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ACTJRU U18 & ACT Schools XV 2013

Discussion in 'Schoolboy Rugby' started by Meeks, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. Meeks Bob McCowan (2)

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    Hi all
    Just wanted to say after reading ‘Angry dogs’ rants on these two threads.
    http://www.greenandgoldrugby.com/community/threads/act-stand-alone-asc.11550/
    http://www.greenandgoldrugby.com/community/threads/actjru-u18-2012.10216/page-6

    Vikings Juniors are pleased to announce today the launch of the new under 18s program in 2013-. The teams have been rebranded Vikings 1st XV & 2nd XV and possibly a 3rd XV.

    The new structure has been created to provide a professional pathway for the players to progress into the senior ranks as well as being the pinnacle of Vikings Juniors and something that all junior players will aspire to play in.

    A new coaching team of experienced senior coaches has been put in place and we are excited about the new under 18s rugby program which will have the full backing and support of the Vikings Seniors.

    This new venture has been designed to provide the best under 18s club program in the Canberra Region, with an extensive resource base and "new" training facility to provide players every opportunity to further their rugby careers.

    At the end of the 2013 season, we will nominate players to be in the V-Rugby academy. V-Rugby involves a select group of 20 up and coming players who are aged between 17 and 23 years old. The main aim of the Academy is to develop promising players through an elite training program, while also providing a pathway for local talent and contracted Vikings players.

    A Meet and greet day is booked in for December. 5 x Trials are booked in for March/April. The good news we are planning home games to be played under lights on Friday and Saturday nights.

    The Club is backing Erindale Colleges bid to be included in the Waratah Shield/Cup for 2013. ACT Rugby is putting in the request this month so we should know the result in the next few weeks. (unfortunately Mackillip don’t have a rugby program)

    So in short, we have a lot of hard work in front of us, but we are putting in a lot of effort to become regular competitive force in the next 2-3 years and create a pathway for boys who choose not to go to the privet schools.
  2. Empire Syd Malcolm (24)

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    Sounds good - Vikings could do a lot of good work in their own area by instigating such programmes.

    Long term aim of ACT Rugby should be to emulate this across each premier clubs 'area' (especially Queanbeyan and their two high schools)- ACT Rugby at all levels would only benefit from this.

    Hoping to hear another ACT team competes for the Waratah Shield soon.
  3. angrydog Jimmy Flynn (14)

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    Rants? More like statements of fact Meeks. Do you disagree with what I wrote? The fact is that club sides did regularly forfeit at the end of the year in 2012 to some of the school sides and that whether you are playing for a club or school it is annoying when your itching for a game and cant get one because the other mob dont turn up. Well done to Vikings new initiative anyway, I hope it works.
  4. ACTJRUGURU Bob McCowan (2)

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    Great to see Vikings taking this step to enhance the Canberra competition. After watching the U16 Div 1 Grand Final between Marist and St Edmunds (Marist undefeated all season until losing the Grand final to St Edmunds) I was truly impressed with the quality of rugby from both sides. With the Marist and St Edmunds u16s feeding into their 1st XV they will both dominate the Canberra competition in 2013. I would like to hear some of your predictions for the ACTJRU U18s competition for 2013?
  5. Meeks Bob McCowan (2)

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    Mate you were right on the money and I thank you for those statements because I used those remarks as a spur when I got involved. For too long clubs considered putting teams on the park as good enough. Unfortunately, there are senior clubs and we were definitely one of them, who relied solely on recruiting boys outside of their junior clubs to prop up their senior clubs.
    The rumour is Royals are not going to field 18s in 1st div next year, so it will be Vikings, Wests, and Uni Norths vs the School teams next year.
    The schools have set the standard and we have to rise to the challenge. Our first goal is to create a competitive program one that boys in Tuggeranong want to play for. We currently compete against 3 Rugby League clubs, (4 if you include Rams) 2 AFL clubs and a soccer club all fighting for a players attention.
    We are inspired by Grammar, I can remember there principle forfeiting and refusing to play St Eddies and Marist sighting safety, a few changes now they are strong program which is starting to produce Australian Reps.
    We still have positions in our a junior coaching ranks if you are wanting to get involved just let me know.
  6. angrydog Jimmy Flynn (14)

