Over 2 Saturdays in April, new players got a chance to practice their skills at gala days at the new Central Coast Regional and Recreation Sporting Complex in Tuggerah. Then Round 1 games began on 27th April.
Woy Woy Lions have 172 registered players in 14 teams in the ages U6s to U17s.
With Round.1 of the competition only days away, the Woy Woy Lions are finalising their team list for the local clash vs Gosford Devil's at Gosford Showground.
All senior grades are showing a great combination of new blood and old boys putting a strong mix across all grades.
Gosford have recruited well in the off season and with the return of former grade coach Adam Beavis the Devil's will be looking at getting a strong start to the 2019 season after a slow 2018.
Photo by: Nick Friend Tom Stewart makes a run off the back of the scrum vs Newport
The Woy Woy Lions will be looking to go one step further in 2019 after missing out on Grand final and bundled out of the finals.
New Head Coach Luke Ingold is navigating his way through his first season at the top level, but has the playing group preforming well throughout the trial games and an impressive showing at the Cowra 10's tournament.
"It's crucial we start the season well and get a jump on the opposition side trying to settle into new structures. We have a relatively unchanged line up, with a few new faces but we will be hitting the ground running"
Second Grade Coach John Stokie has done a great job recruiting ex- junior players to come back to the club and bolster the ranks in 2019.
Photo by: Nick Friend 1st Grade Capain Kane Burns flying high in the line-out vs Newport
Kick Off Times
Premier 1 - 3pm
Premier 2 - 1:40pm
President's Cup - 12:30pm
Cowra's tens is Australia's longest running tens tournament with twenty sides taking part.
This year 2 teams from the Lion (aka Gargoyles) laced on the boots, representing both Senior Men's and Women's teams.
Cowra turned on the weather and the ground was in picture perfect conditions for high quality, fast rugby.
Both Men's and Women's teams performed well in the early pool games and making it through to the quater finals for the cup.
The women's team played above and beyond with only 9 players avaliable for the tournament. True lions spirit and heart saw them winning the cup final. All the girls were clinical in defence chopping down the much bigger pack, winning over the strong favourites from Wollongong University.
Ebony Milgate was awarded Best Female player of the tournmanent, she was hard to handle with the ball in hand and strong across the park.
The Men's team also showed the pre-season training efforts are paying off, with a solid defensive structure throughout the tournamnet and frustrating opposition teams into making mistakes then capitalising.
Making it to the semi-final but beated by a strong opposition who went on to win the tournament.
Thanks to the supporters who travelled to watch, run water and make the running of the day an enjoyable experience for all attending.
2 x trial games coming up the playing group are excited to get back to the 15 a side game and give the Central Coast Rugby Competition a real shake in 2019!
UP THE LIONS!
With the 2019 season coming up fast, the Woy Woy Lions Seniors Squad are lacing up the training shoes and putting in the hard yards to take the next step in 2019.
After narrowly missing a grand final berth in 2019 the playing group are turning up in numbers hungry for the challenge ahead.
Ben Bula (Ast Coach) said "it's great to see a good mix of new players and the old boys putting in and pushing each other along.
It's great as the competition for spots in the senior grades this year will be tough, this always brings out the best in the playing group."
The Woy Woy Lions are meeting Mondays and Wednesday @ 6:20pm at Brisbane Water High Campus.
If you like to join the WWRC this season contact:
Up the Lions in 2019!
Vice President Report - Senior Rugby
The 2018 season has been one with some great on field results including:
1’st - making the Final & finishing 3rd...
Women’s Team - making the Grand Final & finishing 2nd. The Under 19’s making the Grand Final & finishing 2nd. Sensational effort by all Senior Coaches, Managers, First Aid, STRAPPERS & players. Great work also by our Senior Players who took control of Home Game Setup, Running of the Day & Pack up. Still a work in progress, but a great step forward.
There has also been numerous Junior Teams which have made the finals, which is an awesome achievement...We have had a good year with some pleasing results on the field, which has been due to some hard work from Coaches, Managers & Players alike.
