2020 Colin Caird Shield GF: Meet the teams – Sydney University

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Sydney University props Tom Osborne and Charlie Hancock (with thanks to captain Josh Schwager) take us through the Students’ 23-man matchday squad for Saturday’s Colin Caird Shield
grand final showdown against Eastern Suburbs…

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Mostly, if not all photos by AJF Photography!

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1. TOM OSBORNE: Ozzy helps to erase the public perception of props by being known for his speed around the park, often finding himself in space, and as one of the most knowledgeable gentleman in the squad. This fine young scholar is fluent in Mandarin, currently studying Commerce Law (Hons), and is the 2020 SUFC Club Captain. It is rumoured Ozzy has mastered the art of mindfulness during the pandemic after completing three seperate fortnight stints in self isolation.

2. PAT O’DOHERTY: Big ‘Dohey’ is a hard working Irishman who has earned the nickname ‘Workhorse’ for his love of repeat efforts on and off the field. Spent most of this year in 1st Grade, and has brought a lot of experience and energy since being promoted to 2’s.

3. CHARLIE HANCOCK: Chucky ‘GrumbleRod’ Hancock has been the foundation stone of the 2’s. Not only because he resembles a hefty lump of basalt, but more so, because he’s been a cultural icon for us. The team’s funniest and most cherished moments have all involved Chuck and his very large brain. A dominant scrummager, lethal over the ball and adept at politely conversing with the referee…the big marn is sure to play a crucial role on Saturday.

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4. ANGUS ALLEN: The big man from Scone runs our lineout and isn’t afraid to call to himself 10 or 20 times a game.  Lenny has been a key member of 2’s in 2020, after captaining 1st Colts to a Premiership last year. As the famed intellectual Nick De Crespigny told him after his 1st Grade debut this year, the club is his oyster.

5. TOM WILLSON: Tommy ‘2-L’s’ Willson is the 2nd Grade team’s engine. Before adopting the role of a ruthless, second-row enforcer, Tom apparently reluctantly gave up a promising modelling career. A tough choice no doubt, but probably the right one, given his penchant for steam-rolling the opposition. His destructive ball carries and scary knack of jamming blokes on the inside have made him a special member of this 2’s side. Oh, and people call him ‘Horse’. But we just can’t work out why…

6. HUGH SUMMERHAYES: Hugh has had a great season this year. He brings a lot of physicality but has also shown versatility with a hectic 60m double side-step try in the Prelim final. Brings a lot of excitement and enthusiasm to the group, especially on a Saturday night at The Lady Hampshire (shout-outs).

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7. HAMISH DUNBAR: ‘Mish’ –  Dunbar’s country NSW origins have shaped him into a fiercely intimidating footballer, and it is well-known across the Shute Shield that no-one puts on a dominant shot like Dunny. But few people know of Mishy’s softer side. Hamish’s community-minded spirit has led to him being a vocal and supportive contributor to the Resch’s Appreciation Society. He is fluent in Japanese and is also a vegetable-based pastry enthusiast. The first time he met his now girlfriend was at Pie Face, where he bought her a spinach and ricotta roll. A true leader of the forward pack, keep an eye out for a huge display from Mishy this weekend.

8. JOSH SCHWAGER (c): Schwags has led the boys fearlessly all season after a number of years interrupted by injury. The ‘Michelin Man’ loves a tough carry up the middle and isn’t afraid of contact. A cotton farmer through and through, Schwags is very proficient at spinning bullyarns and will often be seen making speeches to the boys at around 200 words a minute.

9. HENRY ROBERTSON: Has the best pass we’ve ever seen. He is a supremely talented playmaker, a leader in the team and can strike from anywhere on the field. He is also a damaging defender, routinely punching above his weight when tackling the opposition. Most impressive however, is his ability to perform at such a high level while also engaged in a full scale domestic with his on-again, off-again bromance partner Eddie Poolman during the game. The two have argued about everything – from which move to run, to whose fault that last penalty was, and who looks more stupid wearing a hat to training at 8pm at night…when it’s dark.

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10. STEFANO HUNT: Stef brings a cool head and a lot of wisdom to the group. At the ripe old age of 29 he is a real leader of the young backline. Plays like 2005 Benji Marshall.

11. WILL GODDARD: Goodsy is a super-talented utility player from the ACT, who has covered most positions in the backline at some stage this year. Has a booming left boot which usually gets us out of trouble, but sometimes gets us into more trouble (see Randwick semi-final).

12. EDDIE POOLMAN: Latrell Poolman is an upper body specialist who joins 2nd Grade after a couple of seasons playing wheelchair rugby. He plays exactly like his mentor/father/best mate Mitch Inman – direct, physical and confrontational. He is a big advocate for white Reeboks, colourful caps and his ‘poolside bangers’ Spotify playlist.

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13. ANGUS BELL: Angus ‘Run-Rabbit-Run’ Bell is a ball of excitement and energy. Most of the 2’s best highlights will feature Belly tearing away under the sticks. His ever-threatening attacking presence has taken him up to the national Sevens team, and is even more impressive given his young age. His love of athletic pursuits doesn’t stop at rugby though. Belly has been spotted shadow-boxing in the early hours, is also a keen fan of shot-put, and has been known to practice his throws with a footy during the game.

