (Eastwood) 9

Mitchell Short (Randwick) 9

Rob Lagudi (Eastwood) 9

7. Sam Ward (Warringah) 8

Jake Douglas (Southern Districts) 8

Christian Kagiassis (Southern Districts) 8

2019 Ken Catchpole Awards Evening winners:

Ken Catchpole Medal: Hamish Angus (Warringah)

David Brockhoff Medal (Coach of the Year): Mark Gerrard (Warringah)

Dick Byres Medal (Ref of the Year): Matt Kellahan

2019 Rookie of the Year: Michael Icely (Eastwood)

Roscoe Fay Trophy (Highest Points scorer): James Kane (Uni) and Sean Kearns (Gordon)

Sir Roden Cutler Shield: Warringah

ES Marks Shield Shute Shield Minor Premiers: Sydney University

Gregor George Trophy for Club Champions: Sydney University

Eric Spilsted Shield for Colts Club Championship: Gordon

Most Tries: Jack Grant (Easts)

This article originally appeared in the Rugby News Shute Shield Grand Final Program.