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    Thanks Meeks (wasnt sure it you were having a shot at me or not). I'm glad to here my comments weren't a waste of time and people like yourself have taken them for what they were meant to be and then used them to try and improve not only your own club but effectively the standard across the ACTJRU. This will only serve to benefit both those at either clubs or schools with increased profile and standards. I truly wish you guys all the best and no doubt, bearing in mind Tuggeranongs great success at senior level, that it will be a success. Here is hoping that the other clubs can try something similar and the standards will continue to improve. Sad to hear that about Royals, but in all honesty at least they are not going to kid themselves if they are not able to guarantee a team on the park every Saturday and the problems I have raised earlier will not continue.
  7. angrydog Jimmy Flynn (14)

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    I will stick my neck out and say Marist or St Edmunds. Marist have a few back from last years XV which had a reasonable year. They will be looking to improve after early season promise which fell away at the end. Not sure about how many Eddies or Grammar have back? Vikings will probably put together a good side and may genuinely threaten. The others..I am not sure of.
  8. angrydog Jimmy Flynn (14)

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    Is anybody able to shed some light on Rugby at Daramalan? Once a real powerhouse which regularly beat Eddies and Marist etc, I have noticed they seem to have less teams than they once may have (i.e only one side in the 2012 u16's). Are they struggling a little, or is this not the case? Maybe another sport has greater emphasis now and therefore more boys registering for soccer etc?
  9. ACTJRUGURU Bob McCowan (2)

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    Marist only have 3 1st XV players returning in 2013, They will rely on their U16s to filter into the side (A very strong Side). St Edmunds have roughly 7 or 8 returning with a strong u16s age group coming through. Daramalan will be a solid team, definitely top 4. Grammar will be average at best, they will struggle for the next few years with there u16s not finishing top 4 this season (going down to Marist by 60 and St Edmunds by 30) and a lot of their 1st XV year 12s.
  10. No.8 Phil Hardcastle (33)

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    As an old junior vikings player, and also part of the old junior development squads - they have the facilities, money and a great rugby culture backing them - but the thing they miss at a more so u18/1st XV level is pride in who the players are playing for - I am also an old eddies boy - and the rugby enviroment is so much different there is a real pride to pull on that 1st XV jersey for the private schools, the players are mates, they are together everyday they form a bond over years of school together - and of course that translates onto the field - the missing link in vikings rugby is that 1st XV level - has there ever been a thought of the Vikings 1st XV simply being an Erindale team? I.e Vikings Erindale College 1st XV - if you want to play 1st XV for vikings you have to attend Erindale College and be part of the TSP + Vikings Rugby Development programs - Erindale is one of the greatest sporting schools in canberra and vikings is the best/biggest rugby club in Canberra - think if they combined - Erindale would be seen as the school to go to for rugby and Vikings for have a another great way of pumping out players - and this could start from a un13,14 level - they start the development, go to erindale and then work there way into Vikings 1st grade.

    This would give a fantastic opportunity for public school kids to not only play 1st class 1st xv and not get flogged 60,70,80 nill every week but also give them a real chance of making something from a sport they love.as the private school kids do tend to get the 1st look in.

