Yet again this season was one where our players got older as other teams got younger. For instance Southern District’s oldest player is 53 while the Unquenchables over the season had 5 players over 60 playing.
There were 49 players for the Unquenchables of which 6 played 1 game. There was a core of 18 players who were the backbone of our team. Young Dennis Collard was the only player to start every game. As usual we finished in the lower half of the competition.
We picked up 2 very promising recruits only to have them suffer season ending injuries. We are hopeful that Sai Niavalu and David Ross will be back next season. Mike Silvester a Pom also a new recruit is still coming to grips with no pushing in the scrums. He played a few games for the 3XV to keep up his srummaging technique.We lost 2 players at the end of the season,Andy Sharp to Qld and gun forward Craig Findlay to WA.
Some season highlights were yet another recruit, Jarrod Newell who turned on some blistering pace at Rugbyfest but it was nowhere to be seen during the season. He needs to start training much earlier next season. Frank Tuimaka shed a lot of kilograms at the end of last season and was all over the ground this year. Fumbles Fogale sprinted for a try and under no pressure dropped the ball when he was over the try line. It was an abysmal performance,hence the Jockstrap
The Bryan Burdett era of coach, selector and team manager of the Unquenchables is finally over. After the last 3 years of threatening to retire from his duties he has finally done it. Already there is excitement in the air as our new game strategy of kick and chase promises to bring us up to modern game day tactics. Bryan was instrumental in keeping the Unquenchables and Masters going when there were only 2 teams in our competition. He can retire with pride and satisfaction after 30+ years of unselfish service.He was recognised by the team with an honorary 8o’s tie and by the Club with an award for service in the changerooms at the Rugbyfest.. He even played a 20 min cameo role as prop at 81. Well done Bryan!
Mick Headberry 35s trophy Frank Tuimaka
Doug McDermott 45s Trophy Carlo Fogale
Prick of the Year Kevin Walsh
Jockstrap Carlo Fogale
Bryan Burdett Trophy Andy Ellis
Ant Balocca (9th) 60 tie
The Masters competition has continued to grow under the leadership, drive and vision of Ian Barker. As a consequence the competition has become tougher and the players younger except for those who played with the Unquenchables. We simply get older.
Our team has been nurtured and coached by Octogenarian Bryan Burdett of the straightforward playing mantra,”Don’t kick the f*****g ball!” The team to its credit totally ignored this advice but nevertheless managed to win a handful of games. We had 3 guys in their 60s who regularly played during the season Colin Read, Glenn Hill and Dennis Collard. Brian played a cameo against the Melbourne Chargers and was on the receiving end of the tackle of the day. He bounced back onto his feet and continued playing. On the other had flighty winger Carlo Fogale sustained a foot injury tripping over his own feet and was lost for the second half of the season. It was noted that Fast Eddie once one of our once scorching wingers is now Slow Eddie.
At the recent inaugural Masters Rugby Festival Harry Harrison played 3 games then did his leg. Burdett,80 and Doug Hughes, 76, played their last competitive games and Ross Parker made a comeback but did his hammy 20 metres out thus avoiding shouting a slab. Kevin Tuson was prominent during the day and has become a key member of the Unquenchables backline. Cameo performance were recorded by Andy Ellis, Ross Saunders and Steve Merchant.
Ric Makin played a few games this season and scored a couple of tries with his bustling runs while Dominic Lewis was a strong running centre. Nick Reid, Frank Tuimaka, Andy Munro, Heath Priestly, Francois Darcas, Craig Findlay, Grant Fleet and Ant Bolocca provided our backline with drive we haven’t seen for quite a few seasons. Pete Collins continued to annoy our referees, while Paul Holden and Geoff Reilly provided stability at flyhalf. Steve Solly appeared to get faster each game. Rumours circulated that he was taking substances to improve performance.
