The ever-popular Pub Nines is just around the corner and Old Boys President Barry Madigan and secretary Ray Carr are once more looking forward to the competition.
The concept sees nine players on the field in teams of 15, with unlimited interchange and 15-minute halves.
“The idea is to keep it exclusive to Tumut, to foster the rugby league in our teams, and you’ve got to be 16 years and over to play,” Ray Car said said.
The competition begins Friday, February 10, at Twickenham, and finishes on St Patrick’s Day, on March 17.
The six-week season, consists of a 5-week regular season where the teams play each other, and a playoff for third spot and Grand Final in week 6. Games commence at 6pm on the Friday evenings, and the night finishes at around 8pm, with entry via a gold coin, making it a great night out for the whole family.
The closure of the Wynyard Hotel saw those players move across to Club Tumut, giving the competition 6 teams, which Carr feels is just the right amount, not too many, and not too few.
“We’ve got a meeting next Tuesday, we’ve had a meeting with the representatives of the teams, since the closure of the Wynyard Hotel, those players have approached Club Tumut and will represent them, so we’ve still got 6 teams in the competition,” he said.
The concept, which has been running for a few years now was introduced following a trip to QLD by Garth Roddy, who brought the idea back to Tumut with him.
“Years ago we had a pub competition here called the Roddy Shield, it was a very good support competition for our first grade and reserve grade teams, and that’s how you got into first grade, through the Roddy Shield,” Carr said.
Madigan says the history of the concept in Tumut goes back a long way, to the 1950’s.
“Group 9 was just starting in 18s back then, there was no 16s, just firsts, reserves, and 18s, so the Roddy Shield competition, which evolved into pub-backed teams, was great because the excess players could play in that competition,” he said, going on to explain how the shield itself came into being.
“The Roddy Shield was donated by a man called Bill Hargreaves and he donated it in memory of his mate, Frank Roddy, who died in the second world war, they were great mates. The Roddy Shield eventually folded and there was a 15-year lapse before the 9s came into being. It was the idea of Garth Roddy’s who was the great nephew of Frank Roddy.”
Carr believes it’s good to give the teams something to play for, not just the winners, but also those playing off for third place.
“We thought we’d reinvent the Roddy Shield, give teams something to play for. The third-placed team receives the Bristow-Maddigan Plate, it gives them something to play for too.”
The 2017 edition is set to receive a dose of star power with a number of high profile former players coming to Twickenham for the final, although some are yet to be confirmed, as Carr explained.
“We’ve formed a very good liaison with the NSWRL through Michael Madigan and Laurie Daley does the presentations at the final, and in the first year, 2015 we had both Laurie Daley and Mal Meninga, both of the State of Origin Coaches at the time, here in Tumut.”
“This year, we have been promised Laurie Daley again, and although unconfirmed at this stage, they are working on Danny Buderus, Steve Roach and hopefully Mal Meninga again, so we’re going to have 4 ambassadors, and Dave Trodden, the CEO of the NSWRL.”