Not much claret, lots of port
By TONY WHITE
EVER hear of the 'port bin'?
For the uninitiated, it's a Golden Oldies rugby version of the sin bin with a strange twist.
Players who are deemed to digress by the referee are sent to the 'port bin' or 'penalty port' for a short spell and must consume a designated amount of port, as in the alcoholic beverage.
"There was a healthy amount of penalties given out," joked Joe McCabe, one of the organisers of the eighth annual Grafton Bullrouts Golden Oldies Six Pack tournament in Grafton over the weekend.
"Refreshments are part and parcel of the day out," McCabe added with a wry grin.
"Players need to replenish their fluids."
Teams from Grafton, Manning River, Yamba, Casino, Lismore and Coffs Harbour gathered for the weekend festivities, which included several games of rugby on Saturday at Rugby Park, South Grafton.
Unfortunately representatives from Moree failed to make the journey.
"The rain up there forced them to withdraw," McCabe said.
The social aspect of Golden Oldies rugby is just as important as playing their beloved game.
Players and their wives gathered to open the festival at the Crown Hotel on Friday evening.
"It was an excellent night and great opening," McCabe said.
On Saturday morning players filtered into Rugby Park for a series of games to clean out the cobwebs and test their ageing rugby skills.
The Redman juniors catered for the event, raising much needed funds for the club.
"On behalf of the Bullrouts I'd like to give special thanks to detective Tony King and retired pharmacist Andrew Pollock for their support in refereeing the games," McCabe said.
And the winner on the day?
"Golden Oldies rugby. The score cards read a draw for each of the games," McCabe said.
There were some notable performances however.
Player of the Day went to Phil Gibson.
Other 'stars' were Marty Phillips and Ken Woodward.
And retired surveyor Jim Donohue got a special mention as the strongest injured player.
"The tournament was played in Golden Oldies spirit ? fun, friendship and fraternity," McCabe said.