The two Northern Suburbs “battlers” proving what lower grade rugby is all about

By Matt Findlay

Why do you do it to yourself?

That’s a question lower grade rugby players field constantly, particularly as they show up to work of a Monday battered and bruised or - if it’s serious - sporting moon boots or hobbling around on crutches.

Ahead of his 100th appearance for his beloved Shoremen, a milestone he’ll share with best mate Oscar Doughty, Northern Suburbs stalwart Tommy Evans will happily admit it’s a pretty fair question. It has a simple answer though.

“You do it because you love it,” he said.

“You often hear it - ‘you’re only playing fourths, why do you bother? - but it’s not just about the rugby. It’s about your club, your mates, the supporters, the people you meet. It all comes back to that community.

“I get it though, if you’ve not been a part of that team sport culture or that kind of community then, sure, it’d be tough to justify. But it’s pretty special when you’re a part of it, and you have that support.

“On the field, well, you could be going through the best of times or the worst of times and for those few hours a week it melts away, it makes everything a bit simpler.”

Evans and Doughty have been a part of that culture at Norths for more than a decade, they’ve seen the Shoremen’s different eras too. From when they struggled through to their recent successes.

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