VRU: Dewar Shield Grand Final Match Report

Harlequin has capped off a fantastic season, with the Minor Premiers claiming their seventh Dewar Shield premiership with a 29-26 win over Melbourne at Sparks Reserve, Box Hill.

Harlequin came into the match as clear favorites, with only two losses for the season, however strong late-season form late ensured Unicorns would put up a tough fight.

The match was mostly open and free flowing, with Justin Marsters scoring Harlequins first try of the afternoon after four minutes. Maradona Farao missed the conversion, and Melbourne skipper Chris Slade’s penalty attempt soon afterwards was also unsuccessful, hitting the upright.

In the moments following, a strong run down the wing from Slade saw Melbourne score their first try of the day. The post became a curse for Melbourne in the first half, with Slade once again striking it on his conversion attempt, leaving the score level at 5-5.
Harlequin regained the lead on the 20 minute mark with number eight Sione Taufa breaking away from the scrum to score, however Farao again missed the conversion attempt.

Melbourne was able to take the lead late in the first half with a try to Ben Jones, followed by the first successful conversion of the afternoon to Slade, however the outside centre missed a penalty attempt moments later.

Tim Emmery came closest to extending Melbourne’s advantage just before the break but was well thwarted in the corner, and the Unicorns took a 10-12 lead into half time.

After an even first half Harlequin controlled the second, with sustained bursts of fierce attack and consistently strong defence allowing them to secure the victory.

Slade missed another penalty attempt early in the second, and Harlequin responded by opening up the flood gates, with two tries in less than two minutes to Faroa and man of the match, Jack De Guingand. Former Wallaby Lloyd Johansson took over the kicking duties and successfully converted the second try, with Harlequin skipping out to a 22-12 lead.

Harlequin only took a few more minutes to score their third and final try of the afternoon, with backrower Taufa crossing the line for the second time. A successful conversion from Johansson put Harlequin out to a 29-12 lead.

Melbourne continued to push Harlequin’s defence late into the match, determined to work back into the game. The Unicorns were able to break Harlequin’s line twice late in the match, with a try to Andrew Stevenson on the hour mark, and a converted try for Emmery on the full time whistle was just reward. However it was a case of too little too late for the Unicorns, as they were defeated by three points.

The defeat was Melbourne’s second successive Grand Final defeat, last year going down to Moorabbin 30-24. The Unicorns have now played in every Dewar Shield grand final for the last five years, winning three premierships in a row between 2009 and 2011.
Harlequin and Melbourne also went head to head in the Premier Two Grand Final, with Harlequin taking a tight 31-29 victory.

Melbourne’s Premier Three team claimed their third grand final victory in a row, defeating Power House 36-18. Melbourne’s Women’s side also tasted premiership glory defeating Power House 22-16.

Power House took their only victory of the day in the Premier Four Division, with a comprehensive 27-0 win over Southern Districts.
In the Second Division, minor premiers Northern claimed the A Grade Premiership over Geelong 36-15. The Panthers could not achieve the same success in the B Grade, going down to Melton 32-27.

Bendigo caused an incredible upset in the Regional Grand Final, claiming their second Third Division Premiership in a row against Shepparton, 54-25. This was Shepparton’s first and only loss to a regional side in their inaugural year, with the Bulls dominating the competition in 2013.

As the curtain closes on the biggest year in the history of Rugby Union in Victoria, The Victorian Rugby Community alongside the Rebels would like to extend their thanks to the Box Hill Rugby Club for hosting the day, as well as all the clubs who participated in a great day of community rugby.

2014 is set to be another watershed year for Rugby in this state and the Dewar Shield. Following foundation shareholders transferring their shares to the Victorian Rugby Union in June this year, the Rebels and the VRU are now an integrated business, with the game of Rugby being developed and promoted throughout Victoria under the one brand, the Melbourne Rebels.

A series of community awards were presented by Victorian Rugby Union president Tim North and Melbourne Rebels players Eddie Aholelei and Cruze Ah-Nau at the completion of the Dewar Shield Grand Final. These awards celebrate the significant contributions that players, clubs and volunteers have made to Victorian Community Rugby throughout 2013.