    I love Vikings as a club, but as a junior playing for them and seeing how there 1st xv has gone over the years there is a missing link there that could be fixed..Vikings could be the best 1st xv team in Canberra.
  11. No.8 Phil Hardcastle (33)

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    Also it would stop a number of kids going to grammer, eddies, marist just so they can maybe make something of rugby - I know a number of kids who went to these schools due to the rugby.and they were vikings juniors and went onto play 1st xv for these schools and now play 1st grade/super rugby.
  12. angrydog Jimmy Flynn (14)

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    Are you able to name any of those people? Did they 'go' to those schools to play rugby, or did one of those schools (who wears a white and blue jmuper) 'ask' those guys to go there to play rugby in a certain period say between 1996 - 2007 and possibly discount their fees a little?

    As a Marist old boy I can say confidently that most kids who go to Marist are sent there by their parents because (1) its catholic and they are usually catholics, (2) the education benefits they percieve exist there and (3) the sports on offer a plentiful and marist generally do pretty well at most of them.
  13. angrydog Jimmy Flynn (14)

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    I d
    P.S I do agree with your thoughts on Erindale however and it would be a good way to do things by having kids from there in the 1st XV. What about kids like Andrew ROBINSON however whose parents preferred a catholic education but opted for the one in Tuggeranong as opposed to Marist or Eds, what would have happened to kids like that?
  14. No.8 Phil Hardcastle (33)

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    Hey mate I wont really go into that as I dont know for a fact about what went on but of course in the junior ranks there was always talk across the teams about different players and how they got to playing for different teams - if any of these rumours/chit chat was ever true - I dont 100% know nor would I ever want to say anything if I didnt 100% know.

    But I think for alot of guys playing from a junior level un10's,11's up you knew that Marist, Grammar and eddies were the teams to play for if you really wanted to play great rugby - I knew from prob u11's that I wanted to go to either grammar or eddies to play rugby and so did a number of other guys I knew - it was just how it was.not sure if its the same now?
  15. No.8 Phil Hardcastle (33)

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    As harsh as it would sound they would have to play for Erindale or go to another school club.would eddies allow a great player to play for them if he didnt attend the school? And to be honest going over my above comment if the kid really wants to make something of himself in rugby then normally he will tell his parents where he is going to attend college - nearly everyone I knew told there parents where they would like to go to college.
  16. angrydog Jimmy Flynn (14)

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    Yeah, whilst I can see some merit in the case for Erindale having a 1st XV etc I am not totally convinced. Firstly, I dont like the idea of possibly weakening Vikings bY having their best players attend Erindale and the rest fielding a team where the thrashings will just continue. A side affect of this would be that kids like ROBINSON would be at some disadvantage if their parents were not willing to send them to Erindale. I dont really think many parents let their kids tell them where they are going to high school. If I am going to pay say $5-7000 a year to send my kid to Marist or even more in the case of Grammar then my kids wont be making the decision to go there just so they can play good footy.

    Secondly, and following on from the end of my first point, I dont think any school should be seen to provide any sport which is a sole reason or attraction for a kid attending there. Schools are for education primarily and sport should only be co-curricular. If there is a stronger emphasis on say Rugby over other sports well that is the schools perogative, but ideally education should come first. I know that over the last 20 years any emphasis on Rugby at Marist has virtually dissapeared to the point that it is actually supirisng that they are as competitive as they are. Soccer has more kids play it at Marist than Rugby and in real term sports such as Aussie Rules, Soccer and Basketball have been more successful in their results than Rugby. Add to that that the Cross Country, Athletics and Swimming progames there have also had far more succes than Rugby then you will realise that Rugby os merely another sport on offer at the school. It is merely the large numbers and dedicated support from parents which has seen Rugby maintain some credible level of profile at the school. The public perception outside the school is that rugby is a major part of the schools profile but the reality is very different and this image is more an ongoing side affect of the schools 'golden age' in the late 80's - mid 90's.

    Thirdly, the risk of having a school where talent is so heavilly concentrated to a sport, e.g Rugby will run the risk of weakening the strentgh of rugby in the ACT overall at that level. You only need to look at the GPS in Sydney which is going through a period where some of it's schools are falling off the face of the rugby world because they do not and will offer scholarships to kids to play sports. Meanwhile other schools are doing so and then dominating the other schools which is now seeing those weaker schools leave the 1st XV comp altogether. Whilst I know you are not suggresting a scholarship situation at Erindale I think that a rugby programme targeting talented kids could possibly see a similar problem emerge.

