2018 Jack Scott Cup Grand Final: Meet the Teams – Warringah

All photos by Jessica Reading except no.12 by Karen Watson


Reigning Premiers Warringah go into tomorrow’s Jack Scott Cup decider without influential skipper Emily Robinson, and having lost both times to opponents Sydney University in the regular season. But nobody was giving them much of a chance last year either, and look what happened. Ratettes joint head coaches Ryan Trbojevich and Tui Ormsby take us through their matchday 23 for tomorrow’s  grand final showdown…


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1. MATALENA WILSON: With the loss of captain and Wallaroo Emily Robinson, a lot will fall upon Lena’s shoulders. A robust, ball-running front rower with exceptional ball skills and an ever improving scrum technique, she will gladly handle the added responsibility. Known at Rat Park for her low rumbling laughter, which doesn’t seem to stop once it’s starts, she’s a great character off the field and an uncompromising one on it.

2. AMANDA GIBSON: A traditional tight-five hooker with a high work rate. The mother of four looks to always complete the one-percenters and give us the edge at the breakdown. Has worked very hard on her throws this season, which has given the team extra options come lineout time. Gibbo loves doing the dirty work on the field and is one of our best trainers, although we all think she only comes to training to escape the family. Like her father Rex before her, she has played over 100 games for the club, and they are the only father/daughter combination to do so. Rex, although a bit unwell these days, will still be there on the sideline watching his girl go round as he always does.

3. SARAH LAMAN: Moved to tighthead prop this season once Super W finished, and is really making big gains in the most important position on the field for any team. Her hard running and grass cutting tackles have become her trademark, and the more impact she has the better the team will perform. Former Sea Eagle and Kangaroo Captain Max Krilich made a name for himself as the ‘Bomb Thrower’ at scrum time, and much like him, Laman has been labeled the ‘Exterminator’ for the amount of Rats she has put to sleep with the errant bombs she drops around the training paddock!

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4. NAT MACLARN: A proven Super W performer and more than just a lineout technician. Natty is an integral cog in our teams go-forward, and loves running a hard line in attack with a late offload. Her experience will be essential in our bid to win the battle at the set-piece.

5. SABINE BLAKEMAN: The epitome of how ‘looks can be deceiving’!, Bean (as she is affectionally known), has developed into a fine lineout jumper. But it is her work rate around the park and in the tight that surprises many, not to mention her switch… It’s always the quiet ones that you worry about, and she does have the potential to go ‘full postal on us all!

6. LYNDA ROBERTSON: Much like Stonehenge, no one really knows how old ‘Skitz’ exactly is… we just know she is good, and has been there and done it all before. Her experience and tenacity will be vital in us getting off to a good start.

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7. BRITNEY DUFF: Driving down from Newcastle three times a week for training and games, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how committed this player is to the team’s cause. During the 1970’s when our fledging club was struggling, a Rat of Tobruk veteran who was the father of two players, Doug and Bruce Leslie, implored the team to enact their “never give in” attitude. Duff was born to be a Rat, and lives this mantra every game. Her dogged attitude in defence alongside her improving ball-playing, propels our team and ensures we stay in the fight.

8. LAURA DEVEREUX: Great on-ball back rower who loves getting a turnover. The New South Wales Super W representative loves nothing more than a strong carry and a pilfer. ‘Junior’ isn’t the biggest of talkers, but there is always a cheeky smile on this nurse’s face as she brings down a big runner ahead of the ad-line.

9. COBIE-JANE MORGAN: Wallaroos halfback, the smallest player in Australia, and possibly the biggest heart! Great pass, a brilliant talker, and can tackle when she wants too. It’s hard to throw a 400g steak at a whole carcass expecting it to make a difference, but amazingly this 400g steak brings some big runners down. The biggest compliment I can give Cobie is that she genuinely cares about the development of our team and the individuals in it, and that on the field she makes the players around her better.

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10. CHLOE LEAUPEPE: The Quade Cooper of woman’s rugby, with great feet and a gliding running style which has cut through many teams. Has genuine x-factor and can make footy look ridiculously easy at times. Is just coming back from a badly broken leg and is a little bit underdone in the fitness stakes, nonetheless, it’d take a very bad punter to back against her!

11. KENNEDY CHERRINGTON: Fresh off an Aon 7’s series victory with Macquarie University, Kennedy is determined for a team win with her family at the Rats in the more complicated 15’s version of our game. A strong runner and brave in her approach to contact.

