RUGBY, as is life, is about forming lasting bonds while ensuring that support is always there through the rough and tough of it.
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This Saturday the Medowie Marauders and Newcastle Griffins will celebrate this fact as they face off for the Trench Menchin Memorial Cup in a tribute match to past players and their shared history on the rugby pitch.
The game will be the first in Port Stephens for the year as COVID-19 restrictions led to the abandonment of the Newcastle Hunter Rugby Union’s 2020 season.
Medowie’s Senior and Junior teams have finally been given the green light to resume and Maruader’s coach Tim Lancaster is looking forward to the first official hit out after one of the longest pre-seasons in the club’s 40 year history.
“We’ve had limited training sessions before the match but we’ve really been putting our players through their paces with an increased strength and conditioning program to set the platform for the style of rugby we want to play this year,” said Lancaster.
“We want to up the tempo and have our structures set in stone so we can meet any challenges head on.”
The Marauders performed excellently earlier in the year before the pandemic hit with the Medowie outfit taking out the Bull and Rhino Cup against the Dubbo Rhinos and Wallamba Bulls in March.
Lancaster says that with some new recruits and over 30 players committing to the rest of the year, the club is shaping well after a stop-start 2020.
“We’ve acquired Taniela Rabolelele from Wests Newcastle and former NSW Country Cockatoos representative Paul Mlotkowski who’ve both been devastating in attack and defence in the centres,” said Lancaster.
“We’re looking forward to playing some quality rugby against the Griffins this Saturday that’ll celebrate the unique bonds rugby brings.”
Kick-off for the Trench Menchin Cup is this Saturday, 3pm at Boyd Oval Medowie.
Full canteen and bar services are available to spectators in what is shaping up to be a fantastic afternoon celebrating two proud Newcastle and Port Stephens Rugby Clubs.
By Mitch LEES