11. WILL TERRY: Sergeant Tez plays a crucial role in the rapid 2nd Grade backline. He has an endless motor, and is constantly working to perfectly position himself for kick-receipts and counter-attacks. He is ever-reliable under the high ball, a damaging defender and can pierce a gap in attack like no other. Unfortunately for Will, he has been denied his rightful position in the Wallabies squad for several years now because of a doppelgänger impostor called Reece Hodge. Everyone knows Tez would’ve knocked that penalty through the sticks in the first Bledisloe.

15. CONNOR O’SHEA: Connor ‘ConMan’ O’Shea is an asset like no other for this 2’s side. ‘ConMan’ has been there and done it all before, and has been in a scintillating run of form for the last two years. Connor actually lives in Europe and likes taking photos of where he lives. Apart from that time-consuming hobby, he also likes saying ‘…man’ a lot. ‘ConMan’ also takes a profound interest in the health and wellbeing of all the club’s players. In our trip to New Zealand at the start of the year, ConMan saw Chucky Hancock repeatedly pulling the trigger on a few late-night kebab feeds and courageously decided to intervene by bringing it to the attention of the whole team.

Replacements:

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16. TIMOTHY LILOMAIAVA: ‘Beetlejuice’ is a great up-and-coming hooker who has been around the 2’s group a lot this year. Nails all his lineout throws and loves an Instagram story

17. WILL RIDLEY: Will ‘RamRod’ Ridley always impresses, whether he’s rampaging in the scrum, racing away on a counter-attack down the flank, or just wearing shorts. Quadzilla, after a dominant display in the grand final last year alongside George ‘Derla’ Lehmann (shout-outs to Hendo) has become an integral member of the 2’s this year. He will no doubt leave his mark on the game this Saturday with impact from the bench…and opposition players left in his quads’ wake.

18. ALEX MASIMA: Mas is a gentle giant off the field, but a hard hitter and dominant scrummager on it. Will bring a lot of energy off the bench

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19. LUKE PORTER: Luke Porter has had a HUGE year in 2020. After working tirelessly in the pre-season, Ports became a 1st Grade regular. The 2’s are now lucky to have his services for this weekend. He thrives when doing the hard yards, is unmatched at the top of a lineout lift, and will be a huge (and tall) part of Saturday’s game.

20. ZAC VON APPEN: VA is a former international rower we have imported from Germany. Barely speaks English and doesn’t know the lineout calls, but is a big huge thing and plays a very confrontational game. Look to him to bring a lot of confusion and anger to the big game

21. BANJO TRAVERS: Young Banjo Travers has all the hallmarks of a perfect halfback, as he is too small for the rest of the backline and his hair sits too perfectly to put him in the forwards. His stature necessitates that he keep constant company with larger and intimidating members of the club for protection. For example, Banjo was thrilled to have Nick De Crespigny work alongside him over summer, watching over him as he collected coffees (potentially among other tasks). He is a supreme athlete with threatening pace and skills, has played a large share of 1st Grade games over the last few years, and was instrumental in the 2nd Grade GF last year.

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22. BEN HUGHES: The veteran has been promoted to 2’s from a preseason with the Melbourne Rebels. Can cover pretty much the entire backline and will bring a lot of experience.

23. DANIEL POLETTO: Dominic Toretto (also known informally as Daniel Poletto) might take the cake for the club’s biggest Brainiac. He is an accomplished veterinary student with formidable grades, and has achieved all this while travelling back and forth from the film sets of multiple Fast & Furious movies over the years. One of the most versatile backs in the club, he has covered every position bar halfback this year. He is sure to play a crucial role this Saturday.

Team Rehab:

SEPESA LOGI-TAROGI: ‘Pes’ has been a dominant force on the wing throughout the year before unfortunately succumbing to a knee injury. He is the world’s nicest bloke and also dresses heaps fresh – not scared of a popped collar.

BEN CAROLAN: Ben ‘Casino’ Carolan is unfortunately not able to play this Saturday. He is a club stalwart and approaching the status of a club legend, subject to a successful bid for Club Captain (unconfirmed sources say that he is angling for a run for the 2025 season, or when Haighy clears up the back-door, red-tape nonsense that has reportedly plagued the appointments in recent years). Caro has been the heart and soul of the 2’s pack, with boundless experience, a damaging turn of speed and relentless motor during the game (this motor cuts out usually just before pre-season starts, and kicks back up into gear a couple of weeks before the regular season). The 2’s side were gutted that Caz couldn’t be on the field, but he has made this year so enjoyable for the 2’s and an unforgettable one for years to come.

OFA MANUOFETOA: Unfortunately, Ofa’s season has also been cut short by injury. A powerful and skilful outside back he’s also enormous – about 6ft 3in but looks 6ft 8in with his afro. They didn’t make wingers like that back in my day.

STRATH YEO: Strath ‘Strewth’ Yeo, the man from Dunedoo, is one of the most under-rated players in the club. He has phenomenal pace down either flank, hits harder in defence than any outside back I’ve seen, and is always good for a quick quip and a wry smile. Unfortunately, Strewth has twinged his hammy and will be unavailable for the game. But his influence so far has got the 2’s to where they are, and the boys are grateful for all that he’s done this year.

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