Cowper Shield, Club Championship – Melbourne
VicRugby Volunteer of the Year – Brock Parker (Harlequin)
Coach of the Year – Ruhan Van Zyl (Harlequin)
Victorian Under 20s Player of the Year – Thomas Bohle (Harlequin)
Bob Banks Memorial Medal, Best Player in the Victorian State Team/Rebel Rising – Bill Valetini (Harlequin)
Leading Individual Points Scorer (Dewar Shield) – Martin Naufahu (Footscray, 108 points)
Leading Individual Try Scorer (Dewar Shield) – Sakaria Noa (Southern Districts, 15 tries)
2013 Dewar Shield Player of the Year – Junior Paila (Endeavour Hills, 25 votes)
Referee Gold Whistle – Matt Hall
Paul Gascoigne Medal for the Best Player in the Grand Final – Jack De Guingand
McCarthy Cup for Minor Premiers – Harlequin


Originally posted here and here.

VRU: 2013 Grand Final Preview


Harlequin is set to play Melbourne in the 2013 Dewar Shield Grand Final this Saturday 7 September at Box Hill RUFC.

Harlequin comfortably progressed through their Semi Final against Power House, with a 32-5 win, while Melbourne just scraped home against Moorabbin in a 30-27 thriller.

The teams have a win each from their two meetings this year, with Harlequin taking the first victory in Round 3, defeating Melbourne by 24 points. Harlequin suffered their first of only two losses for the 2013 season in Round 10, with Melbourne taking the Harold Mitchell Cup with an 8-29 victory. The teams played off for the Harold Mitchell Cup as the curtain raiser to the match between the Melbourne Rebels and British and Irish Lions.

Harlequin, who has led the competition all season, will go into the match as clear favorites. Melbourne, however, will be able to take confidence from some of Harlequin’s late season falters, including their Round 15 loss to Power House and their draw in Round 17 with Moorabbin.

Melbourne also has a strong history of Grand Final success, winning three Dewar Shields in a row between 2009 and 2011, with a total of 17 grand final wins in their 104 year history. Harlequin has won six Dewar Shields since their formation in 1928, with their last premiership being in 2004.

Harlequin have made one change to their team for the Grand Final, with front rower James Api coming back into the starting side, pushing William Ta’ufo’ou onto the bench. Reuben Boss has been excluded from the extended squad to make way for Api.

Melbourne will go into the match with no changes to their Semi Final winning side.

The match will kick off at 3.15 on Saturday afternoon.



Dale Stevenson


Dan Corcoran
James Api


Graham Scott
Junior Manase


Elliot Bull
Paul Graham


Tim Emery
Angus Hamilton ©


Craig Charters
Niko Lauina


Marcus Slade
Jack De Guingand


Fred Austin
Sione Taufa


Ian Pahula
Craig McGrath


David Palu
Maradona Farao


Ben Jones
Majokah Schuster


Karl Balemi
Lloyd Johansson


Matt Pollen
Basil Api


Chris Slade
Justin Tavea


Andrew Stevenson
Justin Marsters


Tim Le Nevez
Tim Ridgeway


Mitch Andrews
William Ta’ufo’ou


Killian O’Neill
Zac Dixon


James Ford
Olajuwon Noa


Peter Tietie
Josh Meads


Michael Gibson
Talaimanu Tivoli


Nick Hastings
Kemueli Valetini


James Slattery
Kevin Palavi-Fiu


Simione Eliesa
Ruhan Van Zyl


Ellis Meachen
Craig McGrath Cliff Viliamu

Ass Coach

Gary Parker Stan Carnes
Peter Dawson

Team Manager

Mike Gillard
Campbell Reid

Physio/First Aid

Peter Roberts
Tim Trevail

Physio/First Aid

Jason Amos
Tina Alejandro

Physio/First Aid



Melbourne and Harlequin will also face off in the second grade Grand Final, with Melbourne defeating Power House 44-22 and Harlequin victorious over Melbourne University 28-14 in the Semi Finals.

The teams have a win each from their meetings this year, with Harlequin coming away with a 34-42 victory in their Round 3 match, and Melbourne taking a 10-32 victory in Round 10.

Harlequin has only lost one other game this season, with Power House beating them by a point in Round 15. Melbourne’s two other losses this year were to Footscray in Round 7 and Power House in Round 17.


Melbourne will also take to the field in the third grade Grand Final, competing against Power House who narrowly defeated Harlequin 18-19 in their Semi Final.

