Keep up to date with ‘Old Boys’ action right here throughout the season.
For some light reading in the meantime, here’s a report on the reunion matches played in 2013 as part of our 40th Anniversary Celebrations by Bruce Worboys!
BELOW: The Old Boys suited up for their match ups during our 40th Anniversary celebrations.
Game 1 – Coffs Snappers 70 v 80’s
Prior to the commencement of the match the rival coaches go through their traditional pre game routines. Laffo is last seen throwing up in the urinal, whilst Lloydy is sneaking one last puff on his Rothmans. 70’s captain Phil Crofts politely offers the kick-off to the 80’s and Ross Lynch gets the game under way.
A tough forwards battle begins with the 80’s scrum on top, but the 70’s lineout of Crofts, Lopes, Autrey Hall and Montgomery is dominating. Montgomery opens the 70’s account with a 40 yard penalty and they lead 3-0. Kennedy and Potts come to blows at the next ruck and referee Backhouse has some work to do to keep the minds on rugby.
A scrum win to the 80’s sees Callow and Vignes burst through the defence, a brilliant inside ball to young Kevin Clancy and the 80’s are in for the first try of the match. Vignes converts and the 80’s lead 6-3. Bruce Pearson and Tony Bennett are smashing each other at the breakdown whilst Ryan and Bosler have contrasting styles in the number 9.
Autrey Hall and Montgomery combine down the blind side picking up Mark Winter who is belted into touch by Paul Mitchell. Kennedy and Potts trade punches, Backhouse rules that no one got hit.
A lineout win against the feed to the 70’s sees Dave Simmons burrough his way to the line for their first try. Montgomery converts for a 9-6 lead to the 70’s. Kiwi Wright regathers Lynchies kick-off and combines with Firkins and DeVries to take play into the 25. Bosler and Lynch send a speeding Thacker down the blind for another 4 pointer. Vignes hits the upright but the 80’s lead 10-9 at the break – bring on the oranges.
Into the 2nd half and John Forsyth sends Graham Lockett through a gap, but Weir comes across in cover defence. The ever alert Lockett picks up Laslo Kovacs who draws the defence and puts Pearso under the posts. Monty converts and the 70’s are up 15-10.
Alder and Stocks are dominating the scrums whilst Kennedy and Potts trade blows. Backhouse pays no attention to the hookers. A classic back-row move from Bennett, Weir and DeVries sets up 2nd phase for Vignesy to make a clean break taking the ball to within metres of the try line before Peasley saves the day. Good ball from the forwards and Stocker is under the posts, Vignes converts and the 80’s are back in front 16-15.
Mitchell returns the kick-off with a towering punt deep into the 70’s territory. The 70’s lineout secures the ball but Bosler hassles at the back of the maul causing a turnover puting the 80’s on full attack. A full backline sees Mitchell outside Callow to pick up Vignes on the inside – try time. Vignes hands the goal kick to Hugh Alder and the score remains 20-15.
Captain Crofts rallies his team into the last 15 minutes. The forwards continue to rip in with Montgomery leading the 70’s into attack. Whilst Kennedy and Potts trade blows Larry Ryan sneaks down the blind, he is claimed by Clance but gets the ball to Geoff Wallace who scores on the left wing. The 80’s lead 20-19 with the kick to come. Leading pointscorer Tony Montgomery lines up the goal, 1 flag up, 1 flag down Backhouse rules no goal.
As the clock winds down Warren Wise charges up the centre but is met by Kiwi Wright, the forwards pile in but its Bruce Weir who comes up with the 80’s ball. The forwards tighten things up with no side giving an inch as Kennedy and Potts trade blows. Backhouse call no-side and the game is over with the 80’s scoring a tough 20-19 win.
SCOREBOARD: 1980’s Snappers 20 (K Clancy, Thacker, S Stocks, D Vignes tries, 2 conv) v 1970’s Snappers 19 (D Simmons, B Pearson, G Wallace, T Montgomery 1 pg, 2 conv)
Game 2 – Coffs Snappers 90’s v 00’s
Graham White and Paul Butcher lead their teams onto the paddock, with Des Taylor and Des Hoy holding the clip boards. Whitey wins the toss for the 90’s, and elects to kick off but common sense prevails and Matt Bye begins the contest.