Our forwards were our strength with Cam Gardner, Wilf Van Schaaik, Ken Langers, Nico Vlok, Tony Tennent, Chris Swaine, Paul Ramage, Carl Ramage, and Pete Fuller providing stability and drive to the pack. Morne De Villiers had an outstanding season in the forwards demonstrating surprising speed agility for his size. Frankie Tuimaka was always dangerous playing in the centres and the backs. Adrian Hewerdine, a new recruit will be a real asset next year. Stuart Ramsden was slowed down considerably by his growing a full beard. He was more then and adequately covered by Jim Halls, Mick Crowe and Chris Andrews. Grant Mahoney had an outstanding season and seems to get better year by year albeit slower year by year. Kevin Walsh refused to play a game until the grounds were soft. Consequently, he had a very short season.
Short season players due to work commitments or injury were Jay Fernando, Kevin Sandells, Mark Sowden and Chris Pratt.
Special thanks to our tireless President Tilly and Barman Nico. Well done. You have looked after us extremely well through the season and through the whole of the year when we are playing touch.
Mick Headberry Award (over 35) Craig Findlay
Doug McDermott Award (over 45) Francis Darcas
Prick of the Year Kevin Sandells
Jock Strap Kevin Walsh
Bryan Burdett Trophy Nico Vlok
39th 50s tie Paul Holden
2nd 70s tie Dennis Collard
This year the Masters competition went from strength to strength. Power House entered the competition with an abundance of young, skilled and enthusiastic players. Other strong and youthful teams were University and Melbourne. We were competitive against the older teams of the Barbarians and Maroondah Misfits and the young, improving Melbourne Chargers.
This year saw the introduction of representative games which has added another dimension to our competition. There are 2 Old Blacks v Wannabes games. These games are keenly contested and both sides take pride in wearing a representative jumper. There are games against visiting Masters teams and two World over 45 games v Box Hill Unquenchables. There was also a World over 50s game v Box Hil Unquenchables. Cameo performances included Bryan Burdett and Doug Hughes both in their 70s, Martin Roche and Paul Moran both in their 60s, Steve Merchant, Andy Ellis, and Clive Welti in their 50s and Paul Holden. Martin was man of the match. This was our best win of the season U/Qs 27 World 15, a lively changeroom after with lots of tall stories about who set-up who for the tries. It is good to see the cameo “Old Bulls” have not lost their competitive edge.
The Unquenchables is clearly the oldest side in the competition. We regularly have a majority of players over 50 as well as 3regular players over 60. Consistent with recent years whilst we have an abundance of eligible players on paper they never seem to make it to game day. Luckily, with all games played at the one location there is always plenty of players who are willing to help a team which may be struggling to put a team together on game day. This has helped to promote a positive culture of keen competition and fun.
Bryan Burdett, a youthful 79, took the field with Dennis, 69 to celebrate his achievement of 1000 games for the club. The try Dennis scored in the first minute of the game was not a gift but a demonstration that he still has all his skills except that he can only play in slow motion these days.
We recruited some good players but most of them fell by the wayside. There was Disappearing Dominic, a hard running centre from New Zealand, Andy McKeknie from Scotland, Joel Boojers strong running centre from Queensland and Kevin Tuson, a junior parent. Post season we have gained a Yank, Kenny from Denver Colorado and Morne from South Africa. Things are starting to look good for next year.
Russell Roth, our Maori sidestep expert, has been unable to play this year due to illness. We have missed his determined runs down the sideline.
Award winners this year are: Doug McDermott Over 35 Player of the Year, Tony Tennent, The Mick Headberry Trophy for the best player Over 35, Grant Fleet, Jock Strap Award, Paul Holden, Bryan Burdett Trophy, Chris Andrews and Prick of the Year Chris Swaine.
We are lucky to have two loyal sponsors who have supported the Unquenchables year after year. They are Jinda Thai Restaurant in Abbotsford who provide the Man of the Match Award and Stan McHugh, Caledonian Smash Repairs who not only gives us financial support but referees Masters games as well. Stan is a past Unquenchable player who has been a generous sponsor of the club as well as our team.
