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Discussion in 'Schoolboy Rugby' started by SonnyDillWilliams, Aug 20, 2018.

  1. Black & White Jim Clark (26)

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    . Hello Up the Guts

    Shore now pose the Greatest threat to New's record. New has great respect for Shore's 15 As since they were the 13As. By the way do you know the result of 15AS Shore's game against Joeys.
  2. ItsNotPink Sydney Middleton (9)

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    15A score today was Shore 14 Joeys 12
    Great game with a thrilling finish.
  3. Jim Belshaw Syd Malcolm (24)

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    i should write something properly on this, FF, because there are so many issues involved. I will do so elsewhere with just a note here. Forgive me if I seem to be teaching grandmother to suck eggs. I am using your comment to make some broader points.

    Nine schools play GPS rugby, six in the first and seconds, eight previously nine in the thirds. Eight schools are in Sydney, one in Armidale. To those from High or TAS or Grammar, GPS rugby is the thiirds. The existence of the thirds comp is the primary thing keeping one third of the GPS playing rugby

    The GPS is a multi-sport competition. Parents and their children ultimately dictate what sports are played and by how many. As rugby has become more a numbers game, as its become more professional and powerful, as injuries have risen, parents are moving kids to other games. At TAS, the hockey club now has 140 players from junior to adult, including parents and alumni. It is the biggest club in the New England hockey competition offering multiple pathways. A TAS player has just made the u16 state side. Soccer numbers are higher.

    At the TAS v Grammar game, Newington and Grammar were playing soccer on the next field. Parents from both schools were talking about the decline of rugby with some approval.

    We are dealing with both cyclical and structural trends. Four years ago on these forums, the view was that the imbalance in both the CAS and GPS competitions had become such that the competitions should be merged. This was a rugby centred view and was never going to happen. Then both competitions seemed to balance to some degree helped, i think, by the wider pre-seasons. Two years ago, Cranbrook was the sick man of the CAS. This year they may win.

    So on the cyclical side, what goes around comes around. Shore is weak in the firsts, but that may change. They did beat Scots in the thirds! However, there are the structural changes too.

    Both High and Grammar fought hard, bravely to my mind, to stay in the GPS Firsts. As school demographics changed, as the number of boys playing rugby dropped, it became impossible, I don't think Shore is in quite the same position, but if it has to drop back to the seconds then that should be allowed. This brings me to my last point.

    If rugby is to survive, let alone grow, we have to ensure that all kids who want to play can access games at their own level, forgetting our focus on the top and the association pecking orders. Even when i was at TAS, we struggled to some degree to get games. The position has become worse, in part because of the collapse of local school rugby. Last year TAS thirds had damn all games, making it hard to attract and retain boys. This year the thirds have had some games and have quite a good team even if TAS now has to recruit soccer and hockey players to build numbers for individual games!

    TAS is a rugby school. The parents and school invest. Each time TAS plays in Sydney it costs parents over $18,000 for the games plus the add-on costs. That can be hard to sustain even with support from the Sydney schools through things such as use of boat sheds.

    So is we are going to grow rugby, I think that we need to focus bottom up and ensure that every boy (and in the case of TAS every girl too) can get names. The top of the comp has its place, but its the total numbers that are important. I said that this was my last point, but I would add two things more.

    I think that the GPS comp is over-dependent on Joeys and its huge number of teams at all levels. That's what in some ways keeps rugby going to the benefit of all. We do need more teams.

    On the positive side, I think that the greater cooperation between CAS/ISA/GPs is playing a positive role in giving boys at all levels more opportunity to play. The top comps can and should remain separate,but the pre-seasons really are important.

    Sorry for the length of the sermon, FF, but I have been mulling all these things over!
  4. Jim Belshaw Syd Malcolm (24)

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    Thanks for this, INP. That makes sense. very helpful! :)
  5. Quick Hands David Wilson (68)

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    Shore was the hardest team for them to beat in the 13As. I'm sure the Shore v Newington 15As next term will be very competitive.
    Black & White likes this.
  6. Quick Hands David Wilson (68)

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    There is also the AFL invasion Jim. There's now 2 x open (Year 11 and 12) AFL teams and 1 x intermediate (Years 9 and 10) team at Newington. This has occurred in the space of 3 years, assisted by the fact that the Deputy Head came from Geelong Grammar and has an AFL background. 18 boys in each team plus reserves so a minimum of 60 boys not playing rugby.

    Rugby faces problems everywhere we turn.

    I think that the key differential between what's happening at Shore and what has previously occurred at Grammar and High is that Shore still have depth in their age groups.