    I think the best solution is that the clubs work hard on developing a culture and development of players in line with what meeks has spoken of which is planned at Vikings. This seems a viable and workable system which should raise the levels of competiton of those clubs against the schools.
  17. FTS Billy Sheehan (19)

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    It was a Vikings vs Wests 1stXV grand final in 2010 lets not forget with Vikings winning. The Vikings side was red hot in 2011 as well but had terrible luck with injuries and crashed out in Semis. Many of the boys in these teams were the basis of the Vikings undefeated Colts team in 2012.

    I think that Vikings are going to start putting more emphasis on the 1st XV team, by trying to bridge the gap between between junior and senior footy and maybe start incorporating u18s training with Colts at times, and maybe having some 1st XV games before first grade etc.

    As for making it compulsory to attend Erindale to play for Vikings 1st XV the negatives out weigh the positives IMO. Many of the boys do attend Erindale, but many also attend Mackillop, some even Trinity and other surrounding public schools. It would weaken the Vikings 1st XV because there are plenty of handy players outside of Erindale obviously in the last few years Australian Schoolboys Clint Dale and Andrew Robinson (Mackillop).
  18. ACTJRUGURU Bob McCowan (2)

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    Any Team predictions for any of the 1st XV sides for this season?
  19. angrydog Jimmy Flynn (14)

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    Do you have any predictions yourself Guru? Also, has anybody heard how Erindale got on with their application to play in the Waratah Shield for 2013? Lastly, if your out there Meeks or anyone else who may know, how are Vikings coming along with their initiatives that have been discussed earlier in this thread re 1stXV structure for 2013?
  20. Meeks Bob McCowan (2)

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    Mate we have been making some big strides but we are still a long way away from where we need to be. We kicked off this week and had good turnout a bit of an update:
    · The U18s teams have been rebranded to 1st XV and 2nd XV
    · The season is planned out and starting to lock in our trials
    · We have brought in 5 coaches and a S&C coach across 2 teams and provided the players with an onsite gym, and a classroom where we will do some video review work.
    · We are using Ipads to give players instant feedback.
    · We have started an Elite player training program that will start in March to Oct to backend the Brumbies training Centre when that finishes for promising Tuggeranong players, which will be open for School and Club players 15-17yrs of age who have a bright future.
    · The boys will start there weights program next week.
    · We are working more closely with Erindale college TSP program to balance the players’ workload and ensure we are talking the same language.
    · We are moving our 2XV into 2nd division to improve our depth rather than playing them in 3rd Div.
    · All home games will be played under lights on Friday night or after 1st grade on the Saturday at Viking Park No.1 ground
    · The 1st xv will have a jersey that stands them apart from senior and junior club
    · The 1st xv will have a jumper presentation ceremony.

    We have a lot of hard work in front of us to bridge the gap, but what I can tell you is players have been looking for something like this; we have players travelling from Gungahlin, Cooma, & Queanbeyan to be a part of this program.
    However, it is not all roses, The rep 18s, 17s and BTC squads train the same nights. We have also missed out on a few recruits as local league clubs pay their players but only if they concentrate on league and raiders convince no.30 on their roster that they are still in their plans even though they missed the 25-player cut-off for SG Ball/Harold Matthews. We have other clubs trying to pick off our 14-15 year olds by promising to pay their rep fees. It is hard to compete when you don’t have runs on the board. But when we establish the program, produce two competitive sides, the development programs are in place and the boys are enjoying their rugby, then we will have more to offer.
    This year is all about establishing a competitive and consitant force in 1st, 2nd, 3rd Xv's for the next 5 years.

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