WEATHER : Grim
PITCH : ZooTopground-Soft6
SCORE : 3-4
REFs : BillandBen
CAPTAIN : Kev the shoe Sandalls
Carlo’s calamitous clanger at the Zoo
Not for the first time this decade has a bombed try at the Zoo ground turned the result on its head for the Box Hill Quenchies. Who could forget the moment a few years hence, when a younger Carlo ran over the dead ball line in extra time. A jockstrap award soon followed. Will we this see a repeat jockstrap for the Fleet footed Carlo? queried Grant Fleet.
Indeed the monkeys squealed with laughter, the Giraffes bowed their heads, as ten metres out and well clear Carlo unfortunately just ahhh dropped the ball. This being relatively early in the game and with young guns Browny and English recruit Kevin Derby in the centres showing ample penetration on attack, the large crowd was left suitably amused but not at all concerned that the end result would be affected.
The Brumbies had other ideas though and won the game 4 tries to 3 with a pacy back scoring most of them. Credit to the ACT defensive line as they withheld countless hit ups from the rampaging Ramage brothers amongst others.
Territorial dominance hadn’t converted to points in this game. “This could be down to the coaching or lack of it on the day!” , might have contentiously suggested Life Member Grant R Mahoney, had he been there.
Grant had followed the game via the new Vic Masters Rugby score update App, whilst decked out in an almost new Wallaby jumper, and supping lagers at the European Bier Café.
The Burdett game plan which the team had diligently invested in all season was thrown out the window as it was decreed there was to be no kicking in this non-comp fixture. No clever little grubbers from Colin, No Chips over the top from Barge rs. Alas no chance for anyone to witness the hilarious sight of Pommie Paul toe kicking the ground rather than the ball and falling over, like he did at Booroondara only weeks ago. The jockstrap award has some stiff competition this year.
Nil competition points on offer this match meant the Admirable Burdett stayed home in
dry docks virtually grounding a rudderless Quenchie ship. This vessel was in dire need of a Captain Cooks Endeavour, or even a Welsh tug master to steer its course, mused Dennis.
The run at all costs approach had former Supercoach, and Danny Cipriani fan, Paul Moran absolutely seething, “Don’t they know!, first you’ve got to oof it down field like, then once down there play your Joker!, like bringing on a Jonny Orani when opportunity presents i.e when far enough ahead or well short. That’s how you win premierships at this level like!”. (Editors note, Paul Moran was not paid for this interview.)
In a pro-logue to the match some Brumbies and Box hill boys backed up an hour later to take on Maroondah invites in a dour contest with some notable highlights.
The return of Edward Muailiauailiusi (Big Ed) to the fray and testing out the elasticity of Jims shorts.
Big Glenn Hill may have surged ahead in career games from Walshy with racking up two games on the day, whilst Walshy was first in the showers again. The Quenchies statistician is meticulously going through the archives to determine the next likely milestone maker after the success of Dennis 600th. Will it be Glenn Surrey Park Originals Hill, or Kevin 40years straight no side trips to Stawall to play footy Walsh. Will it be Chris Puegots 20th trip to Box Hill Hospital?
This weeks game at the Zoo again, could be against a combined Chargers/Babas over 50’s outfit, with free guinness pies at the Dan O Connels afterwards, rather than Powerhouse, and a half cooked sausage, as reported in other media outlets.
Over and Out
It was a season beginning with hope and anticipation. Bryan Burdett was positively salivating with excitement while selecting his first run on team for the season’s opening game. Sadly, it was all downhill from there, at an increasingly rapid rate as the season drew to a close. Our summer recruiting guru Stan McHugh guaranteed for months an influx of confirmed successful1XVgrand finalists from the early 2000s. They were going to be the backbone of the team. Of course this has been anticipated every year for the last several seasons. Jack, Spike, Darren Rutene, Big Eddie….they were all going to play Unquenchables. Darren played a couple of games in the 3XV then 2XV and ended up in the 1XV.Big Eddie had a couple of operations before he could make it onto the pitch so his season was stuffed. First run in January at touch Simon Mother blew a calf, Spike did his shoulder, Stan broke his sporran strap and Sarge, another recruit from the past never ever fronted. Meanwhile Jack was busy organising a raffle. They were all out for the season.
