Rugby Union SA closes out the minor rounds

by Rugby Union SA

Rugby Union SA has successfully come to the end of their minor round season, and there has been much to celebrate within each club.

Adelaide University were proud to include South Australia’s first Gay and Inclusive team to the competition – the Adelaide Sharks. A true highlight really is the positive outlet the team provides for the LGBTIQ community. Most players were new to rugby, or indeed team sport, and have grown to love the game. Some were returns to rugby, moving away from the sport for a variety of reasons, but seeing a way to connect the two communities to which they belong. The last group are families, finding ways to connect bonds between siblings or parents and child, with the common activity of rugby.

Barossa suffered a devastating loss days before the season started, but the strength that lies within, showed the true character of this club. They held their second annual Kade McDonald Memorial Shield game which raises funds for those suffering from mental health issues. The event not only raised close to $4000 for the foundation, but importantly brought the Rams together to heal from the dual traumas suffered by the club in recent years. Off field, the club has secured Lyndoch Oval as their home for the next two years.

Brighton added a few more trophies to the cabinet this year, taking home the ANZAC Cup, Bob Burgess Cup, Tamaki Cup for Minor Round Premier Grade Premiers and the Uncle George Shield. Brighton also took home minor round premiers in U12 and U16 competitions. Off the field, the club celebrated their 70th year with the opening of their new clubrooms.

Burnside take the title of minor premiers in U18 and U14 age grades. In seniors, players Rebuen Nation celebrated 250 club games and Chris Walton celebrated 200 club games. Women’s player Kate Hinds survived an horrific motorcycle accident in the off season so playing rugby was off the table for her this year. Kate has still been a regular at training, working harder than most slotting into non-contact drills and backline plays wherever she could. She’s also been a handy assistant coach to our U12 side. We look forward to seeing Kate on the pitch in 2021. Off field, the Kensington Gardens Reserve will see an upgrade of the clubrooms, with a start date that is yet to be released.

Elizabeth struggled with playing numbers in the senior ranks with a large number of the registered defence players sent inter-state on COVID duties. The juniors were the shining light with the addition of U16 age-grade and Tia being the first female at the club to reach the 100 game milestone.

North Torrens were on the brink of giving the season away with only 3 players registered 3 days before the season started. A huge effort by a few loyal club members, the club managed to scrape together a stable group of guys that have bonded into a family. On field, the highlight for many was seeing a smaller lad, brand new to any sort of sport, develop to a stage where he was jumping near horizontal to contest a line out. The final game of the season was the first time the majority of players had heard the winning chant and were able to give the loyal dedicated spectators a chance to truely be proud of their club.

Old Collegians had upgrades made to the clubrooms for the majority of the season, with the Grand Opening in the last round of the season. The title of minor premiers was earnt in Reserves and Third grade. The club also saw the return of the Womens team  who were often short on numbers but by the end of the season, they were able to be competitive.

Onkaparinga Women took the out title of minor round premiers in just their third season in the competition, with some new faces to rugby and the club added into the mix. Players Daniel Taylor celebrated 300 games and Gonzo Oritz celebrated 200 games, all at Onkaparinga, and will help Onkas defend the Premiership in Third Grade.

Port Adelaide were thrilled to have so many women keen to play rugby – a first for the club in over 15 years. Some weeks, they had more women turn up than men. Tim Mattin celebrated a massive milestone with 500 senior club games. The season ended with a bang, hosting a home game against Southern Suburbs and holding the Port Pasifika 2020 event, which celebrated the cultures within the club.

Southern Suburbs have welcomed returning and new families into wider Souths Family. One of our best achievements this year would be our U7s, we went from having no team last year to being 12 strong. This team has embodied the spirit of rugby, playing for fun and drawing the biggest crowds. We have increase numbers of participation in U10s and U12s with many new players in these age groups. Continual improvement and development by the players has been evident in their game play and teamwork each week. Another succesful year of cross club collaboration with Port, saw our 14s become strong and competitive defeating Brighton in the remaining rounds. The U16s ended a difficult start to the season with injuries and being undermanned, with strategic wins and competitive games. This season they welcomed back their Third grade, bringing back the classic Souths Culture, whilst providing a platform for our younger seniors to develop and be mentored.

A first for Woodville, after years of hard work the club was able to put teams together and compete in each of the junior age-grades as well as a senior mens and womens team. Off field, the best highlight was the grand opening of the new clubrooms.

Referees Association have seen some new recruits added to the ranks and progressing their way through grades. Its been really impressive to see the next generation of Premier Grade Referees making their debut, including ex Scholarship referee, Adam Bethell. Amanda Sheeky has been a great addition this year and a much needed role model for other women to pick up the whistle. Off field, the Referees have upped the education and fitness sessions and have bonded well as a group.

Bring on the Finals Series!