It’s all systems go for the Southern Beaches Junior Rugby Union Club, who will for the first time, host the finals (Saturday, August 25) and grand finals (Saturday, September 1) of the Newcastle junior rugby competition at their Gateshead ground.
As the semi-finals approach this weekend at Maitland, Beaches are still alive in three divisions (Under 11’s, 12’s and 14’s) and confident that they will be represented come the big end of season games at their home of rugby, Ernie Calland Oval.
Southern Beaches’ inaugural year in the Newcastle competition was 1995. In that time they have grown to such an extent that the club has a team in almost every boys division and a number of girls blended in with the promising young lads, totalling 128 players in the 2018 season.
The club, since its inception, has been all about the family; that is, dad, mum and the kids have all gone along, enjoyed the club spirit and continued playing through the grades, working in the canteen and participating in other ways to keep the club ticking along.
Many of the father and son connections with social rugby began when the young blokes commenced playing the game and their dads thought it would be cool to play as well. The fourth grade social outfit which plays on Friday evenings presents an excellent opportunity for former players to still be involved in the game.
The Cattersons are one prominent Southern Beaches family. Father, Daniel started in the under 12’s at Merewether before joining Southern Beaches as a 15-year-old in 1995 as full-back in the under 16’s. Mother, Nicole started playing for Newcastle University SeaHorses after orientation week in 1998 and continued for six years, three as a back and three in the forwards. They have three sons, Isaac (under 9’s) and Xavier (Under 7’s), and young Fletcher who will join the Beaches ranks in season 2019. The boys’ grandfathers were both rugby mad and one is still coaching Randwick third grade in the Sydney Shute Shield competition.
Captain coach of the Southern Beaches first grade team is Va Talaileva, a Newcastle Rugby Union legend, who won three premierships with the Hamilton Hawks, the competition favourites in 2018, before joining Beaches. His current club has not met with a lot of success in 2018, currently placed sixth, but he believes that better days are just around the corner, particularly as two of his sons, Phillip (14’s) and TJ (11’s) are both chips off the old block when it comes to rugby.
Southern Beaches JRUC are thrilled with their appointment as hosts of the final series this year in Newcastle rugby and are leaving no stone unturned in a bid to make the two days extra special for players, officials and spectators of the code.