Melbourne will come into the match with a load of confidence after comprehensively defeating Moorabbin 55-3 in their Semi Final, and remaining undefeated for the entire season.

Power House who finished third on the ladder with 12 wins and four losses will be looking to cause an upset in the Grand Final.


Southern Districts will play Power House in the fourth grade Grand Final, with both teams comfortably progressing through their Semi Final matches. Southern Districts defeated Harlequin 56-12, while Power House was victorious over Melbourne 29-10.

Power House finished the season as Minor Premiers, losing only one game in 2013, going down to Grand Final opponent Southern Districts in Round 4 by three points. Their most recent meeting in Round 13 was a tough low scoring match, with Power House taking the 5-14 victory.


Northern and Geelong have been dominant in the Second Division A Grade, finishing in first and second on the ladder respectively, with Geelong 25 points ahead of third placed Eltham.

The two teams will meet this Saturday in the Grand Final, after Northern defeated Melbourne 20-15 and Geelong were victorious over Eltham 13-5.

Of the three meetings between the two sides this year, Northern have come away victorious twice with a 15-31 win in Round 6, while in Round 15, they were able hold Geelong to a single penalty goal with a 3-27 win.

Northern’s only loss of the year was to Geelong in the Round One, going down 17-22.

Northern will be looking to continue their winning streak in this week’s Grand Final, while Geelong will be hoping to cause an upset and defeat the ladder leaders to claim the Premiership.

Northern will also field a team in the B-Grade Grand Final, taking on Minor Premiers Melton.

Third Division Country

Shepparton, who haven’t lost a game to a regional team this year, will take on Bendigo in the Third Division Grand Final.

In the Semi Final, Bendigo defeated Border Army 45-21, while Shepparton were given a free pass to the Grand Final, with Ballarat unfortunately being forced to forfeit due to a lack of players.

Shepparton have had the edge over Bendigo this season, with a 17-27 victory in Round 3, and an impressive 59-0 victory in Round 17.

The two sides will travel to Melbourne for their Grand Final, with kick off set for 11.20am at Box Hill RUFC.


Melbourne and Power House have been the stand out Women’s teams of 2013, with the two teams set to go head to head in the Women’s Grand Final.

Both sides had big wins in their Semi Finals, with Power House defeating Western Districts 48-0, and Melbourne defeating Endeavour Hills 69-0.

The teams have already competed in two thrillers this season, with Melbourne taking narrow victories in Round 6 and Round 11. Melbourne will be hoping to continue their strong form for 2013, with Power House will look to record their first win against the ladder leaders.

VRU: Weekly Wrap Up – Qualifying Finals


The first week of the 2013 Dewar Shield Finals kicked off last weekend with Footscray hosting Power House in the Qualifying Final.

The teams played off for a place in the Semi Finals, with Power House upsetting the home side, taking a narrow 12-15 victory.

Footscray were up 7-3 at half time, however were unable to hold the lead, with Power House scoring the first two tries of the second half, sewing up the victory.

In this week’s Semi Finals Melbourne will host Moorabbin, while Minor Premiers Harlequin will host Power House to determine the 2013 Dewar Shield Grand Finalists.

You can check out all the highlights from the Qualifying Final on Rugby Time, this Wednesday at 9pm on Channel 31.


Footscray have suffered another close defeat at home in the 2013 Qualifying Finals, with Melbourne University scraping a 17-20 victory in the Premier Two grade.

Both sides scored three tries and a conversion each, with a penalty goal to Marty Lockyer proving the difference.

Junior Moananu, Michael Diack and Cameron Iviiti all stood out for the home side, while Joel Djosovic, Brett Renall and Andy Boykett were best on ground for Melbourne University.

In the Premier Two Semi Finals, Melbourne will host Power House, and Harlequin will meet Melbourne University.


Moorabbin hosted Endeavour Hills in the Premier Three Qualifying Final, comprehensively defeating the visitors 48-7.

Tane Tipene crossed the line twice for Moorabbin, while Ronald Hinaki extended their lead with five conversions, a penalty goal and a try. Robert Tumanuvao was the sole try scorer for Endeavour Hills.

Moorabbin progress to the Semi Finals where they will meet Melbourne, with Harlequin hosting Power House in the second Semi Final.


