SYDNEY University's Shute Shield rugby team will use a video of Manly players celebrating last Saturday's gripping win over them as extra motivation at the business end of the season.
The Marlins upset Uni 20-10 in a tough, uncompromising top-of-the-table clash and stayed on the pitch to sing the team victory song with fans as the unimpressed home side watched just a few metres away.
Manly's delight at toppling Uni, who played a man down after skipper Mitch Whiteley was sent off in the 33rd minute for striking, was understandable as the Students are the scalp every other team wants.
But the blue and golds have stored the post-match scenes in the memory bank.
It's pretty difficult to win a game with 14 men for 50 minutes, but I was very, very happy with the boys' effort.- Zac Von Appen
"Yeah, absolutely [we will use it as motivation]. Somebody filmed it so we will be keeping that in the back of the mind for down the track," Uni second-rower Zac Von Appen told Inside Back.
"Manly are a good side, a tough side and very clinical in what they do. We look forward to seeing them down at Manly later in the season."
There was some confusion over Whiteley's red card, with the initial charge reading "a form of striking or kicking".
It followed a melee midway through the first half, with players being tossed around like they were being removed from the saloon bar in an old western.
"It's pretty difficult to win a game with 14 men for 50 minutes, but I was very, very happy with the boys' effort," Von Appen said. "We hardly had any possession in the second half but we left everything out there."
There was better news for Uni's women's team, which defeated Warringah 21-5 in the match following the Shute Shield.
And a shout out to the Lionesses' official who shoved this reporter in the back and screamed "Can you get off the field!" as I was conducting the post-match interview with Von Appen as the women's game was about to commence.
Legendary Newtown coach/player Brian 'Chicka' Moore was talking to rugby league journalist Tony Adams many years ago when the conversation turned to the club's colourful past in the '60s and '70s.
"Funny club the Jets," Chicka said, "half the blokes were crims and the other half were cops."
The old Bluebags have been back in the news over the past week as the Chris Dawson murder trial played out in the Supreme Court. Dawson's former Newtown teammate Robert Silkman gave evidence Dawson allegedly asked him to "help get rid of his wife Lynette" in 1975.
Lynette Dawson went missing seven years later and has never been found.
The court heard Silkman was a drinking partner of infamous serial killer Neddy Smith and another ex-Newtown player Paul Hayward, a convicted heroin trafficker who served a long sentence in the notorious Bangkok Hilton before dying of a drug overdose 30 years ago.
Dawson has pleaded not guilty to the murder of his former wife, who disappeared from their northern beaches home in 1982. It's alleged the former footballer wanted to start a new life with his young lover.
Moore, league Immortal Johnny Raper and the legendary Frank "Bumper" Farrell were among the many Newtown players to combine a career in the police force with football.
You'd think there'd be an Underbelly series in all that, wouldn't you?
When former Australian netballer Keely Devery was making her way through the various netball ranks, men were restricted to coaching, umpiring or acting as sideline cheerleaders for their daughters. Playing the game wasn't really an option.
But just as females are making big strides in sports previously considered male dominated, the boys are now making their mark in the once girls-only world of netball.
The Inner West Netball Association's under-18 men's team took out this month's state championship title in Camden, with the open men's side finishing runner-up in division two.
Devery, who played 63 matches for the Diamonds, oversees the IWNA's senior rep program.
She revealed there was a big push to encourage more men to play the game, partly to compensate for the drop-off in female numbers due to increased rivalry from the football codes.
"Twenty or 30 years ago, every girl played netball," Devery told Inside Back. "Now there is a lot more competition and NSW Netball has identified male participation as a real growth area.
"Men may have played indoor or social comps not affiliated with an association or a state body, but rather than fight that, we have embraced it. You get the advantage of their contributions long after their playing days are over."
Not that the girls are falling behind.
The Inner West's open women's team, coming off a short preparation, won 13 of 19 games at the state titles.
Devery said of the IWNA: "It's getting stronger every year. We're in the top 10 associations for numbers and clubland is our priority. But for those who do want to go further, we've got to make sure we have those pathways for them.
"It's a great association and the people on the executive [committee] are all there for the right reasons."
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