Macquarie University Rugby League Club

Macquarie University Rugby League Club

Macquarie University Rugby League Football Club was formed at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia in 1969.

In its inaugural season, Macquarie fielded an Under 19 team and a C- grade team in the North Sydney Junior League competition. In 1970 the three metropolitan universities (Macquarie, Sydney and Uni of NSW) mooted that a competition be introduced to involve teams from all the tertiary institutions, shortly after the University Cup was launched which has evolved into what is now the NSW Tertiary Student League.

The early days of the competition saw Sydney Uni as a dominant force in the competition, coming from the NSW Rugby League Second Division. The club produced two First Grade footballers Denis Bendall and Warren Boland both going on to play with Balmain.

Back at Macquarie things were building nicely. In 1973-74 we tasted our first success winning the Arnold Stehr Knockout Competition. Then in 1977 the club obtained the services of Theo Burgess as coach, now with the Sharks, and he was responsible for introducing a professional approach to the club. The years that followed were successful for Macquarie because of this foundation.

In 1979, the Club won the pre-season competition and our first Club Championship with plenty more to come. In 1980 the Club went one better than the previous years' performance by adding its initial Second Grade Premiership with a 22-9 win. In 1981, all four teams made the semi-finals, with the Club winning the Club Championship by amazing 150 points. An accomplishment that has yet to be repeated by any other Club in the League. It was also a fantastic year for our third grade team who went through undefeated. In 1982 and 1983 Macquarie retained the Club championship.

Macquarie fielded three teams from 1984-85 with all teams making the major semi-finals and retained the Club Championship. 1984 saw Macquarie come of age by winning the First Division Grand Final from archrivals Catholic College and in the process lose the bridesmaid tag.

1985 was a disappointing year on the field for the club in the Tertiary Cup, however on a representative level six Macquarie University personnel made the NSW University Student team - Don Gorman (trainer), Geoff Bates (coach), Paul Samany (manager), Geoff Waring, Graham and Peter Sharp. This team played the curtain raiser to the Australia vs.New Zealand clash at Lang Park. In 1986 all three Macquarie grades made the Grand Final with only Second grade coming away from the Grand Final successful. By 1991 however the Club had folded.

The rebuilding process of Macquarie University Rugby League Club began back in 1997. From small beginnings in a trial at Catholic College's home ground in April where Macquarie fielded 6 players in a mixed side against UTS the club gained momentum to attract a playing roster of 24 players coached by Paul Samany. After an up and down season the club played off for the Third Division plate grand final with the team beating UTS 18-0 at Peter Hislop Oval. The following year the club once again made the grand final with John Macevoy as coach however were beaten convincingly at Lidcombe Oval by Cumberland. After tasting success in the previous two seasons 1999 was a disappointing season for the club. Struggling for players and suffering several key injuries early the club finished the season low on the table.

In 2001 the club again tasted success winning the second Division grand final under Captain Coach Jason Fuller. It was a fantastic season for all involved, culminating in a memorable grand final win over UTS 30-10 at Norford Park. This was despite being beaten in the penultimate round of the regular season by UTS. The football year ended with the annual end of season trip to Port Macquarie.

In 2002 the club submitted two teams to participate in 1st and 2nd Division for the Tertiary competition with this proving to be a huge challenge for the club. Unfortunately, things did not go to plan with the club almost folding.

Another period of rebuilding took place in early 2003 with the club gaining considerable momentum via new administrative support. This, together with a strong playing roster, which included captain-coach Jason Fuller, saw the club claw it’s way back via the second grade competition, culminating in a memorable 24-14 victory against UWS Macarthur in the Grand Final on August 16th 2003. Once again a memorable end of season trip was held on the Gold Coast in mid October.

In 2004 the club went into 1st Division and had a mixed year all round. The highlight for the club came through representative honours via Cade Sutherland and Sam Williams making the Australian Universities Rugby League side which toured the UK and Europe in November 2004.

The year 2005 saw a number of new faces at the club and the decision was made to enter a team in 2nd Division. Macquarie University Rugby League Club had a successful season and performed admirably throughout making the semi-finals, going down narrowly to Newcastle University at Henson Park in the elimination final.

It was a memorable season of great success in 2006 - one of the Macquarie University Rugby team's finest ever. The season began in early February and with new coaching staff and a number of new players on the roster things were looking good in the pre-season. The club participated in the 2nd Division competition and went through the season undefeated! Macquarie defeated the University of Western Sydney - Nirimba 22-14 at Leichhardt Oval in what was the clubs closest match all year. Robert Sydenham was named man of the match on the day and ended up taking out the player of the year award for the 2nd Division.


In total the Macquarie Rugby League club have won 2 First Division, 7 Second Division and 1 Third Division premierships over their time in the NSW Tertiary Student Rugby League competition.


External links

* [ Macquarie RLFC Official Website]
* [ NSW Tertiary Student Rugby League Official Site]
* [ Universities Rugby League Queensland Official Site]
* [ Australian Universities Rugby League Official Site]
* [ 2008 Tertiary Student Rugby League World Cup]

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