Bullrouts in fine form and full voice at Golden Oldies
GOLDEN OLDIES RUGBY: Reports of middle aged men complaining of aching joints and sore foreheads would come as no surprise this week after the Big River Bullrouts hosted their annual Golden Oldies 'Six Pack' Tournament.
On Saturday afternoon about 50 rugby players over the age of 35 indulged in rucking and mauling which made way for singing and cajoling long into the evening at the annual celebration of rugby union and friendship.
There was representation from Ballina, Lismore, Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, Urunga and a visiting team from Brisbane, but rugby was the big winner on the day at Rugby Park.
"It's all about fun and friendship," Bullrouts publicity officer Eric Watling said.
"Golden Oldies is for people who enjoy rugby for a good time rather than the score line."
Watling said some last minute rescheduling thanks to a forfeit in the Mid North Coast Rugby Union competition helped to amplify the already fever pitch anticipation ahead of the day's events.
"We were supposed to have the bottom field, but the Redmen were handed a forfeit so we had the 'TV game' on the main ground," he said.
"It was a fantastic day. We played rugby until dark, Coopers supplied the refreshments, there were a few boat races at the end and I think there might've been a couple of kegs demolished. Then we retired to The Great Northern for dinner and karaoke."
And no doubt many a glory day tale told.
"They certainly did," Watling confirmed. "We all got better (at rugby) the more we drank."
Golden Oldies is restricted to players over-35s, and while the over-60s wearing red shorts cannot be put on the ground and purple-short-cladded septuagenarians are virtually untouchable, it can get 'a bit willing' at times.
"Some players are just out of grade football," Watling explained.
Big River Bullrouts will send a squad to Wales to be among 5000 players for the World Festival of Golden Oldies from August 21 to 28. The opening ceremony will be held at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff.
There final preparation will be at a Golden Oldies tournament at Bellingen on August 6.
Much of the squad travelled to Mar del Plata, Argentina for the previous festival in 2014.