The subbies rugby season will shortly start in earnest and most teams from all divisions have started pre-season preparations. This afternoon Upper North Shore met Lower North Shore as Mosman faced Lindfield at the Wakehurst rugby grounds, off Forestway, for a friendly pre-season game in aid of the Melanoma Institute.
Corresponding friendly natures were enforced by the noble agenda of both clubs. This first round was focused on supporting the Melanoma Institute with fundraising initiatives run by both clubs.
The Melanoma Institute is a charity that lies close to the hearts of both clubs and members alike, with both clubs respecting losses of fellow members to the cancer.
The day was divided in a similar nature to most normal competition rounds, but teams were spread and mixed amongst one another to make the day less of a struggle.
A lot of the boys from both clubs looked as if they may have over-enjoyed the off-season and been a little too rigorous on the cans.
None the less, the display of skill from both sides was impressive.
First and second grades from both sides played a squad-style game divided by 25-minute quarters.
Lindfield appeared a force to be reckoned with, especially in the early stages of the first quarter, as they ran away with a few handy tries. This is especially impressive, as Mosman finished fourth last season, but in the Kentwell Cup (the division one competition) – Lindfield finishing sixth in the Barraclough Cup (division two).
The first two quarters came to a gruelling end in the relentless heat, both teams looking as if they were to relish the rest.
Half time welcomed the curtain raiser event of the day; the under nine boys from each side played two seven minute halves. The under nine grade is the first season, in club rugby, where teams learn to tackle. It is encouraging to see two uniforms of NSW grass-roots rugby that are able to post sides for such a young age group and is hopefully indicative of future rugby stars from this region in Sydney.
The under nines job was not done, returning to the field after the open-grade’s third quarter of play, for the ‘melanoma relay’.
This event consisted of an all-out race of the future rugby stars in both teams, wearing bucket-hats in a 100 metre sprint, applying sunscreen on the opposite try-line, and running back the full 100 metres.
A great initiative for an even greater cause called an end to the day as the heat became too much to continue.
Very promising signs were exhibited by both of these forces, as rugby cohorts and regarding their community support.