The Second Division, Regional and Women’s competitions had their final home and away round last week, with the Semi Finals for these divisions kicking off this weekend on September 7.


Northern have secured the Second Division A grade Minor Premiership after a big 79-14 win at home over Monash University.

The Panthers scored 13 tries to Monash University’s two, with Meki Taisi crossing the line three times for the home side. Alex Lindros scored both of Monash’s tries.

In the other A Grade match, Geelong hosted Melbourne, defeating the visitors 29-15.

Next week, Northern will host Melbourne, and Eltham will travel to Geelong in the A Grade Semi Finals.

In the Second Division B Grade, Maroondah defeated Northern 17-22, Melton were too good for Eltham taking a 34-10 victory and Geelong hosted Melbourne, going down to the visitors 15-35.

Melton is now locked in to host Eltham, while Northern will play at home against Melbourne in the B Grade Semi Finals.


Border Army hosted Shepparton in the final game of the Regional home and away season. The match was played as a special fundraiser for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, with Border Army raising well over $4000 dollars for a great cause.

The undefeated Bulls went into the match as clear favorites, however were undermanned, with a strong performance from Border Army restricting Shepparton’s usually fierce attack, resulting in the game ending up a 19-19 draw.

Toby Minnus, William Nunn and Chris Carlton all performed well for Border Army, while Filipo Tuaopepe, Haydn Oak and Bibele Pio were best on ground for the Bulls.

Ballarat hosted Bendigo, with the home side going down 8-49. Paula Maka and Jesse Tuitupou scored two tries each for Bendigo, with Josh Manderson scoring eight converstions. Tony O’Kane was Ballarat’s only try scorer.

Puckapunyal was set to take on Warrnambool, however Warrnambool were forced to forfeit, resulting in a bonus point win for the Boars.

Minor Premiers Shepparton will host Ballarat in next week’s Semi Finals, while Border Army will travel to Bendigo to determine which teams will take the field in the Regional Grand Final.


Melbourne have maintained their undefeated streak for the 2013 Women’s Season, this week recording a comprehensive 88-12 win over the Southern Fillies.

Stacey Kilmister continued her strong form, this week scoring five tries for the home side. Elizabeth Downey and Veronice Taumoefolaui were the try scorers for Southern.

Western Districts hosted Power House, however they were unable to upset the visitors, with Power House taking a 13-20 vicotory.

Northern were set to host Endeavour Hills, however the home side were forced to forfeit, with the teams playing in a 10 a side friendly rather than a competitive match.

Next week, Minor Premiers Melbourne will host Endeavour Hills, and Power House will host Western Districts in the Semi Finals.

VRU Weekly Wrap Up – Round 18


Harlequin has claimed the Dewar Shield Minor Premiership after defeating Endeavour Hills 41-21 at home in the final home and away round of 2013.

Harlequin, who has been dominant for the majority of the 2013, scored seven tries to Endeavor Hills’ three to wrap up the 20 point victory.

Junior Paila, Fred Sa and Lemi Faimo stood out for Endeavour Hills in their final match of the season, with the side finishing eighth on the ladder with two wins and 14 losses for 2013.

Zachary Dixon, Basil Api Ulugia and Dale Stevenson were best on ground for Harlequin, who finished comfortably on top of the ladder with 73 points from 13 wins, one draw and two losses.

Southern Districts have narrowly missed out on a finals position in this week’s Match of the Round after a tough loss to second placed Melbourne at home.

Southern Districts lead Melbourne 17-12 at half time, however were unable to hold on to the lead in a seesawing second half, with Melbourne eventually taking a 27-31 victory over the Pirates. This has left them in 6th position and only one point out of the Dewar Shield Finals.

Highlights from the match can be seen on Rugby Time, 9pm Wednesday night on Channel 31.

Power House locked up their position in the finals after defeating Melbourne University 25-38.

Albert Aiopoletea scored three tries for the visitors, with Shane Kilgour, Tama Sweetman and Nathan Sweetman also scoring for Power House. Makesi Stowers extended their lead with four conversions.

Moli Sooaemalelagi crossed the line twice for Mebourne University with Malaki Enosa and Danny Kingan also scoring for the home side. Forwards Eddie Lusala and Ryan O’Sullivan joined Sooaemalelagi amongst the best for Melbourne University. Shane Kilgour, Bryan Scott and Gab Navuni all impressed for Power House.

