Port Macquarie Rugby
Union Club turns 38 in 2012
founded by a group of enthusiasts in
1974. No Rugby Union had been played in the Hastings since before the
First World War. In its first year, Port played only invitation teams,
but clubs from Sydney, New England, Far North Coast and Central Coast
happily travelled here for a weekend to enjoy their Rugby, and some
relaxation time at the then emerging beach resort called Port Macquarie.
year of competition had only three
teams, comprising of Port, Kempsey and Taree. Gloucester joined the
following year and although the road to the semi-finals was assured,
Port was beaten in the first two years by Taree and Kempsey in close
Port succeeded in a long line of
Premierships and when reserve grade was added in the 1980's, Port also
dominated this level.
in the Hastings of a former Wallaby,
Reg Smith as coach, saw the level of forward play rise to extreme
levels; Port went for two whole seasons without defeat. Smith was aided
by the arrival in town of a former Randwick A grader Des Taylor, and
these two provided the nucleus of an unbeatable forward pack.
Smith era, Port's performance declined
for a few years before the advent of master coach Graham Linn, who
inspired the arrival of numerous class players including a young
English loose forward Ben Clarke, who after a wonderful season in Port
returned to England to play for his country for many years.
The under 19
competition came a long in the
nineties, with the local club - now called the Pirates, winning more
premierships. Linn's second stint as coach included players like
Besseling - (Waratah Super 12 player and current club president) and
exciting Rep. players like Gordon McQueen - a giant second rower and
Peter Bennett, the best five-eight in the Clubs History.
A surplus of
players saw the birth of Port's
second club - the Viking's, who in 2000 played their first season with
all three grades.
In the early
years of the seventies, Port was ably
assisted by the Mayor Ald C.C. Mac' Adams, in securing the ground,
clubhouse and flood lighting at Stuart Park. Many hours of hard labour
were put in by the players in constructing the Clubhouse and the
present ground used for competition.
The Port Club
also boasted some fine cricketers
and, applying their talents were able to win "A" grade premierships in
the Hastings competition. Rugby touch football teams were also
successful in the early years of competition.
2007 saw another in a long line of first grade
premiership for Port Rugby club. A
lot of club spirit has been built up over the 37 year history. Our late
Mayor Wayne Richards was a pioneer with the club. Rob
current Member of the Australian Parliament
for Lyne and Peter Besseling, former State Member and Waratah,
played for the club.
The Westport Club Pirates were runners-up in 2010 after a strong
season. The club looks forward to an enjoyable
and successful future, both on and off the field.