We had to rely on our team stalwarts from the previous year. The young recruits from the last two seasons could be relied upon couldn’t they? Huw Edwards had family commitments, Ian Moore had a back operation, Nick Reid and Rich Bristow disappeared and Clinton Capell our half back coached the 3XV. Graeme Featherstone had major knee surgery and Grant Fleet, just when he was hitting his straps in the centres was hospitalised and out of action for most of the season. Gerard Swaine started his own business and was another player from the previous season who was rarely seen.
Francois managed his leg injury through the season and became stronger and more confident with each game he played. Dennis suffered what would be season ending injuries for ordinary players but managed to almost play half the season. Chris Peugot suffered a significant hand injury and was out most of the season.
As usual whatever team was selected never made it onto the pitch. Players who did actually perform were Walshie when he began playing halfway through the season, Fast Eddie, Heath, Carlo, Glenn Hill, Steve Merchant, Nico, and Russell Roth. Cameron Gardner is one player who really improved this season while Colin continued to run sideways with the ball in one hand. Jeff Rielly, Chris Swain, Chris Pratt, Andy Munro, Pete Collins, Mick Crowe, Stu Ramsden, Grant Mahoney and Peter Fuller also made valuable contributions to the team, especially Jeff with the pinpoint accuracy of his strategic kicking. Carl and Paul Ramage played magnificently throughout the season whether they were playing in the forwards or backs.
Clive “Mr Pedantic” Welti refereed more games than he played but when he did play he set the backline on fire.
On paper we had the numbers but on game day Bryan our coach, selector and manager ended up trying to inspire a handful of players who could actually make it to the ground in time.
We travelled to Canberra to Play the Canberra Vets and played them again at Box Hill. We won both matches. Our touring team to the Cambodia 10s in Phnom Penh resulted in us finishing last in the competition.
Of course there is always next year……
Awards Jock Strap: Chris Swain, Doug McDermott Trophy: Paul Ramage, Mick Headberry Trophy: Jeff Rielly, Prick of the Year: Cam Gardner, Bryan Burdett Trophy: Steve Merchant.
Last season was a watershed year. This season is the season we came back from the brink as a competition. With last year’s competition starting there were just two teams, Box Hill and Maroonda. Endeavour Hills after a few games also came on board. We all wondered what would happen this year. University, Melbourne Chargers and Melbourne returned to the field. In addition, Endeavour Hills and Eltham combined to become the Barbarians. We now had a six team competition.
Box Hill player numbers looked good until Clint Capell defected to the seniors, Nick Reid was unavailable and Graeme Featherstone surrendered to wear and tear injuries. To make matters worse the Unquenchables travelled to Canberra to play the ACT Vets which resulted in Ant Balocca and Francois Darcas sustaining season ending injuries. This also happened with Fast Eddie. The result was that we were down six players with the season only just started. We had cameo appearances from Kevin Sandells, Pommie Paul, Clive Welti (often refereed), Steve merchant and Nico Vlok.
Nevertheless it was a successful and highly enjoyable season. We hosted the ACT Vets in a return match which may become an annual event. The Ramage brothers Carl and Paul were outstanding as were Richard Bristow. Russ Roth, Carlo Fogale, Huw Edwards, Gerard Swaine and Chis Swaine. Unquenchable stalwarts, Kevin Walsh, Glenn Hill, Pete the Navigator, Dennis Collard, Geoff Rielly, Stu Ramsden, Colin Read, Mick Crowe, Peter Fuller and Ian Moore(when he wasn’t injured).
We hit our peak at Melbourne playing the Barbarians with five tries scored in the first half. Jono in his only game this year combined with Gerard in the centres. They were creative in attack and punishing in defence. The second half saw another two tries scored and at least four forward passes called which would have resulted in trys. All in all it was a memorable game. Our games were always hard fought and keenly contested with Maroondah.