In the final match of round 18, Moorabbin hosted Footscray, narrowly going down to the visitors 24-27. The win secures fourth place for Footscray, while Moorabbin have dropped to third position and will now play away to Melbourne in the Semi Finals on September 14.

Footscray will host Power House in this week’s Qualifying Final, with the winner to play Harlequin in the Semi Finals.


Northern have locked away the Second Division A Grade Minor Premiership with a round to go after defeating Eltham 10-52.

Northern scored eight tries to Eltham’s one in a dominant performance. Eddie Paletoga scored three tries for the visitors with Ilaisa Makoni accurate in front of goal with six conversions. Gert Venter was the sole try scorer for Eltham.

Geelong travelled to Monash University where they have recorded a comprehensive 0-79 victory.

Eltham will have the bye in Round 19, while Geelong will host Melbourne and Northern will host Monash University.

In the B grade Northern defeated Eltham 5-46, Maroondah have retained the Westgate Cup in a big win over Geelong and Melton beat Melbourne.

The Second Division plays a 19 round home and away season, with their finals commencing on September 7.


Border Army have recorder their third win of the season with a big victory over Ballarat at home, 48-29.

Chris Carlton, Brendan Maley and Bradley Nayler scored two tries each, with Carlton also scoring three conversions. Mat Dewar scored three tries for Ballarat in the loss.

Shepparton have continued their strong form, securing the Minor Premiership after travelling to Warrnambool to record a 0-28 victory.

Bendigo hosted Puckapunyal, defeating the visitors 28-0.

Next week Warrnambool host Puckapunyal, Bendigo travel to Ballarat and Border Army take on Shepparton, with the first round of Regional Finals to begin on September 7.


Power House has hosted Endeavour Hills in Round 14 of the Women’s competition, recording a comprehensive 78-0 victory.

Michelle Witte scored four tries for the home side, with Niki Cook scoring nine conversions. Carolyn Gray and Nina Foaese also stood out for Power House.

Velma George, Awhina Montgomery and Stacey Vernon stood out for Endeavour Hills in the loss.

In the other women’s matches, Northern went down to Melbourne 0-28 at home, and Western Districts defeated the combined Southern Districts Box Hill side 7-14.



Originally posted here

VRU: Rugby without borders – Moorabbin’s American Connection

James Leonard and Nicholas Sacheli take the field for Moorabbin’s first grade

2013 has seen Moorabbin RUFC prove that Rugby is a truly international game, with the club hosting two players from the USA this year, both of whom have played pivotal roles in the club’s 2013 success.

Moorabbin, who currently sit in second on the Dewar Shield ladder have been significantly aided by forwards James Leonard and Nicholas Sacheli, who at the invitation of club treasurer Ashley Hudson, joined the club at the start of the year.

James, a former Polo player from Virginia, and Nicholas, an Italian American from up-state New York, forged a strong friendship with Ashley when he joined the local Union team while on exchange in the USA three years ago.

This year the pair travelled to Melbourne to join Ashley and Moorabbin for the 2013 season, and have had an exceptional impact of the club in both an on field and off field capacity.

Ashley and Moorabbin have been grateful for the hard work put in by the pair this year, and credit them for much of the success experienced by the club in 2013.

“The club initially thought that they would be second grade players at best, however their focus and determination has allowed James and Nick to break into the first grade side,” explained Hudson.

“Moorabbin’s first grade forward pack would definitely be incomplete this season without James and add in the support from the bench from Nick, our team has definitely benefitted from their involvement,”

“The pair has had an incredible impact on the club in both on the field and off. Both James and Nick have received Man of the Match honors in at least one of their first grade matches, and they have continued to add to the culture of the club, through their outstanding involvement in training and events.”

Players from all over have represented clubs across the VRU competitions, with players from Tonga, New Zealand and Sweden featuring amongst the list of internationals in Victoria this year.

With two players from the USA, a country not highly regarded for its involvement in Rugby Union, now added to list, the potential growth of Rugby both locally and internationally is immeasurable.

VRU Weekly Wrap Up – Round 17


Southern Districts have kept their finals hopes alive this week after a big win over Box Hill in Round 17 of the Dewar Shield.

The Pirates scored 12 tries to nil in the victory, with Sakaria Noa scoring three tries for the visitors. Rebel Jason Woodward also played a prolific role in the scoring, with a try and seven conversions to his name.

