Welcome to The University of Western Australia Rugby Football Club
SEASON 2015: ‘Uni rugby: moving forward’
UWA Rugby Club is renowned throughout Perth for its expansive style of rugby and social life. This year the Club offers six men’s XVs: Premier and Reserve Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade and 5th Grade teams, as well as an U/19 Colts team.
UWA UPSET BY JOONDALUP
Premier Grade could not put the finishing touches to a dominant first half where Joondalup soaked up pressure. In the secong spell Joondalup scored off our errors at kick off and simple turnovers and then held on to win 16-22. 2nd Grade are building momentum with a strong 44-26 win, 3rd Grade scored a strong 36-6 win whilst 4th Grade racked up 12 tries in a 76-0 victory.
Colts started poorly in the first half and had to fight their way back into the game going down 12-38. 5th Grade showed good signs to pick up a bonus point but lost to Cott 19-26.
Check https://www.facebook.com/groups/uwarugby/ for other news and or events
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McGillivray Oval - celebrating 50 years of Sport
The University of Western Australia first played sport at McGillivray Oval in Mt Claremont in 1965.
In 1908 a parcel of land was endowed by the WA Government to UWA. There were no immediate uses for it until 1929 when Herman Ittershagen , a W.A. businessman (also agent for Lanz tractors and the Klemm monoplane, and German Consul in WAapplied for a licence for an aerodrome, called West Subiaco Aerodrome. He established an aerodrome and flew a mechanic to farmers to sell and service the tractors. Late in 1931, in an attempt to increase support for the airfield, Ittershagen permitted addition of a motor racing track; the name "Brooklands" was used for the venue to mirror the combination of an airfield and race track at the famous Brooklands track in England. More public shows were held, but interest was insufficient, and the Brooklands endeavour, and shortly afterward Ittershagen's own company, Wings Ltd, were put into liquidation. Not much happened with the land during the war years but in the late 40s and 50s the land was used for off road dirt car scrambles. The Brooklands race track and was run by the WA Car Club. The Brooklands name remains with Brooklands Way the service road on UWA land running up to the UWA workshops. In 1962 the land was used as a shuttlebus area for the Empire Games held at nearby Perry Lakes Stadium. In 1964 Professor Alan Fells saw the need for sporting fields as the University was growing rapidly and realised there was insufficient space available at the Crawley campus. At that time Dr McGillivray donated 10,000 pounds (a considerable sum in those days) to the University. The University chose several purposes such as the organ in Winthrop Hall and playing fields, naming them McGillivray Oval.
UWA Rugby’s involvement with McGillivray Oval started in the 1980s with the Club playing 3rd and 4th Grade fixtures there. Very few photos exist of these games however these photos show Uni stalwarts such as Ed Babington (1977 - 1997), John Cannings (1974 - 1992), Lee Christensen (1979 - 1986), Martin Forsey (1979 - 1994), Derek Foulner (1978 - 2006) in action, this game being against Rockingham.
Home games for 1st Grade, 2nd Grade and Colts were played at Riley Oval. As the Club grew and more grades developed the Club need a second field. The Club played these fixtures on the eastern side of McGillivray. In the those days the western clubrooms, where Rugby now calls home, belonged to the UWA Hockey Club. (there were the occasional lower grade fixtures on James oval on campus (home to UWA Cricket) but this was not a regular occurrence as the cricket wicket proved an issue, as well as the short length of the field. It did allow Club legend Michael Hughes to proudly boast that he could kick goals from half way though. There had been rumblings for many years that the University would eventually build on Riley Oval and that we would need to relocate at some time in the future. So the Club drew up plans to move to McGillivray and extend and renovate the Clubrooms on the eastern side of the oval. This plan did not succeed and these clubrooms are now shared by soccer and baseball.
Riley is the spiritual home of UWA Rugby. Uni started playing there in 1929. The oval as can be seen in the photo from 1933 shows how close it was situated to Matilda Bay. The huge crowd along the sidelines has always been a great feature for all that played at Riley. Tennis courts occupied the waters edge. Sheep grazed on Riley Oval. It was such a mud heap in winter that players jumpers were indistinguishable between teams. From 1929 to 1994 Uni Rugby was Riley Oval. There were no changerooms, Clubrooms or storage of gear. During the 70s, 80s and early 90s you simply got changed on the Arts Building steps at training, obstructing the doorway with your training bags so that the professors had to jump over them at the end of their working day. From the early 1970s the UWA Recreation centre was built and game preparation moved into their changerooms. Sharing with the general public whilst preparing for a game was very awkward. The warmups were conducted in front of the Reid Library and you would run onto the field through the underpass of x Building.
In 1977 Australia even hosted a hockey test against NZ on McGillivray Oval such was the high quality of the coach playing surface.
When the Hockey Club built their astro turf surface and Clubrooms in 1994 it provided Uni Rugby an opportunity to move all its teams from Riley Oval on the University of Western Australia Crawley campus out to McGillivray Oval. This move, whilst contentious at the time, provided the Club with a number of improvements including ready to use Clubrooms, changerooms, ample parking, large storage facilities, side by side playing fields and well lit training facility. None of these features were available at Riley oval.
McGillivray Oval has been taken care of by a few leaders over the years including George Munn and Glen Sproule. David Brooks was involved from 1976-2003. Chris Marsh first arrived in 1977 continuing to this day and is a great supporter to Uni Rugby. In the mid 2000s McGillivray Oval was more formally referred to as UWA Sports park given that the sporting precinct entails the sporting facilities of athletics, Australian rules football, baseball, cricket, football, hockey, rugby, tennis. The fields are immaculate now and of such high quality that the Western Force negotiated with the University to sign a usage agreement for training and hosting representative matches. In 2007 a UWA Sports Park redevelopment plan was commenced with the view to redevelop the precinct. For UWA Rugby this meant a new Clubroom facility, movement of the playing surface to the corner where the current changerooms now face and relocation of the cricket wicket. This plan sits n abeyance until a better financial environment allows.
In 2011 UWA Rugby returned to winning a 1st Grade Premiership , their first since 1972 and was achieved at UWA’s McGillivray Oval.
UWA RUGBY CLUB -
ANNUAL REPORTS 2007 - 2014
From The Gallery
Please visit the Gallery, and help us out:
If you have any photos (or videos!) from matches or Uni Rugby social events, we would love to get our hands on them.
Speak with Anne Wilson or Rick Wolters.