At the Annual Unquenchables dinner Huw Edwards won the Mick Headberry Award for best player, Andy Munro, Prick of the Year, Carlo Fogale the Jockstrap and Dennis Collard the Doug McDermott trophy. He is still trying to work out why. It must have been because of his unbelievable try against the Barbarians when he outsprinted the other 29 players to score under the posts after selling a superb dummy to run at least sixty metres. Bryan Brudett was awarded a special trophy donated by the Ramage brothers in recognition of Grumpy’s dedication and whole sale commitment to the Unquenchables. We are still however trying to work out why Chris Pratt started this year on the wing and ended up in the second row. Bryan made some unbelievable selection decisions and coupled with the strategy “don’t kick the f&#@*^g ball” ensured all players showed their talents to their very best.
On a sad note, Scott McGowan just three weeks after returning from our Old Boys Competition in Phnom Penh, Cambodia passed away playing touch at the club with his fellow team mates. He will never be forgotten.
WEATHER : Fine
PITCH : Firm
SCORE : 20-15
REF : Bob
CAPTAIN of the ship : Peter Collins
QUENCHIES BATTERED AND BRUISED ON ALL FRONTS
Crisis time at Quenchie headquarters as under siege head coach Prof Brian Burdett seeks to break the current losing streak, but is stymied with a depleted list of injury hit and absent stars.
The annual sojourn to Canberra of a contingent of quenchie and southern loyalists proved fruitful however with the Canberra Raiders retaining the Meninga trophy. Albeit with a rehab list extending to the outside carpark of the new Box Hill hospital according to Chris Peugot, who has his own parking spot there. With help from Maroondah boys in particular this week and with pace to burn in the outside backs the game was there to be won according to the Prof in a fire and brimstone pre-match address. Indeed with all 3 speed merchants scoring tries, two with debut slab tries, one could have expected a handsome win. Unfortunately Uni scored ugly and frequently enough to gain the victory on the day.< Heath, Carlo,and Russels Athletic tries all were quickly followed by game ending injuries. So common in high twitch muscled athletes explained assistant coach Doug Hunting Dog Hughes.
Highlight of the day came after young Heath cliff Priestly scored his first of what will be many dashing tries for the quenchies, unless the Rebel rising scouts were watching . Heath was so keen to pay up his penance for the boys ,he called out to his lovely wife Alice, who was watching on in wonder, ”get up the grog shop dear and get the boys their bonus for me”. So Alice in Liqourland it was, returning with a nice cold slab on the sound of the final hooter, or was that Mikey blowing his nose queried Russ Shelford.
A good close physical game played in good spirits and played to its natural end, unlike the Baa Baas/Melbourne game. And navy Pete wasn’t even playing noted Carlo.
Next two weeks are non-league fixtures ,being against Southern for the Matt Frost memorial game, and the Canberra Brumbie vets.
Interestingly Rumours are circling that former Victorian Vets coach of the year Supercoach Paul Moran will be casting his eye over proceedings in the next few weeks, as the Prof Burdett looks to re-group his charges and get the game plan and season back on track
Aka Heath Preistly
PITCH,part greasy part bog
WHITE LINE FEVER
A fierce contest against traditional rivals Maroondah, in conditions reminiscent of a Scottish summers day, was on offer for a strong crowd of Box Hill Unquenchable non-playing supporters.
Perhaps the grade weren’t playing, or they wanted any excuse to get out of the house, but yes numbers were out in force to help give Brian the Prof Burdett advice on how he should manage his charges for the day.“As if he needed it” quipped former New Zealand schoolboy Russel Shelford, you wouldn’t catch Brian playing your tallest player on the wing and your shortest as the lineout jumper would you now? Queried young Grant.
The Prof. had a star studded team at his fingertips with current grade backline supremo Clint Capell named at first five to help call the shots and bring home the bacon, or at least score some points. Indeed with a bench riddled with kiwi talent and Jif, the flying Carlo on the wing, Andy on familiar grounds, surely the Quenchies were in for a stout win. Or perhaps a Guinness after at the Dan o Connell, mused Denis.
