This story has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia. Image from www.dominos.com.au. More on Redlands rugby on www.redlands.rugbynet.com.au.
OPPONENTS of the accomplished rugby club, the Redland Muddies, may spend the off-season worrying about what is in store next autumn when the 2008 season starts.
Some bright talent has been graduating from the under-19 colts grade to join the club’s senior ranks.
Amid the throng of the graduates, one bunch of players knows each other probably better than some know their own family.
They should be a coach’s dream come true, after they have played together for most of the past decade,
and they are itching to get together again to help the Muddies toward the 2008 senior premiership, after a late try by Ashgrove meant a grand final loss this season.
THE half-dozen or so rugby mates – former Ormiston College students -- know what it is like to perform in a climate of intense community interest and feel the big-game pressure.
Just imagine the electric atmosphere at Ormiston College in 2004, when its senior side won the TAS championship, and in 2005 when it was runner-up.
George Allison, of Cleveland, was a flanker in 04 and a winger in 05. He took a season off rugby in 2006 because of ankle tendon injuries but returned to the field this year with the Muddies colts, mainly as a winger but for the last two games in the halfback’s jersey.
George, now 19, brought his great love of rugby to the bayside in 1998 when his family – dad George, mum Estelle and their other son, Kenneth, now 17 -- migrated from South Africa.
After starting rugby training in their old home town, Port Shepstone, near Durban, George started at Ormiston College in Year 5 and went straight into its rugby program.
THAT is basically the group that has stuck together. Some, a little older, are already playing senior rugby, waiting for their mates to catch up.
George is modest about his rugby skills.
"I used to be quick – I was at my peak in grades 8, 9 and 10," he says. "The Muddies have some good players I’ll have to work my way up."
Nevertheless, customers of the Cleveland pizza shop Domino’s may have noticed some fancy footwork from George since he joined the group in January.
He does five shifts a week as he works toward a career in graphic design, after first studying construction management.
Domino’s is recruiting drivers. It says it pays above award wages, additional delivery fees and offers flexible hours to suit students, parents and people with diverse lifestyles.
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