Club Poem

HE OATLEY RUGBY CLUB BY PETER SCIBBERAS 1987
Inspired by A.B. Patterson

It was 12 miles south of Sydney in the land of many a pub, that they formed an institution called …..THE OATLEY RUGBY CLUB.

They had tough and robust forwards who were often found in packs and a team was never formed that could match them in the backs. Though their style of playing Rugby was irregular and rash, they had mighty little science but a mighty lot of dash.

And they wore funny little jumpers that money could not buy, and their boots were always unpolished and their throats were always dry. And they used to train those players drinking schooners in the pub, they were demons were the members of …..THE OATLEY RUGBY CLUB.

It was somewhere up the north side, in the city’s smoke and steam that a Rugby club existed called the Saint Ives Rugby team. As a social institution t’was a marvelous success for its members were distinguished by exclusiveness and dress. They wore natty little jumpers that were gold and blue and sleek for their cultivated owners only wore them once a week!

So they travelled down to Oatley in pursuit of sport and fame for they meant to show the Oatley boys how they ought to play the game. And they brought their girlfriends with them - just to give their boots a rub, then they started operations on …..THE OATLEY RUGBY CLUB.

Well my listeners can imagine how the contest ebbed and flowed when the Oatley boys got going it was time to clear the road and the game was so terrific that ere half time was gone a spectator’s leg was broken just from merely looking on.

Well they rucked with one another till the field was strewn with dead, and the game was kept so even that neither team could get ahead. And when the Saint Ives Rugby captain tumbled down to die, the last surviving player and so the game was called a tie.

Then, the captain of the Oatley men raised him slowly from the ground, his wounds were mostly sprig marks yet he fiercely gazed around, there was no one to oppose him all the rest were in a trance, so he stumbled to his feet for his last expiring chance for he meant to make an effort to get victory to his side and he made the line, and dropped the ball, and tumbled down and died!

By the Evatt Park showground where the goalposts gently sway, there’s a row of little gravestones from which the players keep away, for they bear the rude inscription saying Stranger drop a tear, for the Saint Ives Rugby players and the Oatley boys lie here.

And on misty moonlit evenings when the stray dogs howl around, you could see the shadows flitting down that phantom rugby ground. You could hear the loud collisions as the flying players meet, and the rattle of the knuckles and the rush of forward’s feet till the terrified spectator runs like blazes to the pub, he’s been haunted by the spectres of

….THE OATLEY RUGBY CLUB

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