The start of the game sore the blistering speed of Capell take Box Hill onto attack where they remained bogged in the mud for about 15minutes. Unfortunately during this period Clint was carried off for the first of several carear ending injuries during the game. Box Hill failed to convert their early dominance into points and allowed Maroondah too score the first of their 2 tries and dominated the middle parts of the game to some degree.
With the helpful interjection of several Uni stars in the second half the Quenchies lifted a gear and in the last ten minutes scored a good team try to the flying Carlo in the corner. Another close effort with Brians expansive game plan paying dividends saw Carlo running just outside the sideline preventing a try to help tie up proceedings. “Doesn’t Carlo know where the sideline is?” asked Mikey, who is looking very like a country gent these days in his Landrover and cheesecloth cap. He won’t make that mistake again given the chance! exclaimed Heath Priestly or I don’t know much about this game!.
The match had really picked up to a present a huge finale with forwards winning the pill for the backs to spin it wide to the go to man, yes the flying Carlo, who appeared on the opposite wing to cross the try line untouched and score a try that no doubt Clint, who had risen like the phoenix, would convert and share the points. Unfortunately Carlo being an avid tennis fan thought treading on the white line was all kosher. The ref however on protestations to the contrary from Maroondah witnesses and a raised flag from honest Andy Ellis, declined the try and called it a day. Carlo was furios, that was a try he roared! I was robbed! Once photogenial Jim had showed him his documentary evidence the cries of foulplay quickly abated, and Carlo looked for a dark and quiet dressing room.
A good close game in all,played in good spirits, bar Andys issues with halfbacks.
Maroondah turned on a sunny and breezy day for our first Masters' match on a hard and fast pitch. Both sides had the required numbers with some reserves and a few prior injured on the side line.. Clive elected to be the stand-in ref as there was a shortage of officials due to the Anzac day long weekend.. he is to be commended on a stirling job..
Most of our new boys turned out and also a blast from the past,Wilf, made a hard bustling comeback. Clinton filled in at half and had a major impact with his long accurate passes,Huw in the centres combined well between Jiff and Carl until he had a bump on his knee-- even his little tacked called him a wimp for coming off. Ian at 2nd row pulled off a couple of memorable tackles until his hammie gave out again ,,, now he tells us he is really a centre Most of the old stagers fared well as some of them wandered around the ground trying to make sure they didn't get in the road of the flyers.. barge-arse taking the ball up on his own, Ant coming in with some smashing tackles when needed,Jiff with his trusty boot as usual and Dennis being Dennis.. why do you all turn the ball inside when you have him unmarked outside???? A hard fought game in a friendly atmosphere with a result that could have gone either way... our combinations will come together very soon.
To all who missed out on the game.. you missed a treat official result a win 26-12
Next week we kick off 1pm at home rego and payment next Thurs night.
Venue : ELTHAM
Weather : WARM
Pitch : Good
Score : LOST 27 - 5
Referee : DAVID COTTERAL
Captain : PHIL HAND
Man of the Match : GRAEME FEATHERSTONE
Boxhill turned up with 16 players including Burdett for his annual game. Harlequins had only 7 players and we would have happily played them but they recruited another 8 from other teams so our chances of a 1st win were diminished.
With Phil Hand leading the team it looked promising as we attacked several times with the ball reaching the wing only to be stopped by a determined defence. With speedy Stu Ramsden on the left wing (our surprise attack weapon) we thought the backline success was assured. Boxhill pressed Quins back on their own line but penalties against us prevented a Boxhill score. Unfortunately, the opposition scored twice in the first half to put us down 12 – 0.
The forwards continued to take the ball up and unfortunately there were too many times the ball carrier lacked support so turnovers occurred.
The second half had Boxhill attacking and with pressure on the Quins defence Dr. Carl Ramage crossed the line. The opposition took this as a challenge and during the second half scored another 3 times. The backs tried to penetrate but with players playing out of position due to injuries etc it was not to be.
The need for players to regularly turn up is critical if we want to win, so let’s try to have more players each week.
Lots of authors over the years!