SA Rugby Union 2014 Season Preview - Green and Gold Rugby
Rugby

SA Rugby Union 2014 Season Preview

SA Rugby Union 2014 Season Preview

It’s almost here rugby fans. Can you smell the deep heat? Can you hear the roar of the crowd?

 It’s been a long and boring summer by the standards of any Union enthusiast, but prepare yourself ladies and gentlemen, because Rugby is almost here.

 With kickoff for the 2014 season just around the corner, now seems like the perfect opportunity to take a look at the sport in a state traditionally dominated by other codes. Despite having neither the coverage nor the funding of football or cricket, Rugby Union has hitting hard in South Australia’s sporting culture since the creation of the league in 1932.

From the smallest of starts, an amateur competition of only two seven-a-side teams, the sport has grown greatly over the last 80 years. And 2014 is shaping up to be another big one.

With high quality senior teams, plenty of juniors action and a growing group of quality Women’s rugby players, Ruby Union has been able to carve out its niche as a fast paced, electrifying, hard hitting game capable of appealing to young and old alike.

With that said, its time to take a little look at the sport that we all love in a State where it has been continuously rucked and mauled, yet still powers on towards that try line.

Brighton Vs Old Colls in last year's Grand Final

Brighton Vs Old Colls in last year’s Grand Final

                                                                                                                                   

2013 Recap

We’ll start with a look at what happened during last season’s grand final, where there was a whole lot of fire, grit, blood and determination.

The match was closely contested the entire way, with the momentum shifting dramatically time and time again.  While Brighton ran out the eventual winner by a final score of 22 – 19 over a very resilient Old Collegians squad, the game was probably even closer than that.

So what the season culminated in was another dominant performance from the Brighton Rugby Club, although it needs to be said that the gap between them and the rest of the competition does seem to be closing.  With Old Collegians continuing to improve, and a number of underdogs persisting in upsetting the current order, it would be fair to say that this year’s title is anyone’s to win.

                                                                                                                                   

 SA U20s Junior Falcons Exceed all Expectations

Late February saw South Australia host the Southern States Championship at Thebarton Oval. Featuring some of the best young talent in all of Australia, the competition was fierce. While the expected NSW and QLD teams definitely came to win, they were met with some unexpected resistance all competition long.

The first day saw a triumphant effort from the SA Junior Falcons who were down 25 to 0 at half time and managed a thrilling comeback in the second half, which culminated in a last minute try and conversion to lead QLD Country 33 to 32 and secure their first win of the Championship.

Next up for the Adelaide Junior Falcons was New South Wales country on day three of the comp. Despite NSWC leading through the second half, SA was able to scramble in a brilliant effort in the last minutes of the game to secure their second victory of the Championship, 24 to 22.

Unfortunately for the Junior Falcons, the final game of the Championship showcased the sheer force of Australian Capital Territory, who achieved a comprehensive, pushing the SA side down to second place.

Nonetheless, for our young guns to compete so ferociously with what was touted as much tougher competition is a credit to Rugby in South Australia. If these lads can hold together throughout the coming years, the future of the sport in SA is bright indeed.

                                                                                                                                   

Stay tuned for an in-depth look at how each club is looking this year, including all the big names that have been attracted to playing in South Australia.

And remember, support your club, bring your friends ands family out and get excited about your Saturdays again.

  • RugbyStu

    Awesome, hope to see the SA Falcons in the NRC next year!

  • Patrick

    Thanks for the write-up!

  • Cal

    Is the Southern States team for the under 20 Nationals available anywhere?

    • Lee Grant

      Most of the team is listed in a Brumbies media release. There is a link to it at the bottom of this blog:

      http://www.greenandgoldrugby.com/interview-with-australian-under-20s-coach-adrian-thompson/

      However there are only 25 names on the list and there should be 28.

      There are no names from SA in the 25 which may seem odd because SA was awarded second place in the Southern States selection tournament.

      But it was not a round robin—it was a selection tournament in which each of the six teams played only three games each—and SA got their two wins against the two Country teams, but were thrashed by the ACT who nearly got a ton.

      The is a link to an article from the SARU on the Southern States tournament, in the blog mentioned above.

      Cheers
      LG
      .

  • Lee Grant

    Top article Conor.

    The Aussie Under 20 coach told me that the SARU put on a great show when they organised the Southern States tournament in Adelaide, and it exceeded his expectations about what it produced. .

    I saw the South Australia Junior Gold Cup teams play against the Sydney South Harbour teams in Sydney and was impressed by the visitors.

    The Under 17 SA side was very competitive and there wasn’t a lot in it. The Under 15s were tied up after the break but went down because they didn’t have the bench that the Sydney boys had.

    All they need is more numbers. It must be daunting to try to “increase market share” in an AFL city—but keep the flag flying Conor.

    Cheers

    LG
    .

  • Grievous

    Great to see an SA focus on here, I tried a few forum threads last few seasons but they faded.
    Many wouldn’t realise the SARU offices is under a stand in Memorial Drive, which has no tournaments anymore but which the premier tennis stadium in Adelaide. This sits bang next to the new Adelaide Oval, about 50,000 people are walking past this headquarter sign each week during the AFL season so some free exposure there, hope they can capitalize on it.
    However, they do need to settle on to a ground to play GFs/state games at. Is it Woodville, Bailey reserve, Thebarton or Victoria Pk? Sort it SARU.

More in Rugby