Convicts take out Nicholson Cup
In what has been a fairytale season, the Sydney Convicts gay rugby union club tasted even more success over the weekend after taking out the grand final of the Nicholson Cup.
Despite missing captain Steve Thorne through injury, the Convicts A side played superb defence for the whole match to eventually run out 20-3 winners against the Hills rugby club at the Macquarie University Sports Grounds. The Nicholson Cup is the toughest local competition the Convicts have been involved in during their nine-year history.
The victory comes on the back of success at the Bingham Cup in Manchester, England where the Convicts A and B sides took out the prestigious Bingham Cup and Bowl after seeing off some of the world’s best gay rugby teams.
Convicts president David Whittaker described this season’s efforts as a milestone achievement.
“No gay team has ever won both the Cup and their local competition in the same year,” Whittaker said.
“The game on Saturday was the Convicts A-side’s 18th consecutive win, including the six wins at the Bingham Cup tournament.”
Convicts head coach Charlie Winn said he was extremely proud of the team.
“Their belief in themselves was fantastic after having two tries disallowed, their heads never dropped at any point and defence was outstanding through the whole finals series with no tries let in,” he said.
Jayson Down, who took over captaining duties for the grand final, paid tribute to the club’s supporters.
“We thank the gay and lesbian and rugby communities for their fantastic support this year. It was great to see so many people make it to the game,” Down said.
“We would like to thank St George rugby, Hills and all the other Division 3 clubs for making us welcome in the competition this year and for pushing us to be our best. It’s been a long year of rugby but the boys did us proud.”
The season isn’t quite over yet for the Convicts, with the club to now travel to Brisbane for the Australian Gay Rugby Championship, the Purchas Cup, this weekend where they will be up against their great friends and rivals the Brisbane Hustlers and the Melbourne Chargers.
“We very much looking forward to our end of season trip to Brisbane,” Whittaker said.
“Homophobia and bigotry still impacts the everyday lives of hundreds of thousands of Australians.
“The Convicts have shown that gay athletes are equally capable of playing hard and fair rugby and attaining significant on-field success while maintaining a vibrant and diverse off-field culture.”
Last week, the Convicts received an official endorsement from Prime Minister Julia Gillard for their bid to host the Bingham Cup in Sydney in 2014.