Where are they now? – Warringah’s 2005 Shute Shield Premiership Winning Side
By Paul Cook
Note: This article was originally published in July 2016
After 11 years, Warringah are back playing in a Shute Shield grand final and for Sydney’s most northern Shute Shield club, it will be the biggest match since the Rats faced Sydney Uni at Rat Park in the 2005 decider.
On that day, more than 8,000 packed into Rat Park to see the home side upset the visitors 29-23 in a classic, lifting their one and only 1st grade trophy to date in the process. The only caveat to that achievement is that at the time, the Shute Shield wasn’t the premier club competition. That title belonged to the Tooheys New Cup, a second competition that started in 2002 and ran for five years, overtaking the Shield in importance in both 2005 and 2006.
Back then, the Shield ran for 11 rounds in tandem with Super Rugby, which mercifully only had 12 competing sides, was a lot less complicated, but ran for just three months. After that, the non-Wallaby professional players returned to their clubs en masse to compete for the TNC, which was eventually won by Sydney University, hence why they are listed as having won eight of the last eleven Premierships.
But none of this should take away from Warringah’s triumph on the day. Undefeated through the regular season, they trailed the Students early on before two tries from replacement Wycliff Palu got them back into contention. Tries from Tim Davidson – now Uni head coach – Peter Playford and Michael Griffin, helped the Students to a 23-21 lead with only minutes remaining. But a Josh Keil penalty edged the home side in front, before a late Peter Owens try sealed a memorable victory, broke the Rats 34-year title drought, and kick-started a pitch invasion from the Pittwater faithful.
Captaining the Rats that day was Cameron Treloar, a 6ft 7in lock from Cooma who went on to play for the Queensland Reds before heading to Europe and a lengthy professional sojourn in both Italy and then France. Despite scaling those heights, he still reflects on the win over Uni as a pretty special moment in his sporting life.
“It’s probably still the highlight of my rugby career,” he admitted to Rugby News. “Seeing the crowd pouring onto the field before the final whistle – the hill, the girl who flashed the entire crowd – it was just a great memory.”
We asked Cam to run the rule over his fellow Rats and what they’ve been up to since that groundbreaking triumph…
Dan Raymond: “Anyone who played with him would have picked him over any of the professional loose heads of the time. He was mobile and great in the scrum. Has gone on to start a successful career running his own architecture business.”
Luke Holmes: “Still going strong and will rip in against Uni on Saturday. After a great career at possibly all the Super Teams bar the Reds, he is now forging a career in fashion and is general manager of Warringah Rugby. Ask anyone down there, he has done great things for the club as a whole.”
AJ Whalley: “The biggest barrel chest in the business. After becoming a cult hero as a foundation member of the Western Force where he played for a number of years, he had a season in France at Dax. He then went into teaching and currently works and coaches at the House on the Hill, the Home of Rugby, St Josephs College.”
Cameron Treloar: “After a few years at the Reds in Super Rugby, I went over to play for Calvisano and Prato in the Super 10 in Italy and Bayonne and Bordeaux in the Top 14 in France. Played in the ARC for the Central Coast Rays and last played competitive rugby again for the North Harbour Rays last year. Now retired into the Emergency Services.”
*At 37, Cam Treloar will play from the bench for Warringah on Saturday.
Nifo Nifo: “Now known as Rome Tyler. Still plying his trade in the Pro D2 in France at Mont-de-Marsan, passing by Prato in Italy on the way. Still has the biggest smile in the business.”
John Carberry: “Carbs said one of the most inspirational passages before one of the games early in that season, I asked him to repeat it as the last thing we heard before we ran onto the field every game for the rest of the year. Was living back in the country last I heard. Left the next season to play for Manly – less said about that the better.”
Craig Thomas: “Went on to play a quite a few seasons of first grade with Gordon. Still living and working in Sydney in the building trade.”
Hugh Willoughby: “First try scorer of the day in the Shute Shield Final, leaving the great Warringah bookmaker JP Murphy heavily out of pocket as he ran a tote on the hill that day, with his great mate Hugh at very long odds for first try scorer. He’s still paying out the punters. Hugh now works in the business world, working with big companies such as Nestle and Microsoft.”
Brett Sheehan: “Known for his complete respect and courteous nature towards all referees, Brett went on to have, and continues to have, a successful professional career. Brett played many games with the Waratahs and then the Western Force and deservedly earned a few caps with the Wallabies. Hands down one of the best and most passionate players any of us have had the pleasure to play with. Brett is now playing in the star studded Narbonne side in the French Pro D2, vying for the title of oldest professional rugby player in the world. Let it go Brett.”
Josh Kiel: “Went on to play for Samoa and have a few more successful seasons at the Rats. Still lives and works on the Northern Beaches.”
Shane Laloata: “Shane O… where are you mate? Get in touch.”
Clint Eadie: “2005 was Clint’s break out year. After somehow getting overlooked for a professional contract here in Australia, has had many years playing overseas in France. I hate hearing people say Australia has no depth when a guy like Clint has played for almost 10 years professionally abroad. Playing alongside Brett Sheehan at Narbonne. Poor bloke.”
Haig Sare: “Haig went on to play quite a few years with the Western Force and Australia A. He came back to initially assist Sam Harris as the Rats coach, then became head coach for a couple of years. Has been living and working in Queensland since 2015. Hard as nails. Can surf a bit too, so he tells everyone.”
Pete Owens: “The winning try scorer. I’ll never forget Pete being buried by the sea of supporters and players after he clipped on the jet boots and raised a pointed finger in the air as we ran 80 metres to score. Pete is now based in Manly and making it big in business.”
Shane “Bubba” Warman: “Really was the rock that brought this backline together. Had deceptive speed for someone who looked like he was 80 years old. A great kicking game and made some absolute belting try saving tackles that season. Now married to an avid Manly Marlins fan, Shane is an events manager at Stadium Australia.”
Wycliff Palu: “Has been heard to say that while he played almost all his club rugby at Manly, his heart is green and white. No-one knows what happened to big Cliffy after that day when he made a very timely injection off the bench, scoring a try and setting up another. Apparently found a permanent place in some team called the Wallabies and hasn’t looked back.”
John Briggs: “Coached Gordon for a couple of years after his time with the Rats. Runs his own building/architect business.”
Lachie Fear: “Also coached Gordon, getting them to two semi-finals in 2008 and 2009. Now back at the Rats as Coaching Director and is Rugby Master at Sydney Grammar.”
Mark Holmes: “A former Warringah player, Mark was forwards coach that year and is still seen at Rat Park every other week watching sons Luke and Josh.”