are ready to roar in finals
SINGLETON’s Army Lions rugby union team are on track to avenge
their defeats in the past two grand finals and make it third time
The Lions dispatched competition leader, Maitland RUFC, 17-12
in a bruising encounter on July 23 at Maitland to capture top
slot in their Newcastle-Hunter Rugby Union competition and also
to press their claim for the title.
The victory over the former competition leader elevated the Lions
to favourites to win the title. The play-offs begin on August
20 and the grand final is on September 10.
Club President Capt Garrath Williams said the team was 70 per
cent Army and 30 per cent civilian and that “every player in the
team believes that this is our year”.
The Lions have 13 wins from 15 matches. They now lead the competition
on 61 points and have scored an astonishing 433 points in attack,
conceding only 99.
Not only have the Lions recorded cricket scores in several games,
winning 73-0 against Nelson Bay on June 4, and 78-0 against Gloucester
on June 18, they have suffered only two losses.
They lost 10-13 to Maitland on April 23, but turned the tables
on their archrivals in their last encounter.
They also lost 14-12 to Eastern Districts on May 7, but won by
forfeit when the two sides were scheduled to play at Lone Pine
Oval on July 9.
Capt Williams said the Lions were determined to win this year’s
competition after being defeated the previous two years.
They lost the 2004 grand final 3-28 to Singleton Bulls, a side
that contained former Wallaby Steve Merrick and a host of class
“We’ve put ourselves in a good position to take the title this
year, let’s hope it’s third time lucky,” he said.
He said the Lions’ strong forward pack and slick back-line would
carry the team to victory.
Key players include flyhalf Cpl Aaron Caldwell – who the team
hopes will make a comeback from injury for the finals – team captain
WO Scotty Oben, flanker Sgt Paul Davey, second row giant Lt Merrick
Lalor, veteran back WO2 Brad Friar and local civilian centre Wayne
The team has also undergone a name change and a restructure this
year. The change from Army Bulls came about because Singleton
Army and Singleton Rugby Union Club have severed ties.
Singleton Army Rugby Union Club is now established and able to
stand on its own two feet.
“We’re pleased to once again stand alone as a single, self supporting
entity”, Capt Williams said.
“If this is to be our year, I hope we can build on it and make
the Singleton Army Rugby Club as big a club as it used to be.”