A positive for Box Hill were the games of Heiny Miller and Ged Logan, who both stood out for the home side. Leotuolo Tuala, Jarrod Dowie and Rawiri Garmonsway were best on ground for Southern Districts.

The win puts the Pirates into fifth position and back into finals contention, with Power House dropping out of the top 5 after losing to third placed Melbourne 26-19.

Melbourne outmuscled Power House in a tight contest scoring 4 tries to Power House’s 3. Jack Tompkins, Mark McIlroy and Kasitoni Apuluaa stood out for Power House in the loss, while Dan Corcoran, Simione Eliesa and Craig Charters were impressive for Melbourne.

Power House will face Melbourne University in the final round of the home and away season, and will be desperate for a big win in order to climb back into the top 5.

Melbourne University however proved this week that they are no easy defeat pushing Footscray to the edge, with the Dogs just scraping a 28-27 victory at home.

Moli Sooaemalelagi, Isaemaeli Time and Brendan Westney were best on ground for Melbourne University, while Calvin Ah Wong, Keisuke Yamada and Tim Diack all played critical roles for Footscray in the win.

This week’s Match of the Round was a top of the table clash between ladder leaders Harlequin and second placed Moorabbin. Moorabbin lead Harlequin 7-12 at half time, however Harlequin scored the first two tries of the second half to jump out to a 19-12 lead.

A last gasp effort from the Rams saw them score a try on the full time siren, with a successful conversion from Neli Sasulu tying up the match, resulting in a 19 all draw.

Highlights from the Match of the Round can be seen on Rugby Time, this Wednesday at 9pm on Channel 31, with hosts David Campbell and Stirling Mortlock.


Melbourne have recorded a comprehensive victory over Monash University in Round 17 of the Second Division A grade.

Monash were able to hold Melbourne back in the first half, trailing 12-0 at half time, however Melbourne opened the flood gates in the second half to record a 48-0 victory.

Also in the A grade, Eltham hosted Geelong, with the visitors taking a 13-20 victory. Brent Milczuk was best on ground for Eltham, while fly-half Simon Cosh impressed for Geelong in the win.

In the B grade, Northern defeated Melton 42-12, Melbourne recorder a narrow 25-21 victory over Maroondah and Eltham were victorious over Geelong with a 19-8 win.


Shepparton have continued their strong form in the Regional division, this week recording a 59-0 victory over second placed Bendigo.

A positive for Bendigo were the performances of Brendan Rayson and Chris Slattery who both stood out in the loss, while Tui Tunumafono and Filipo Tuapepe were best on ground for the Bulls.

The other Round 17 Regional matches were held at Puckapunyal, with Warrnambool taking on Border Army in the first match, before Puckapunyal went to head to head with Ballarat.

Border Army were too strong for Warrnambool, recording a 28-0 victory, and despite a strong effort, Puckapunyal were unable to defeat Ballarat, with the visitors taking the match 18-31.


Melbourne’s Women’s side has maintained their undefeated form in the 2013 season, this week defeating Endeavour Hills 0-45.

Endeavour Hills went into the game with only 14 players, and were no match for ladder leaders Melbourne, who scored seven tries to nil. Stacey Kilmister once again played a damaging role for Melbourne with four tries, while Tammy Jacoby was pivotal in Melbourne’s scoring with five conversions and a try.

Power House was too strong for the combined Box Hill/Southern Districts side, recording a 0-43 victory.

Shaquille Faiva, Jacinta Natua and Veronica Taumoefolau stood out for the Southern Fillies. Tamara Jackson, Rachel Banoura and Lauren Hoare were best on ground for Power House in the Victory.

Northern hosted Western Districts however were unable to record their fourth victory of the season, going down to the visitors 20-53.


Originally posted here: http://vicrugby.com.au/news/index.cfm?fuseaction=NewsItem&NewsID=38257

VRU Weekly Wrap Up – Round 16


Southern Districts have come agonisingly close to victory over top of the table Harlequin in Round 16 of the Dewar Shield.

The Pirates, who currently sit in sixth place, two points out of finals contention, went down to Harlequin 36-37 at home.

Harlequin opened the match with a blistering first half, taking a 12-27 lead into the break, however an improved second half effort from the Pirates saw them take a two point lead with less than a minute on the clock.

