Our Merrylands Rugby Club
So Merrylandsrugby.com has managed to get its hands on some of the original Barbarians and end of year reports. We’ve put together a list of highlights for each report. Have a read and a laugh or simply down load the documents in full and read all the gory details for yourself. There are also team photos for most years.
1968 - Merrylands Rugby 1968 Formation.pdf
Merrylands Rugby 1st XV 1968.pdf
1. Three presidents in the first year
2. First meeting was at “school of Arts” building
3. Merrylands was given Granville oval to “use” but couldn’t use it as a home ground for playing and as such played almost every game away
4. A BBQ gambling night to raise first funds which raised $200
5. Money for the rest of the season was raised through the sale of “beer and roast chickens”
6. Players paid $3 to play and another 20c each match to cover the cost of laundry and oranges
7. First set of jerseys were donated by disbanded Granville Shamrocks and were green with a white V
8. First ever game was a trial against Blakehurst
9. First ever comp match was against C.B.C Bank at Richmond Air Base, with John Price captain and Merrylands winning 16 – 3
10. First ever try was scored by John Murphy
11. The first ever team was T.Coates, W.Ridgwell, C.Davies, J.Murphy, R.Donaldson, J.Price, J.Watkins, R.Rees, R.Carrol, M.Tollens, W.Johnson, J.Stewart, R.Keyes, T.Swan and F.Kelly
12. Merrylands finished 2nd for the year behind Blakehurst and made the semis but was knocked out in the first game by “J.C Murray” 11- 9
13. Merrylands record for the season was 11 wins, 3 draws and 4 losses
14. Terry Coates, who was the teams 5/8 and goal kicker, won player of the year for the club
1970 - Merrylands Rugby 1970.pdf
Merrylands Rugby 1st XV 1970.pdf
1. No “home” ground again, so forced, for the 3rd season in a row, to play most games away
2. Merrylands finished the season equal 3rd with Dundas Valley, with Westmead coming first and Narrabeen coming 2nd
3. Merrylands had 12 wins, 1 draw and 5 losses
4. The eventual premiers were Westmead who inflicted what was described as a “very heavy defeat” of 22 points to 3 on Merrylands
5. Bob Henderson was captain/coach
1971 - Merrylands Rugby 1st XV 1971.pdf
Merrylands Rugby 1971.pdf
1. Clubs most successful year to date
2. The Billabong Hotel in Merrylands agrees to allow Merrylands Rugby to raffle hampers on Friday nights, thus solving the clubs on going cash issues
3. Bob Henderson, the first & only coach, to date, retires
4. Bob Austin was team manager and Paul Hiddlestone replaces Bob Rees as President
5. Many players left the club and Merrylands struggled to field 15 players each week.
6. Tony Chapman and John Chapman become the first brothers to play for the club
7. Merrylands played many games without the full fifteen players on the field. On one occasion Merrylands started the match with only 11 players, against Sydney High Old Boys, with two more players turning up half way through the first half, and yet still managed to win 8 – 0
8. Despite the lack of players the Wolves managed to top the comp at the end of the regular season, recording only a single loss.
9. Merrylands beat “Leprechauns” in the semi-final to advance to their first ever GF, coming up against Beecroft/Pennant Hills
10. Merrylands went down 6 – 3, which was a try for each team and a goal for Beecroft.
11. “Chunky” 5/8 Mal Belanszky had a big game, barging over for Merrylands only try of the game
12. Merrylands held their first ever Presentation Night with Keith Weatherhead winning best back and Bob Rees winning best forward
