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NSW AAGPS Rugby 2009

Discussion in 'Schoolboy Rugby' started by Lee Grant, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. Lee Grant John Eales (66)

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    I see that Sydney Boys High have pulled out of the GPS comp because of safety reasons. They don't have the cattle to play at the top level and safety is being compromised.

    It the article pasted below they mention that only 32 senior boys had signed up for rugby compared to 79 for soccer.

    It's a sad day, but the safety of the boys has to come first. High is a selective school and was never going to be a hotbed of masculine sport, but old boys such as Wallabies John Thornett, Chris Whitaker, leaguie Craig Wing, and coaches Dwyer and Gaffney must have deplored the situation that their old school, just a few punts from the Sydney Football Stadium, is dropping out of the GPS comp.

    The demise of High has been mooted for some time. I remember even in Matt Burke's day at Joeys, High being smashed at Hunters Hill by 70 odd and last year a below average Joeys team beat them 112-0.

    That leaves only 7 teams in the GPS. It would be great if a school like Westfields (who won the so-called World School Rugby Championship last year in Japan), or St. Edmunds College from Canberra, could make up the numbers to avoid the bye.



    Worst XV: Sydney Boys drop the ball after 100 years of rugby


    Jonathan Dart | February 25, 2009

    SYDNEY Boys High School's chocolate and blue rugby jersey will be no more when the Greater Public Schools First XV competition kicks off this year.

    Citing safety, the school has pulled its teams out of top-level competition for the first time in 103 years. Instead it will combine its teams with those of Sydney Grammar, competing in the Second XV and B-grade fixtures. Grammar will continue to play in First XV and A-grade fixtures.

    For three years, Sydney Boys High has had disappointing rugby results, because of mismatches in size and ability with those of opponents. The Greater Public Schools rugby convener Mark Ticehurst confirmed that the one-sided results had added to the risk of injury to Sydney Boys High players.

    In 2007 the school lost all seven of its matches, conceding 633 points and scoring only eight points. Last year it contested only one game, which it lost to St Joseph's 112-0, before forfeiting its remaining six games. Mr Ticehurst said: "It was the safety issue that saw Sydney High withdrawing. It's an opportunity to develop their rugby, and although they will still be in a very tough competition, the pressure is off them to perform at the First XV level."

    Sydney Boys High is the only public school in the GPS and selects its students on an academic basis. It has traditionally been competitive in rugby, but its students have recently shifted to sports such as soccer.

    Last year the school had only 32 players registered in its senior rugby ranks, compared with 79 who signed up for soccer.

    Nic Lochner, who played rugby for the school last year, said it should try to maintain its tradition of playing rugby in the GPS, one of the oldest and most prestigious schoolboy competitions in the world.

    "The boys trained and put in their best. No one was afraid to go out there every week and take on the other schools."

    However, schoolboy blogs showed little sympathy, giving an insight into the potential threats facing Sydney Boys High players. "Robbie Deans could be your head coach and the slaughter still wouldn't stop," said one on the website sportal.com.au.

    A spokesman for Sydney Boys High did not respond to Herald inquiries yesterday.
  2. rugbywhisperer Banned

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    That is a shame.
    For years High was the scourge of the GPS as they are in Brisbane and their absense marks not only a sad day for schools rugby but must sound a warning note the rugby administration.
    Then again, as it is a selective school, why not 'select' rugby players or is the school ambivalent regarding in which sports they compete?
  3. Lindommer Steve Williams (59)

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    The pressure from parents of Chinese, Indian, Sri Lankan and Vietnamese background to get their children into selective schools is enormous. Just the last few months a Chinese parent has been charged with bribing a teacher in an attempt to get his son into an Opportunity Class in primary school BEFORE he was to sit the selective school exam. Sydney Boys' High School has an extremely large proportion of boys with these ethnic backgrounds and they have little or no interest in rugby or rowing. They do espouse an interest in soccer and cricket but they're only marginally better at those sports.

    It's a terrible shame to see High give up on rugby. They have a proud and enviable record to look back on having produced eminent players such as John Thornett, Phil Smith and John Brass. During the last 15 years Craig Wing, Duncan MacRae, Marc Stcherbina and Chris Whitaker have worn the sky blue and chocolate with great success. A mate of mine suggested High be allowed to run players on from other Sydney high schools, a meritorious suggestion which I imagine would be howled down by the junior district clubs. I can understand why High have made this decision as it can't have been any fun for the boys to get flogged week in, week out. And their First XV playing against other schools' Second XVs isn't going to be much easier. There's no simple answer.