A huge thanks to all the dedicated Club Executives & Committee who put in the hard work behind the scenes, special mention to Russell Ridgeway for all his help with Registration of players + numerous other duty’s.
Moving Forward - the biggest hurdle to continued success is getting Player Numbers to Training across all Senior Grades & ensuring we are constantly topping up our Senior Ranks with our Juniors...The tireless work by our Junior Committee - Gary, Kathleen & their dedicated helpers are a credit to our Club, which too often goes unnoticed.
To finish on a positive note, I wish Benny Bula & his assistant Luke Ingold the best of luck for the ‘Head Coaching positions for the WWRU 2019 season’ - the club will only prosper under their leadership.
Regards John Stokie
Vice President Report - Juniors
As I wander around the grounds on a Friday night and Saturday mornings I feel an enthusiastic sense of pride in the culture and values that we have developed as a club. We value and celebrate the talents, the efforts and difference of not only our players but also the families associated with them.
2018 saw almost 180 junior players take the field across all age groups from 6-year old’s through to 17-year old’s. This included 2 under 7’s team’s and teams in under 8’s, 9’s, 10’s, 11’s, 12’s, 13’s, 14/15’s, 16’s and our first Girls under 15’s team. We should all be very proud of this achievement.
Friday night Rugby was trialled this year for the Boys U16’s U17’s and the Girls U15’s & U17’s with mixed results and feedback about this format. Friday night Rugby will be re-assessed during the off-season by CCJRU. With limited grounds having approved lighting it was a tough year for many families on a Friday night travelling to Warnervale, Ourimbah and JBO (Bateau Bay) more often than not. A special thanks to those parents who car pooled to get the kids to the games on time and braved some very chilly evenings on the side line to support them.
We are recognised as one of the top 3 strongest Junior clubs on the Central Coast for registrations and teams
participating. ‘Great to be top 3’ I hear you say, but what makes Woy Woy Junior Rugby number one in my eyes and stands us apart from the other clubs is our fun family friendly culture. We may not win every game, but we walk off the field with our heads held high knowing we have played our best and above all we have played in the true spirit of Rugby.
I would like to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of all our Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Managers and the many parent helpers for taking on the responsibility of guiding our young players throughout the season.
What an amazing effort for a small regional Rugby Club. Something to be very proud of.
As we all know it takes a lot of demanding work and dedication to run our club and getting as many kids as possible involved in playing rugby, so on behalf of our members I would like to thank all our committee and the many volunteers who give up their time to help the club in any way they can. If you think you can help in any capacity whether it is on game days or by joining a great committee please feel free to do so, it can be a lot of fun as well as very rewarding. Many hands make light work.
A special mention and big thank you must go to a couple of people. Kathleen Cullen (Juniors Club Secretary) for all her tireless work behinds the scenes to keep this club ticking along. Many hours are spent working on all things Rugby behind the scenes many of which go un-noticed by most. Kathleen’s husband Liam for all the thousands of photos he has taken throughout the year capturing some amazing moments both on and off the field. Natalie Walsh (Juniors Registrar) for taking on this new role this year and managing the team sheets and results throughout the season. My Wife, Jacqui Morrison (Canteen Manager). One of our primary areas to assist our club financially is through our canteen and with that I would like to say a very big thank you for all her hard work and organisation as well as her band of volunteers. (Special mention to “Pa” the man on the BBQ). With the additional work load of 12 Friday night games thrown in the mix this year Jacqui & Pa have not missed a single game.
Congratulations to all our Representative players in 2018. This year we had players representing Woy Woy Rugby Club selected in all age groups for Boys and Girls in the Central Coast teams. Your club is very proud of you all.
Moving forward to 2019 I look forward to seeing all the familiar faces returning to Woy Woy Rugby along with the many new players and families we attract to this great club.
Yours in Rugby Gary Morrison
Vice President Juniors
Women’s Sevens 2018 Report.
The season for the women’s team has been a remarkable one. Players arrived from all places, a diverse range of age, backgrounds, experiences and personalities.
This team epitomised the saying “a sum of all the parts.” Knowledge of the game was understandably limited, but what was in abundance was the sporting skills, athleticism and attitude.
