2019 JR Henderson Cup Grand Final: Sydney University

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The coaching team of (l-r) Ray Burge and James Caterson (assistants), and head coach Chuck Carter – Photo: DC Photos

 

Sydney University 4th Grade assistant coach James ‘Cato’ Caterson, takes us through his 24 man squad for Saturday’s JR Henderson Cup grand final showdown against Eastwood…

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All photos by AJF Photography

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1.  JACK BLISS: Recently admitted to the Bar. If ‘Blissy’ is not turning a tighthead inside out, you’ll find him practicing law at the top end of town.

2. CONOR O’DOHERTY: COD has had a terrible few years with knee injuries, having back to back surgeries. 2019 saw him in #teamrehab in the early half of the season, earning his stripes to return to play. On his return to the mighty 4th grade, his impact has been huge both on and off the field.

3. WILL RIDLEY: Renowned for pre game entertainment crushing watermelons with his quads, Rids has been an asset to third and fourth grade throughout the year both at hooker and at tight head. His loose style of play around the edge of the nine and ten has enabled him to make many line breaks and gain valuable metres throughout the season.

 

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4. RATU ROTUISOLIA: Having coached Ratu over the years, 2019 is the best athletic shape I have seen him in. The S&C staff have him motoring like a Clydesdale. His agility has given Ratu the opportunity to break contact, and look for ball carrying options.

5. SYDNEY MALIFA: Having known Syd for more than ten years, his development in rugby has been massive. His barnstorming ball carries get the team across the advantage line every time, and his weight in the second row makes the props life a lot easier.

6. GEORGE LEHMANN (c): Leader, captain and all round nice guy, ‘Derla’ is someone that every team needs. His leadership qualities and his decision making at crucial times have been great for 4th grade throughout 2019.

 

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7. CONNOR GRINDAHL: Destructive both on and off the field. A player that everyone wants to play with, but no one wants to play against. Connor is destructive at the breakdown and adds large amounts of momentum in his ball carries. His diverse playing style allows him to cover all backrow and front row positions.

8. LINCOLN WHITELEY: ‘Stinc’ has had a busy 2019 both on and off the field. On the field his flick-passes and chip-kicks are a coaches worst nightmare. Off the field, he regards himself as Sydney’s newest Masterchef. He has taken it in his stride to steer George Hudd away from Mr Muscle Meals, and towards his new found love, the slow cooker.

9. WILL WENNERBOM: ‘Bommer’ – A stalwart of the club raised on the sidelines of University Oval No.1, he has continued his pathway in rugby by servicing the breakdown of 3rd and 4th grade throughout the year. A self-proclaimed larrikin that has kept the coaching staff on their toes all season.

 

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10. STEFANO HUNT: Stef, a late comer to the lower grades of SUFC in 2019, has provided a wealth of experience and energy to the team. His relaxed style of play has provided confidence to the players around him. Will be one to watch on Saturday, and is in for a big season next year.

11. TOM FARNELL: You should keep an eye out for Tom this coming Saturday. His lightning speed down the edge will be hard to stop. Blink and you’ll miss it.

12. SEAN-PAUL FENUKITAU: A new member to the SUFC in 2019. Sean has been a great asset to the group with his hard, direct running lines causing grief for all flyhalves and centres in his path.

 

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13. SEAN ANESE: Sean was a regular starter in 4th grade throughout the first half of the season, until a pre-planned, last minute notification to coaching staff, five-week trip to Europe all of a sudden came about. Some would have said his abrupt exit would not see him return to the starting team in 2019. In saying that, his performances since he came back have proved this theory wrong. His solid defence and ability to make a line break has cemented him in the starting side for Saturday’s Grand Final.

14. PATRICK MULLER: Quiet, silent achiever that turns up and trains the house down with little fuss. His speed and agility provides a great asset to the 4th grade team. Paddy has played overseas for the last couple of seasons, and his return to SUFC has been a welcome addition in 2019.

15. TOM WOODCOCK: A self-proclaimed college hero, Woody has suffered minor injuries throughout the season. His commitment to the rehab post-surgery is what got him back on the field so quickly. The energy and direction he provides at fullback lifts the whole team throughout each game.

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Replacements:

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16. RAY TAUFUI: A former inside centre now carving a career in the dark arts, Ray has played some fantastic football in 2019. His scrummaging has developed immensely, and he still continues to run the lines of no.12.

17. ALEXANDER MASSIMA: A master in the dark arts of scrummaging, Alex has played some great football across both 3rd and 4th Grade this year. His ability at scrum time to make the opposition loosehead squeal like a stuffed pig, is a great asset to the squad.

18. LACHLAN ARGIRIS: Having coached Lachy over the years, witnessing many injury setbacks that have continued in 2019, it is great to see him make it back to the playing field. His energy, leadership and experience is what SUFC values are built on.

 

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19. TOM WILSON: Horse’s greatest successes this year have come from his adaptability. Throughout the season, he has been handy in the second row and the backrow, adapting to what the team needs. He has carried this adaptability off the field, shown in his sudden career change from Uni student to apprentice landscaper. ‘Horse’ is required to work this coming Monday. But rumour has it that club captain Peter Fenewicke has arranged for the Colts program to go and shovel two tonnes of sand and two pallets of pavers, so that he can enjoy a cleansing ale with his team.

20. JOCK CAPEL: Jock, another member of the 4th grade squad to undergo pre-season surgery, spent the first half of the season in #teamrehab. His return to training and playing provided lots of energy to the group. Once the buzzer goes, you can always count on Jock to pour you a post match schooner across the road at The Grose.

21. CONNOR FARNELL: Like Sean Anese, he too disappeared to Europe for five weeks. On his return he suffered a minor injury, which hasn’t allowed his return to the squad until this weekend. Keep an eye out for Connor this Saturday and in the seasons to come.

 

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22 JAASON FINAU: The token ‘lad’ in the squad who runs some very direct lines causing his opposition some grief. You’ll find Jason in a new fresh set of Nike TN’s, just make sure you wear your PPE because they are blinding.

23. ED RENTON: Ed also tried his luck at a mid-season overseas holiday. But was soon brought back to reality by immigration due to the condition of his passport, which saw him stay in the country. His strong direct carries give him the ability to break the defensive line, and pick up his support players on the way. Keep an eye out for Ed this Saturday!

24. SAM EVELEIGH: On exchange from Leicester Tigers in the UK, the 18-year-old has transformed from a backrower to a halfback over what would be the Tigers’ pre-season. In the three months that he’s been here, his dedication to that transformation has been exceptional, and Sam is one to watch in the coming years.

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