    PS. High are combining with Grammar in the new rugby fixtures; this should be interesting as they hate each other's guts!
  4. rugbywhisperer Banned

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    I was talking to Brassey a week or so ago and he is very dissapointed in this.
    Up in Brissy the mainattendees at BSHS are aussies and islanders and so rugby is very very strong. They are very competitive and hard and I believe they have actually won more GPS premierships that anyother school. May be wrong but I think its a correct statement. Certainly no apologies if I am wrong.
  5. The Chosen Fred Wood (13)

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    2009 CAS/GPS

    Despite efforts for a number of years in combining the Sydney GPS & CAS competitions, via a joint 2 tier comp, CAS has adopted a 2 round home and away competition this year. Unfortunately this will mean many of the former trial games involving individual GPS vs CAS Schools will not happen. I guess the GPS Schools will look to the ISA Schools for pre-season trials.
  6. barbarian Nick Farr-Jones (63)

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    Re: 2009 CAS/GPS

    Yeah the GPS aren't too happy about that decision. They will probably just play eachother more, with a bit more involvement from the ISA schools hopefully. Would be great to see Westfield in there somewhere as well, but I doubt it will happen. They have too few junior teams to warrant a full fixture, so it is way easier to stick with the larger rugby private schools.
  7. sphill

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    Evening all.
    I have decided to pop by more often this year after I was invited in 2008 to escape the punches at sportal
    I changed my user name (sphill) to my name to escape the vileness of the chatter there.
    This year I am now involved deeply within a gps school and I am even coaching one the top teams.
    I have learned much already from my new colleagues about the inside of the GPS machine. I was a selector but I did work at a CCC school and hence was a unbiased part of the selection community. I look forward to contributing more and engaging in more mature dialogue rather than the kiddie filth at sportal.

    Rugby on
  8. RugbyReg George Smith (75)

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    welcome mate. please take a leading role in talking the schools rugby. We need to ramp it up a little.
  9. rugbywhisperer Banned

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    Welcome friend.
    if you are a fan of the Sydney brand of GPS I welcome your dialogue. We could have some good banter her and yes, the punches at Sportal van get a bit nullifying.
    here's to a good forum.
  10. sphill

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    I was speaking this past week with fellow coaches at NC, SIC and SGS who have all seen a massive ramping up of programs in preparation for the seasons ahead. With the CAS school going to a for/against comp this year it leaves the AAGPS schools with little opposition to trial against.
    In town this past week have been a number of NZ teams who are providing this necessary and welcome trial experience.
  11. Gagger Nick Farr-Jones (63)

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    I like that signature :thumb
  12. Lee Grant John Eales (66)

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    Agreed - sphill was an island of sanity in the Sportal Asylum Ocean.
  13. Lindommer Steve Williams (59)

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    That's not surprising considering the age of posters on sportal: anyone over 21 isn't welcome, as sphill wasn't. I'm surprised anyone of any maturity would want to post on sportal.
  14. rugbywhisperer Banned

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  15. Lee Grant John Eales (66)

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    I liked Sportal only because of the rare gem of schools rugby information one got every now and then.

    Time to re-visit.
  16. sphill

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    I still pop by as it is indeed some inside information.
    The baiting has slowed as most have gone away but some still have a go.
    Now I work at a AAGPS school I have found a wealth of information that I am going to share.
  17. Lee Grant John Eales (66)

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    Let the sharing begin.


    PS The lads at a certain well known rugby school at Hunters Hill struggled last year but probably played above their weight, as they didn't have a lot of top players, judging from rep selections.

    What's your mail on how they will go his year?
  18. sphill

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    The word I have from the "Hill is that they have a decent squad returning from 2008. Injuries did decimate them last year and they punched above their weight. This year the focus will be more about discipline as last years team were a horror bunch.

    Boyd rarely struggles with this aspect but in 2008 he was pushed very hard by a bad bunch. This being said, Ticehurst has stated they will look for a younger team to develop and not go through the hell again. If they lose games.fine, but they will be stronger for it in 2010. This mentality will hopefully pull a few inflated egos back into line.

    An old boy and rather tough forward specialist coach is once again being brought in to fine tune line outs and the scrums. Boyd has worked him in the past and does value his insights. He was not used last year and it showed. (he was too busy battling the kids at sportal and working with at another school)
  19. Gagger Nick Farr-Jones (63)

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    Problems with discipline? Sounds like they need Archie Ironballs
  20. sphill

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    Good old Archie! He belted the crap out of me many times. Deserved it.
    Tony and Jeremy have a tough job ahead again this season. Word has it two new students from overseas may be the dark horses of the team. Scotts have a new gun half this year and SGS have actually made a good start to pre-season.

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