    I'd add that when Grammar dropped out of the firsts competition, they were still strong enough to play seconds but for logistical reasons it was decided that 3rds was the best place for Grammar, TAS and High. It seems that this allowed the standard to drop to match where they were playing.
  7. Quick Hands David Wilson (68)

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    There's an I which I read as a J - one less J and one more I
  8. formerflanker Chilla Wilson (44)

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    Thanks for the deep thought Jim. I too have been mulling over the issues and a brief post from me obviously can't show the range of interlocking aspects of GPS rugby.
    Other replies have pointed to stronger age groups coming through Shore.
    That was always the way in the era before professional GPS rugby. Fluctuating fortunes were dependent on the luck of getting good age groups and all schools rode that wave.
    Hopefully it will work in Shore's favour soon, and perhaps the new headmaster will tinker with the player recruitment ban to supplement strong age groups.
    Having one school always losing to other GPS schools (and other recruitment-based schools) isn't good for the school, it's students and players, nor GPS rugby.
    The Honey Badger likes this.
  9. Joker Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    I lived in a share house in town and played rugby for Armidale Old Boys and Teachers College for a season.
  10. The Honey Badger Jim Lenehan (48)

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    ^^^ Would it be fair to say the current opens is a very weak cohort?

    (yet the seconds look like they gave Joeys a good game)

    This would be the same age group that pulled out of U15 A because they couldn't compete.
  11. sidesteppa Darby Loudon (17)

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    Scots take the lead with a long range try. Not the best footage, cant see the touchline either!
  12. Black & White Jim Clark (26)

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    Hello ItsNotPink

    Its good for GPS Rugby and the U/15 Competition that the competition is starting to become more competitive. Its also so good for Shore and their boys that they are enjoying success.
    ItsNotPink likes this.
  13. Onside Stan Wickham (3)

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    "who have been known to BE as a fellow scolar would say". I can't let that one go. The bathos is irresistible.
  14. Black & White Jim Clark (26)

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    Hello Joker

    Great stuff Joker, Robb College found Old Boys tough opponents when playing them. Sounds like we might have attended some games together, but from opposing sides.
    Joker likes this.
  15. wallabyinwaiting Bob McCowan (2)

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    can someone please explain to me what GPS blue and white are?
    are they supposed to be like equal 3rd and 4th XV teams? or is there something special you have to do to qualify for them (i.e. play in your schools 2nd or 3rd XV?).

    What do we think about the GPS lineup in the 1s? Are CAS going to go 3 in a row?
  16. Jim Belshaw Syd Malcolm (24)

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    I wasn't going to be drawn, but nostalgia proved irresistible. Arriving at UNE I expected to play rugby and started with Wright College seconds. Then I discovered girls and warm bars. Girls v frost settling on the Uni fields? I fear I dropped out!

    Joker, they have just been having 90 years celebrations for the establishment of the Teachers' College. I played one game for TC. I was a duty master at TAS and was coaching one of the third's teams. We were playing TC who were down players. I asked George Crossle who was in charge of rugby at TAS whether I could play with TC. He said yes and so I lined up against my own team. It was too much for the boys to resist and they sent the ball in my direction at kick off. I caught it - that wasn't guaranteed: I was a forward after all - and started running, putting the ball down under the posts. It was my last try.

    I was proud of that team. With so many thirds players, TAS was broken up into three equal teams. We got thrashed initially, but in our last match defeated a UNE under 18 side that included NSW and QLd GPS players. I learned more about rugby in six months coaching than I had in all the years of playing.
  17. Tim Wilson Frank Row (1)

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    Seems like a bit of a joke to me that they would put George Clark in the gps 3rds after he scored an amazing 3 tries against Scots
    thedutchoven, Corn and Big Papi like this.
  18. Wristman Bill Watson (15)

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    Good luck to all boys in the GPS teams.
    Those in the Second, Blue and White teams should take heart from their selection.
    Found last years programme.
    Fred Tricks from GPS 2 made it into NSW 1 and then the Australian Barbarians team from strong performances in trials.

    GPS: CAS Teams 2018.jpeg
  19. Wristman Bill Watson (15)

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    On paper GPS teams always look stronger but that means nothing on the day.
    Last few years the GPS boys have simply been outplayed by passionate CAS teams.
    CAS teams are drawn from a slightly smaller pool and are more used to playing together which helps.
    It will be close again this year but pre season match ups would (again) suggest we have an edge.
    wallabyinwaiting likes this.
  20. wallabyinwaiting Bob McCowan (2)

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    thanks Wristman. I really hope i can make it up to Knox on tuesday to watch - could be cracker. am interested to see the battle between the 2 backrows - breden and brial will certainly be a contest.
    Wristman likes this.

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