12. CRYSTAL MAGUIRE: The Rats have a history of producing beautiful, hard-running, uncompromising centres – think Sam Harris, Clint Eadie, Pat McCabe and Seb Wileman. Crystal is the latest in that mould, and works incredibly hard off the field to ensure the opposition knows she is a presence. There is no-one in the competition who runs as hard into contact in both attack and defence as her, and she was duly rewarded this year with her first international cap for the Wallaroos. ‘Sparkles’ knows this will be the time to shine, and the energy she brings to the team in itself is worth the trip to Woollahra!

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13. ERIKO HIRANO: Our international recruit who came to the club via Mark Gerrard. She has a number of Japanese caps in both Sevens and XV’s on the wing, including playing against a number of the Sydney Uni Wallaroos stars in last year’s World Cup in Ireland. Eriko has an incredible work ethic, and is a machine over the ball in defence. Although she had never played in the centres before this season, she has enjoyed more time with the ball in hand, and has no dramas in trucking it up into a set defensive line.

14. ANNE RUTLIDGE: Ranger is back in the Rats colours this season after completing her Masters degree and playing rugby in the US for the past two years. A hard-working winger who may have lost a yard in pace, but has picked up some great breakdown skills and attitude. She knows how to score, and will give everything to the team as that’s how she has always been.

15. SHANICE PARKER: A mercurial talent – if Forrest Gump and Andrew Walker were to merge into a female rugby player, ‘Skukky’ would be the result! The former Sevens star is still only 20-years-old yet plays beyond that, and her desire to run with ball in hand and identify space is what the team will be looking for from her. Not afraid to go into contact and win ball at the breakdown, she doesn’t mind celebrating a turnover either.



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16. AGGIE PALU: The soul of our team! It’s been a huge year for Aggie getting a lot fitter and mobile, and she will be looking to dominate the fringe defence when she gets on the field. Always positive and driving the team to be their best, everyone needs Aggie in the squad come game day.

17. DAN MESKELL: Former dual international front-rower. Who better to call on to direct the scrums and shore up the ruck than Dan? The old legs may not be as quick as they used to be, but she still manages to whip people half her age in fitness drills. Front-rowers get better with age, and Dan knows how to dominate a scrum with minimal fuss, and will make Uni earn every one of their breakdowns.

18. LILIN TAY: A disruptive year for ‘Ling’ with injuries, but she’s timed her run back to fitness in time for the finals. She can cover both prop and second row, and will be a handy replacement in the tight-five if we need more strength in that area.

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19. SARAH CARRINGTON: If Aggie is the soul of the team, then ‘Ox’ is the heart. No-one has done more for the squad and trained as much as she has. Coming on in the second row she will give us that extra energy and verve to lift our intensity.

20. CLAIRE ILLSLEY: A journeyman of our game who has seen more clubs than Dave Harvey. Gives the team extra back-up in the halves, with an experienced mindset and aggressive line speed.

21. SHENAI LENDILL: ‘Nay-nay’ is an incredibly strong winger who just doesn’t know when to submit in a tackle. Likes wearing her hair in a high bun to hide her face in case she gets her jersey ripped off her again, which caused an internet meltdown earlier in the season! Another young gun for the Rats, who will be hard to keep on the bench as the game unfolds.

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22. MIKAELA TRBOJEVICH: The Year 11 student has been studying hard this week for her trial exams, and is primed to come off the bench and let off a bit of steam. Although only young, she has made an impact on the competition playing in the backrow this season, and is desperate to show her worth when it counts. Miki has strong connections to the club, basically growing up around the feet of her now team mates. She is a muscly nugget who continually dares to put her head where others only tread!

23. MARDI WATTS: Another father/daughter combo for the club. Injury has been cruel to Mardi this year, ruling her out of the Super W before it even began and disrupting her season. Nonetheless she is ready to fire for the final, and Uni will be worried when they see her blitz onto the field.


WARRINGAH: 1. Matalena Wilson; 2. Amanda Gibson; 3. Sarah Laman; 4. Nat Maclarn; 5. Sabine Blakeman; 6. Lynda Robertson; 7. Britney Duff; 8. Laura Devereux; 9. Cobie-Jane Morgan; 10. Chloe Leaupepe; 11. Kennedy Cherrington; 12. Crystal Maguire; 13. Eriko Hirano; 14. Anne Rutlidge; 15. Shanice Parker – Replacements: 16. Aggie Palu; 17. Dan Meskell; 18. Lilin Tay; 19. Sarah Carrington; 20. Claire Illsley; 21. Shenai Lendill; 22. Mikaela Trbojevich; 23. Mardi Watts














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