A maul penalty against Southern Districts in the closing seconds saw former Wallaby and Quins inside centre Lloyd Johansson take the match saving kick to record the 36-37 win.

Sakaria Noa, Rebels fullback Jason Woodwood, Rawiri Garmonsway and Barry Tehiko  were best on ground for the pirates, while Sione Taufa and Olajuwon Noa joined Johannson amongst the best for Harlequin.

A win to the Pirates would have increased their hopes of a finals campaign, with fifth placed Power House also losing on the weekend, going down to Moorabbin 19-42.

Power House, who sat in fourth at the end of Round 15, were no match for the second placed Rams, scoring three tries to Moorabbin’s 6.

Shannon McLachlan, Shane Kilgour and Steve Kemd all stood out for Power House, while Filli Leatu, Ioane Perenise and Lualua Vailoaloa were best on field for the Rams.

With the losses to Power House and Southern Districts, Footscray have climbed to fourth on the ladder, after a narrowly defeating Melbourne 18-21.

Both teams crossed the line twice for a conversion each, with fly-half Martin Naufahu proving to be the difference kicking three penalty goals for Footscray, to Melbourne’s two.

Maika Tuinasavusava and David Palu both stood out for Melbourne in the loss. Ben Filipo, Perenise Nikolao and Keisuke Yamada were best on ground for Footscray.

The battle for fourth and fifth position on the ladder, and a place in the finals remains tight with three points separating fourth placed Footscray on 51 points and sixth placed Southern Districts on 48 points. The coming weeks will prove to be critical for the three clubs, all fiercly vying for a spot in the finals and a go at the Dewar Shield.

This week’s match of the round was played between Endeavour Hills and Box Hill. Box Hill was unsuccessful in their campaign for their first win of the season, going down to the home side 37-0. Highlights from the match of the round can be viewed on “Rugby Time”, at 9pm tonight on Channel 31.

VRU records a 12% increase in Junior Registrations for 2013

In a sign of escalating growth for Rugby Union in Victoria, the VRU is pleased to report a 12% increase for junior registrations in 2013.

There are currently 2129 junior players registered with the VRU, compared to the 1908 players who were registered by the end of the 2012 season.

12 of the 18 clubs who compete in the junior division have experienced a rise in their player numbers, with Moorabbin recording the most significant boost in junior player numbers with an extra 85 juniors joining the club in 2013.

Moorabbin have the largest junior program, with 269 junior players, while Melbourne RUFC has the second largest program with 235 players currently registered with the club.

The additional registrations in 2013 are an indication of the continued development Rugby Union is currently experiencing in Victoria, with VRU president Tim North expressing his delight with the statistics.

“It’s absolutely fantastic to see this level of growth for Junior Rugby in Victoria. The number of players registering to compete in Union is a testament to the hard work of the VRU staff, as well as the incredible efforts put in by each of the junior clubs, whose programs have been outstanding.”

“Juniors are continuing to register each week, and we are hopeful for a 15% increase on 2012’s numbers by the end of the year.”

Melbourne Rebels CEO Rob Clarke has said that the continued increase in junior registrations is imperative to the future of Rugby Union in Victoria.

“These new junior numbers show that there is certainly a place for Rugby Union within the Victorian sporting landscape. We are aiming to ensure Rugby is one of the premier sports within Victoria, and it is vital to the future success of the Melbourne Rebels that we continue to grow from a grass roots level.”

Juniors can begin playing Rugby Union from as young as the age of five as a part of the VRU’s Pathway Program, which is a series of non-competitive matches for U6s to U9s, where the focus is simply for juniors to learn new skills and enjoy being part of a team environment.

The VRU’s Junior Program extends up to U18s, with new players still able to register for the final three rounds ahead of finals.


Originally posted at http://vicrugby.com.au/news/index.cfm?fuseaction=NewsItem&NewsID=37857

VRU Weekly Wrap Up – Round 15


Harlequin has experienced their second loss of the season as the battle for Finals spots heated up in Round 15 of the Dewar Shield.

Top of the table Harlequin hosted Power House, going down to the visitors 10-23 in a tough contest.

Power House, who now sit in fourth on the Dewar Shield Ladder, were able to hold back the usually fierce attack of Harlequin who have scored at least 30 points in all but two of their 11 wins this year.

