Sevens Summary Season 2015/2016
The 2015/2016 Sevens season ran from the October Long weekend until the last weekend in February. This season saw a changing landscape for the Men’s Team whilst introducing a Women’s Team in the form of the Manly Mermaids. A thank you to the coaches and others involved in the Sevens Program.
The 2015 /2016 Sevens seasons started a week earlier than usual, with the Manly Marlins entering the Southern Highlands Sevens in beautiful Bowral on the Saturday of the October Long Weekend. The outcome was not as pleasant as the scenery as the Marlins were eliminated at Pool stage.
With the introduction of the NRC over the last years, we did not have access to our best players for the October/November tournaments. It was therefore necessary to recruit some players from outside the Club in order to be more competitive at Mudgee-a Tournament we have supported for a number of years.
Nevertheless we approached Mudgee with plenty of enthusiasm but limited expectations. After an extremely tough Final against invitational side OzBoks we emerged as Tournament Winners!
Next was the Central Coast Sevens on the last weekend of October. This Tournament has got to the stage where we were one of only three Australian Club sides entered-the other 13 sides were International teams-for instance, we played Germany in one of our Pool Games! The team unfortunately could not post a win against this top quality opposition.
We rounded off the Calendar year by participating in the Fisher’s Ghost Sevens in Campbelltown in November. This would have to have been the wettest tournament in which we have ever participated!
Nevertheless, we got all the way to the Final which was played under lights in the rain before a paltry crowd. We competed well but missed out against a Menai team comprised of NZ Touch Football players and a number of Bulldogs NSW Cup players.
After 3-4 weeks off training we resumed the year via our participation in the inaugural Sydney Sevens. This was contested in the Bus Loop area outside Allianz Stadium by 8 Shute Shield Clubs. We (un)comfortably accounted for Gordon in our first Pool Game and thrashed West Harbour by more than 50 in our 3rd. Sandwiched in between was a reasonably close loss to Randwick. Randwick went on to win the Pool.
The loss was disappointing in and of itself but more disappointing was the fact that we missed out on the opportunity to contest the Final in front of 40,000 people at Allianz Stadium as part of the World Rugby Sydney Sevens! Maybe next year...
The Mick ‘Whale’ Curry Memorial Sevens, at Hamilton, run by ex-Marlin Paul Dan, was next on the agenda. We acquitted ourselves well but exited the tournament at quarter final stage.
The third week of February saw us contest the Lake Macquarie Sevens where again we exited at quarter final stage.
Finally, it was the Kiama Sevens where we were defending champions. We competed well and made the semi-final. There was no shame in losing this as we were beaten by the Aussie Development Squad!
It was thus off to a 3rd vs 4th play-off against arch rivals, Warringah, which we lost this time.
As in the October tournament window, we did not have access to our best players, who were already in pre-season. We took the opportunity to develop the lower grade players and also introducing new players to the Club. We regularly made it to the quarter final and semi final stages, credit to the players who trained hard and played throughout summer.
The Sevens Player of the Year award went to Diego Argana, who was one of the most dedicated players at training and tournaments.
The 2015/2016 season saw the introduction of the Manly Mermaids, the Women’s Sevens team. The team started training with only 2 players back in February 2015.
The playing group consists of players with different sporting backgrounds, from 15s rugby to touch football and rugby league and even Gaelic football plus some newbies and international players. A few names will look familiar, these players have family ties to the Manly Rugby Club.
Congratulations on an outstanding first season of the Manly Mermaids to our core group of players who represented Manly this season: Emma Crerar, Laura Peattie, Mikaela Hedge, Viviena Hingano, Chloe Butcher, Noella Green, Katie Harrison,Melaea Ofahengaue, Aliyah Helu, Michelle McCourt, Frankie Labuschagne, Lucile Pasche, Rachel Fear, Andrea Roditis, Yasmin Meakes, Melanie Tiemes, Kathy Bending, Courtney Tallon, CK Cabrera, Teresa Fifita
The Mermaids made their debut in a curtain-raiser at Manly Oval back in July 2015 against the Central Coast Academy Team. They then featured in a curtain- raiser against the Ratettes prior to a Rays NRC game at Rat Park in September.
The third appearance of the Mermaids was in the Southern Highlands 7’s in Bowral on the October Long Weekend. On this occasion, the first proper competition, the Mermaids won the Plate!
Same as the Marlins, the Mermaids played at Mudgee, Central Coast, Campbelltown, Hamilton, Lake Macquarie and Kiama. Despite not bringing back more silverware, the Mermaids had an outstanding season, continually improving against more experienced opposition, even playing against the Canadian national team at the Central Coast Sevens!
It has been a great year with a number of players being included in the NSW Women’s Development Squad. The Mermaids have come very far in a short space of time and the Club is extremely proud of the Mermaids’ effort.
The inaugural Women’s Sevens Player of the Year Award has been awarded to Emma Crerar, who was one of the driving forces to establish the Manly Mermaids.
A note on Girls Sevens:
Sydney Junior Rugby introduced a Girls Sevens league with U14, U16 and U18 competition. Forest Rugby has been representing the Manly area in this competition and are supporting our future Mermaids!
(Graeme Hodge & Katja Imholz)