A big night of rugby league is assured when the Jack Gibson Cup and Lyn Smith Trophy matches kick off at Southern Cross Group Stadium tonight.
The best A Grade players from the Cronulla-Sutherland and South Sydney Junior Leagues do battle at 7.00pm, while the women’s match features Cronulla Caringbah and the Redfern All Blacks, with two keenly contested games set to take place at the home of the Sharks.
(See the teams lists below)
In what will be a first for the hallowed turf of Southern Cross Group Stadium, women’s rugby league takes centre stage when the Lyn Smith Trophy kicks off at 5.45pm.
An event named after the popular long-time junior league volunteer from the Sutherland Loftus Club, the two women’s teams clash for the inaugural Lyn Smith Trophy.
The Gibson Cup has been struck in honour of the legendary former premiership winning coach who had been in charge of both the Sharks and Souths during his illustrious career.
However while the Gibson Cup is about to be played for the 20th time, as explained by Cronulla-Sutherland JRL manager Nathan Waugh, the emergence and growth of the women’s game has prompted the first staging of a women’s fixture to complement the annual men’s match.
“It was just an idea we put to Souths in that we already had the traditional men’s game so why not add more to the showpiece,” Waugh said. “We’re looking at being pioneers as far as women in league now and hopefully that can continue moving forward.
“It should be a really exciting couple of games and we’re hoping people will come out and support it.”
As for the woman about who the trophy the two teams will compete for, Lyn Smith said it was both an honour and a surprise when she heard her name would be the most prominent on the special piece of silverware.
“I’m quite honoured,” Lyn began. “It was brought up at the last junior league meeting then that was the last I’d heard about it until I was reading the Leader and saw my name.”
A junior league volunteer for our 40 years, Lyn began her involvement with the game when her son ran out for the Loftus Pirates back in 1975.
By the late 1970’s she was helping out at the Pirates, before they merged and she moved with the Loftus to Sutherland-Loftus in 1983.
“We had two treasurers when the clubs merged and I was one of them and since then I’ve been Secretary, Vice President and Assistant Secretary. I’m still the Assistant Secretary now,” she added.
From the modest beginnings Lyn’s association with the game spread to the district level, where she was a delegate for her club, before becoming a junior VP and the Social Secretary, a position she held until just last year.
Lyn is a Life Member of the Cronulla-Sutherland Junior League.
“Lyn Smith has been involved in and around our competition for over 30 years now as part of the junior league and she’s such a prominent woman in our area,” Waugh added.
The Cronulla Caringbah Sharks women’s team, the only female rugby league team in the Sutherland Shire, boasts five players who are current Australian representatives in Ruan Sims, Corban McGregor, Allana Ferguson, Maddie Studdon and Sam Bremner. They will play with a Sharks pathways logo on their jerseys in signifying their link with the NRL club.
As for the Jack Gibson game, as is usually the case, a competitive and intense contest is assured.
“Our guys are the holders but it’s always a very close game with not much in it,” Waugh said.
The Cronulla Jack Gibson squad to be captained by Gymea’s James Spencer, features a sprinkling of players from four local First Grade teams and is coached by Wes Phillips.
The Lyn Smith Trophy is scheduled to get underway at 5.45pm, with the Jack Gibson Cup kicking off at 7.00pm.
See the respective team lists below;
Lyn Smith Trophy
Kick off 5.45pm
Cronulla Caringbah v Redfern All Blacks
Sam BREMNER 1 Courtney TALLON
Tegan CHANDLER 2 Kelsey TARLINGTON
Kate MULLALLY 3 Narikah JOHNSON
Jennifer Latu 4 Shanell DARGON
Lisa TAUARIKI 5 Emma GILLOGLY
Allana FERGUSON 6 Jasmin ALLENDE
Maddie STUDDON 7 Lavina PHILLIPS (C)
Georgie BROOKER (C) 8 Zoe KENNEDY
Kaarla Cowan 9 Rebecca RILEY
Ruby EWE 10 Eunice GRIMES
Mel Sexton 11 Kandy KENNEDY
Semra YAVUZ 12 Carly PHILLIPS
Jade ETHERDEN 13 Kiara MAZA
Sharna PICCINELLI 14 Mel WHITEHORN
Lauren VOSOTA 15 Chloe CALDWELL
Emma PYWELL 16 Fetina LOTOANIU
Corban MCGREGOR 17 Kowana WELSH
18 Juanita MARA
19 Alama TIGHE
20 Brook CUTMORE
Daniel Robberds Coach Danny Allende
Suzy Brooker Manager Sharon Maza
Lise Hoban Trainer Luke Freudenstein & Jeff Taylor
Jack Gibson Cup
Kick-off – 7.00pm
Cronulla v Souths
Ezekiel VAOTUUA - Como 1 Rhys HAYNES
Ahmed ALAMEDDINE - Gymea 2 Steven SAVAGE
Rob WISHART – Como 3 Keiran VALE
Tyla TAMOU - De La Salle 4 John SILA
Grant DAVIES - Gymea 5 Lewis RADLEY
Mitch WYNN - Gymea 6 Kyle MUNDINE
Luke YOUNG - Gymea 7 Maurie LONGBOTTOM
Matt EMERY - Cronulla Caringbah 8 Jyi SEYMOUR
Ryan ARCHER - Como 9 Connor HIGGINS
Brock COPE - De La Salle 10 George LOLO
Dylan SPARKS - Como 11 Ethan NATOLI
Andrew FADDY - De La Salle 12 Robbie RYAN
James SPENCER (c) - Gymea 13 Hayden PREECE
Dane MALONE - Cronulla Caringbah 14 Bradley MANTON
Pat FRANKS - Gymea 15 Shawn MEALEY
16 Alex SORGE
Danni TEREPO - Gymea 17 Kareel PHILLIPS
18 Brodie FITZGERALD
Ryan MCLEAN - Gymea 19
Wes Phillips Coach Bob Manns
Allan Barnes Asst Coach Spyros Spyrou
Warren Champion Trainer Steve Smith
Scott Wells Trainer Bruce Robinson
Terry Walters Trainer Andrew Tuigamala
David Ingam Manager Spyros Spyrou
Zye Phillips Ballboy
Noah Eason Ballboy
Jacob Eason Ballboy