The first lineout will set the tone for the game with outstanding jumpers in Murphy and Grey up against the technicians in Connor Barrett and Craig Landrigan. Murphy takes first honours with a clean win that sets the backs alight. A wide ball from Hoy to Bye has the 90’s flying towards the line, classic passing from Bye to Nicol and then Wilson splits the defence before Kevin Simpson gets Wilso to the deck. Michael Tonks is first to the breakdown and secures ball where Hoy sends another long pass to Milner down the blind and TG is in for a 5 pointer which he converts for a 7-0 lead after 10 minutes.
Franklin and Merchant come to blows and referee Dave Malcolm calls in the captains and reminds them that he wont be having any of that in this game. Whitey offers some advice and Butch laughs. From a scrum the 00’s back row make a hugh bust with Mika charging at Byesy who grabs his shoelaces. Webb and Butcher back up and they roll towards the line linking with Matt Hoy and then Joycey on the boil, over. Adam Brunton converts and it is 7 all.
Both sides are extremely competitive at the breakdown with Tonks and Webb prominent. Referee Malcolm chats to both regularly and actually suggests to Tonks he should consider taking up the whistle – not likely says Tonks. The 9/10 battle is a beauty, both halves with good strong passes and while the number 10’s are both small in stature their skills are superb. Bye’s kicking game is gaining huge metres for the 90’s but the kick return from Guest and Simpson is creating opportunities for the speed men of Pledger and Assa. A typical Simpson break out from some loose ball sends leading try scorer Pledger on a sprint for the line – shut the gate Pledge is under the posts, and Brunton makes it 14 -7 to the 00’s.
The front row of White and Hita with hooker Franklin are dominating in tight and leads to a break by Number 8 Brooklyn Petrie. The classy 8 draws the defence but gets smashed by Hurley in cover. Tonks and Logan arrive first and again set up the classy backline. Right winger Darren Walton finds himself on the end of a Dave Nicol pass then links with Murph who drags the defence across the line for a 14-12 scoreline. TG converts from out wide and it is all locked up at 14 all as they bring out the gatorade.
Coach Taylor rips the paint of the walls sending the team into a frenzy in the 2nd half. Grey and Murphy take it to heart and tango with Joycey and Matt Hoy before Mika restores calm. Referee Malcom goes to the pocket but the captains intervene and we stay at 15 a side. The ensuing penalty to the 00’s sees them in the lead 17-14 as Brunton slots it over from 40 metres.
A pin point kick of from Bye is gathered on the fly by Brownlea and the 90’s surge forward, good phase ball and gives Bye options and he takes the ball to the line before picking up Nicol. They have scored a few like this over the years and Nicol scores another. TG converts 21-17 to the 90’s.
Connor Barrett stamps his class on the game with good support from Merchant and Butch who link up with Webby to set Assa away down the flank. Assa draws the defence and finds half-back Vaughan on the inside who bee lines to the corner. The 00’s take the lead 22-21 with 6 minutes on the clock.
From the re-start Grey regathers and the forwards do battle. The 90’s secure posession and rumble up field into good position. Hoy clears with a 20 metre pass to Bye who calmly slots a field goal and a 24-22 lead. 2 minutes to go and the 00’s throw everything at it. Kama again breaks away and tries to pick up Pledger only to be denied by Petrie in defence. Butcher claims the ball but is taken into touch by Hita. Dave Malcolm checks the watch and calls full-time 90’s 24, 00’s 22.
SCOREBOARD: 1990’s Snappers 24 (T Milner, G Murphy, D Nicol tries, T Milner 3 conv M Bye fg) v 2000’s Snappers 22 (N Joyce, M Pledger, Will Guest, L Vaughn tries, A Brunton 1 pg, 2 conv)
The Final – Coffs Snappers 80’s v 90’s
Whitey makes them wait for the 90’s as he does a special rendition of “we are the warriors” in an effort to rev up his team for the match. Referee Phil Crofts tosses the coin and Vignesy wins the right to kick-off and first drinks after the game.