The first month of the competition round was played under a gala day draw where each team played each other on the day. This gave us an opportunity to measure ourselves against the rest and what we saw looked very good.
After some negotiation and lobbying, a competition was started where whenever possible, the women played at the same venue as the men. This helped integrate the club.
Most will be aware that Woy Woy finished on the top of the ladder with some telling results; 125 points with a win/loss ratio of 5.8. Putting this into perspective, the second placed side finished with 86 points and a ratio of 1.2.
The team prepared well, were confident and highly motivated, however the better team on the day, won the Grand Final. Witnessing first-hand the reactions of the players afterwards illustrates how much playing for the club and for their team mates meant.
What we should acknowledge is how the team developed over the season, not just in rugby skill levels, but as a group of fine people. The closeness and friendships formed means much more than any title. There were some extraordinary displays of leadership and commitment.
A special mention to our Canadian friends Aliyah, Arni and Maddie, who had a profound influence on the team. Players who were selected for the Central Coast Representative squad included Holly Johnstone, Amy McDermott, Aliyah Rodominski, Meghan Stokie, Maddie Thompson and Isabella Tisch-Lienert. Isabella was named the CCRU Women’s Representative Player of the Year. This demonstrates the calibre of the players we had, with many of the remainder capable of playing at that next level.
Thanks to Dave, Mick, Kevin and Jason for their efforts at training and matches. Again, different characters working in unison. This team has set a new standard for others to strive for. Woy Woy Rugby Club’s standing has been enhanced by the actions of this great group of people. Well done.
Under 19s Report
It has been a pleasure to coach the under nineteen this year. Many thanks to the club for the opportunity to coach such talented young men. We started off well this year but then we had a few issues amongst the players, which affected the team, and I nearly gave up. Because of the hard work and support that I had from our manager Sarah Stride and from the first-grade coach John Stokie, it encouraged me to carry on. During this season it was hard to let some of the players understand what working as a team is all about, but at the end we pulled it off well. I hope they'll continue to work as a team in the future.
We did not get the shield in the final this season, but we are already champions in our own way. These young men are talented, and with their love of rugby and hard work their skills will flourish in the near future.
However, some of these young talented men will play up to the grades and some will stay for the nineteen next season and I wish them luck. Finally, I thank you all for the support this season and we will meet again next season. GO LIONS.
Social committee Report
Some success on the social front this year from the committee but not a sustained effort to promote a social scene throughout the year by the team.
We did manage to order a projector to watch games but could never get the Foxtel working through the laptop, due to connection issues. This didn’t hinder numbers at after match functions with a strong regular turnout.
There were also a lot of plans for themed nights during the year that were never followed through on. Again, number were still strong despite this.
We had a great trip to Cowra at the start of the year, where both boys and girls won and awards for playing the game with great spirit - a great time had by all before and after the tournament as well.
Luke Ingold spearheaded ladies day which was a great day bar the wind and minimal notice. The team will have to work harder and earlier to promote this next year. Concept and execution on the day was great, especially in windy circumstances, but promotion was lacking.
New players night had healthy numbers and one of the biggest pots in recent years. Nick Garnett as the winning trainer was a lowlight.
Presentation night was a success I feel. More expensive than previous years but a great night had by all and we were able to thank the people that needed to be thanked.
Once again, the Ettalong Diggers were our major sponsor in 2018 and have been a great supporter for several years now. Thanks’ to Kathleen and Jab for helping with sponsorship this year. Jab arranged for a front of jersey sponsorship for the women’s side. Thanks to Matt Hastie Financial services. We also managed to get sleeve sponsorships for first grade and the women’s team.
The greyhound function was unfortunately postponed this year and will not be on until late October. All the races have been sold and many of the sponsors have continued to support this event for several years as well.
The Empire Bay Tavern raffle resumed in 2018 after a year off. Thanks to Glewy for organising this. It was difficult to get help at times during the year which is unfortunate. Let’s hope we can get some players to do it during the off season and a few more volunteers next year.
Once again thanks to Mcleish Wines for all their donations of wine during the year. Thanks to all our sponsors and hope they continue to support the Woy Woy Rugby Club into the future.