13. Captain Coach Bob Henderson became the first player ever to score 100 points in a season for Merrylands
1972 - Merrylands Rugby 1972.pdf
Merrylands Rugby 1st XV 1972.pdf
1. Merrylands finally get their own training ground, with flood lighting!
2. Bob Austin became president and remained in the roll for rover a decade
3. Merrylands finished second, behind Smithfield, with 12 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses
4. Merrylands played South Carlton Cronulla in the first semi and won 13 – 10
5. They then faced Smithfield in the “South Harbour Final” at Woolarah Oval and went down 6 – 3 in a try less match
6. Merrylands went on their first End of Season Trip, travelling by bus to Nelson Bay for the weekend
1973 - Merrylands Rugby 1973.pdf
Merrylands Rugby 1st XV 1973.pdf
1. The clubs toughest year to date
2. Two founding members died during the season with Rodney “Ossie” Osbourn dieing in a car crash in March and just 3 months later Robert Henderson dieing during a rugby league match at Merrylands oval
3. Coach quite only a few weeks before the start of the season
4. Merrylands could only field 13 players, many of whom “had never met previously and had only met 30 minutes prior to the match” for the first game of the season.
5. Merrylands won only 1 of it’s first 10 matches but then, with several new players committing (with awesome names like Charlie Falzon, Andy Anderson, Tony Williams and Bob James) Merrylands went on a late season run, winning 5 of its last 6 games
6. Merrylands finished 4th behind Rockdale, South Sydney and Sydney Uni
7. End of Season Trip was to Dubbo
8. Best and Fairest trophies were awarded to Jon McCabe, Charlie Falzon and Brian Goff
9. The first ever Rodney Osbourn Memorial Award for the bravest, toughest player was won by Ray Ridley
1974 - Merrylands Rugby 1st XV 1974.pdf
Merrylands Rugby 1974.pdf
1. Merrylands were determined not to repeat the near collapse of last season with a focus on the need for many more “social activities”
2. Merrylands finally adopted a constitution
3. Merrylands were determined to attract more players and so organised a “Cabaret Night” a “Car Trial” as well as beach outings, picnics and many more BBQ’s
4. Merrylands started the season up and down before pulling it together in round 7 and thrashing Waverly 38 to 0, followed by a defeat of the previously undefeated “Armenians”
5. From that point on Merrylands only lost one more game to finish the season in 2nd place
6. Merrylands made the semis but were knocked out in the second round by eventual winners Oatley
7. The End of Season Trip was to Coffs Harbour
8. Ian Warby, Charlie Falzon and John Chapman won best player awards with the Rodney Osbourn Award given to Doug Taylor
9. John Murphy became the first player ever to reach 100 games for the club.
1975 - Merrylands Rugby 1st 2nd XV 1975.pdf
Merrylands Rugby 1975.pdf
1. Merrylands Rugby’s most progressive year to date
2. Merrylands Rugby adopts the “Wolf” logo for the first time!
3. The Wolves finally get their own home ground, Central Gardens Oval
4. The Wolves field two teams for the first time
5. The first “Barbarian” was written
6. A bus to transport all players and supporters to ALL away games
7. The first ever Christmas Party
8. Various new raffles were organised to raise money with prizes including colour T.V’s, packets of smokes and 500 CANS OF BEER!!!!
9. The wives and girlfriends get together to set up a canteen at home matches
10.The Wolves started the season with plenty of numbers for both teams but the numbers slowly fell away with many 1st graders playing a couple of games a day to keep the two sides running
11. 2nd grade failed to make the semis while 1st grade made it, finishing the regular season in 3rd place.
12. CONTROVERSY! The Wolves faced off against Knox Old Boys in the semi with the final result being 3 all. As Merrylands finished the season higher on the ladder Subbies declared they were to go through to the next semi, to face Matravile, but Knox believed there should have been a replay or at least extra time. Both Knox and Merrylands turned up the next week to play. There was a long winded argument over who was to take the field before the ref stepped up and declared he had been sent to ref a match between Merrylands and Matravile so Knox could get lost!
13. Merrylands than lost the semi 17 – 0
14. 1st grade award winners were Bob Sutton, John Pearson and Graeme Scherf
15. 2nd grade award winners were John Sainsbury, Chris Hughes and John Murphy
16. Rodney Osbourne was won by John Pearson
17. John Sainsbury took out the Robert Henderson Award