Bye starts the game with pin-point accuracy and Murphy flies high to win the kick-off. Not sure what happened next but it is on, Potts and Franklin, Alder and Hita, and White and Stocks. Referee Crofts physically pulls them apart before lecturing both teams, Kanga Cricketer style. The penalty goes to the 80’s with Crofts pointing out Captain White as the chief protagonist.
Mitchell kicks deep into the 90’s half and the lineout battle begins. The 90’s appear to have an advantage with Grey and Murphy, but the wily old team of Firkins and Wright, a good name for a law firm, know their way around. Potts throws to Firko for the drive from the backrowers before Weiry breaks away and links with DeVries who gets brought down by Brownlea. The forwards drive in and Bosler gets a great ball to Lynchy who stops, starts, dummies then goes himself – TRY to the Eastwood legend. Vignsey converts and the 80’s lead 7-0.
Bye kicks off again and play continues with the 90’s on attack. Great contrast in the halfbacks with the artistic Rob Bosler up against Brendon Hoy, the pass of Nick Farr-Jones and the body of Matt Dunning. Bye, Nicol and Wilson throw everything at the defence, but was there ever a better defensive centre than Chris Callow. The constant attack pays off when Bye triple cuts the centres and picks up TG Milner who charges at Old Man Clance who hangs on for grim death. TG slips the miracle ball to Darren Walton – we will read about that in the Advocate on Monday. TG converts and its 7 all.
Bennett and Tonks continue to exchange pleasantries but Crofts has firm control. Tonks and Logan scavenge possession and Hoy gives Bye some space outside Lynchy. Bye and Nicol combine and pick up Petrie who is brought down by Mitch metres from the line. As Whitey assists with the refereeing they are awarded a penalty and 3 points seems assured until Reo takes the quick tap and barges between Alder and Logan to take 5. TG converts 14-7 to the 90’s.
As half time nears the 80’s fight back with the State centre pairing of Callow and Vignes sending sprinter Glen Thacker towards the line – too quick and he scores out wide. The conversion hits the posts. Half time score 90’s 14 lead 80’s 12.
The 2nd half commences with Murphy and Grey winning a succession of lineouts with Tonks providing valuable support and advice to referee. A rolling maul off the back of the lineout is almost unstoppable. Petrie and Murph seem to be running straight at Lynch, but cannot bust the line. Frustrated by the outstanding defence Bye takes an easy 3 pointer field goal for a 4 point lead. 90’s 17 lead 80’s 12
The physical contest in the forwards is brutal with Bennett and Weir both carrying plenty of blood from the fiery encounter, but it’s Clance in his still freshly ironed shorts that makes the statement and draws the score level with an outstanding in and away after great leadup work from Mitch. The try is out wide and Vignes hands the kick to the try scorer who calmly slots the conversion and it is the 80’s leading by 19 points to 17.
Down to the final few minutes and Hoy spots a gap down the blind picking up Tonks and he carries Bosler over the line in front of the Matt Laffan Scoreboard. The conversion just misses and it 22 – 19 to the 90’s. De Vries attacks the kick-off and wins vital possession as the clock ticks down. A strong rolling maul set up by Firkins is firkin good and they march upfield. 5 metres out and 2 players emerge from the mass of bodies and crash over the line – it is a try to Stocks and Potts with both claiming their piece of the Gilbert. 26-22 after Vignesey calmly slots the conversion after the bell.
But it is not over yet, Coaches Taylor and Hoy address Referee Crofts, who calls in Backhouse and Malcolm for a chat. The 90’s have pointed out that in the 80’s a try was only worth 4 points. LLoydy can’t remember and Laffo doesn’t care – as long as Coffs won.
Adjusted score – 22 all and Coffs Harbour Rugby was the winner on the day.
SCOREBOARD: 1980’s Snappers 22 (R Lynch, G Thacker, K Clancy, Potts/Stocks tries, D Vignes 2, K Clancy 1 conv) v 1990’s Snappers 22 (D Walton, R Hita, M Tonks tries, T Milner 2 conv M Bye fg)
It was also decided that Byesy’s field goal in game 2 was only worth 1 point as he went to mungo’s and that Hughey Alders conversion attempt was worth 1 point as it only just missed. In true Golden Oldies spirit – all matches were declared draws.