Winger Albert Aiolupotea was best on field for Power House with two tries, while Shane Kilgour and Makesi Stowers also stood out in the victory.

Even with the loss, Harlequin’s forwards continued to excel with Jack De Guingand, Olajuwon Noa and Junior Manase all named amongst the best for the home side.

The win for Power House means that they now sit three points clear in fourth position, however they will need to ensure they maintain their good form in the coming weeks to secure their spot in the finals.

Southern Districts are one step closer to claiming a finals position after a prolific win over Footscray in this week’s Match of the Round.

Southern Districts took out an early lead with the first three tries of the match, however Footscray were able to claw their way back in wet and windy conditions, taking a 21-20 lead late in the game.

A last gasp effort from Southern Districts saw the Pirates score the final try of the match, resulting in a 21-25 victory.

Rawri Garmonsway, Barry Tehiko and Mike Tahitua were best on ground for Southern Districts, with Rebels’ full back Jason Woodward also playing a defining role in the match, let down only by his goal kicking in the stormy conditions.

Ikuna Tukuofa, Keisuke Yamada and Tuipine Apineru all featured amongst Footscray’s best.

The win brings Southern Districts up to 46 points, one point behind fifth placed Footscray on 47 points.

Highlights from the match can be seen on “Rugby Time”, this Wednesday at 9pm on Channel 31.

Melbourne travelled out to Endeavour Hills, recording an emphatic 7-73 victory.

Eight individual players crossed the line for Melbourne, with Mitch Andrews the only multiple try scorer. Chris Slade once again displayed his kicking accuracy with nine conversions from nine attempts.

Fred Austen, Peter Tie Tie and Karl Balemi all had excellent games for Melbourne, while Milfi Taeleipu, Junior Paila and Quinten Williams stood out for Endeavour Hills.

Last placed Box Hill were hopeful of recording their first victory of the season, hosting seventh placed Melbourne University, however this was not to be, with University leaving with a 7-39 win.

Siologa Leota, Byton Creighton and James Yates were best on field for Melbourne University in their fourth win of the season, while Rory Featherstone, Heinrich Muller and Melbourne Rebel Caderyn Neville all stood out for Box Hill.

Next week will be pivotal in the race for finals spots, with Power House hosting Moorabbin, Melbourne playing home to Footscray, Box Hill travelling to Endeavour Hills and Southern Districts taking on Harlequin.


It was first against second in Round 15 of the Second Division A grade; with ladder leaders Northern taking on second placed Geelong.

Northern reaffirmed their dominance over the competition, recording a 3-27 win, with Geelong unable to score a try against the Panther’s defense.

Miracle Paletoaga, Mona Saiu and Meki Taisi all stood out for the Panther’s in the win.

In the other A-Grade match, Melbourne hosted Eltham, taking a 15-5 win.

In the B-Grade, Geelong drew with Northern 22-22, Melbourne defeated Eltham 37-19, and Maroondah were victorious over Melton 19-5.


Shepparton have recorded a massive victory over an incredibly undermanned Puckapunyal side in Round 15 of the Regional Competition.

Puckapunyal, who went into the match with only 13 players and no reserves, were unable to match the strength and dominance of the Bulls, resulting in the 142-0 scoreline.

Winger Meke Moananu was the highest try scorer with six, while Bulls Captain and full-back Leeroy Huthan-Grace had five tries to go along side his 16 conversions for the match.

Kamu Titimaea and Vaka Hafoka also played pivitol roles in the Bulls’ big win.

A positive for Puckapunyal were the games of Damien Kenard, Damien Brooks and Lewis Crothers, who were able to put on impressive performances, despite the conditions.

Bendigo celebrated a successful return to their home soil, with a comprehensive 40-5 win over Border Army.

Bendigo dominated the majority of the game, with an impressive first half display giving them a 19-0 lead at half time. Border Army found some form in the second half, scoring their only try of the match on the 70th minute mark; however Bendigo finished the game off with strength, scoring two tries in the final 10 minutes to secure the win.

Loose forward Chris Allison and prop Matt Roughley both stood out for Bendigo, while full-back Phil Keech was impressive on his senior debut.


Originally posted at http://vicrugby.com.au/news/index.cfm?fuseaction=NewsItem&NewsID=37852