Celebrating 50 years of Country Rugby Union in Grenfell

The Grenfell Panthers Rugby Union Club 2017 first grade side. Congratulations Panthers on your 50 year milestone, a terrific achievement.
The Grenfell Panthers Rugby Union Club 2017 first grade side. Congratulations Panthers on your 50 year milestone, a terrific achievement.

HISTORY OF RUGBY UNION IN GRENFELL

Rugby Union in Grenfell has been played on and off for over 140 years. During this time over 1000 players have helped Grenfell Rugby become what it is today. Rugby was played in the area from the 1870s until the 1920s before league was introduced and the code slowly declined. Grenfell Rugby Union was reformed in 1956. In 1957 the All Blacks played in Grenfell against South West, Grenfell was represented by G Pattrick, T Fanning and Bob and Brian Bembrick. 

The South West Zone side who played against the New Zealand All Blacks in 1957.

The South West Zone side who played against the New Zealand All Blacks in 1957.

Grenfell was again without rugby in 1958 when zones changed and distance brought the club undone. The Bembrick brothers instigated the rebirth of the club in 1967 in the Central West Zone. South West reformed in 1968 and Grenfell won its first premiership the same year, followed by premierships to first and reserve grades in 1972 and 1974. It was also in 1974 that the club purchased their home ground and named it R.B. Bembrick Field.

The 1919 Grenfell Rugby Union Side.

The 1919 Grenfell Rugby Union Side.

The club won a further two premierships in the 70s and won the 1987 cup before a huge year in 1988 winning the NSW Country Championship. The team played 24 matches in 24 weeks scoring 683 points for with only 113 points against. The 1990s saw Grenfell completely dominate with 10 straight premierships.

The 21st century saw a change of direction as South West and Riverina combined to form Southern Inland Rugby comprising of 20 clubs. In 2000 and 2002 the Panthers won the 2nd grade premiership and in 2010 they took out the 1st grade premiership. In 2009 the second story of the clubhouse was completed and is currently well utilised by members and visitors.

FAMILY DAY CELEBRATIONS

This Saturday, July 8,  the Grenfell Panthers Rugby Union Club invites all members of the community, past and  present players as well as any person looking for a great day out to come down to Bembrick Oval. This fantastic day of footy celebrates the Panther's 50 years of successful country rugby union milestone.

Grenfell Rugby Union Club would like to thank all past and present sponsors for their support. Without them the Panthers would not have been able to thrive in the way that they have.

To kick off the action the Junior Panther's  and the Viva girls will take to the field at 12:30pm. These players are the future and heart of county rugby so come along to cheer them on.

At 2pm the Golden Oldies will dust off the boots and take to the field trying to relive their glory days. Whether it be the outstanding skill or their ability to niggle the opposition, this game is sure to be a highlight of the day.

3:15pm will see the First Grade sides of Grenfell and West Wyalong battle it out. This is always a hard contest and will take skill, soul and club pride to take the win.

Come along for a great show of rugby union with the day catering for the whole family. A jumping castle will be operating for the little kids while a full bar and canteen will help satisfy the adults. Fire buckets will be the meeting place once the action on the field wraps up for everyone to gather and recall past Panther memories.

The evening’s events will consist of nibbles and a two course dinner at the

Grenfell Country Club starting at 6:30pm. Andy Friend (coach of the Australian Rugby 7’s) will attend as a special guest and speaker.

The Grenfell Panthers clubhouse will be the place to be this Saturday.

The Grenfell Panthers clubhouse will be the place to be this Saturday.

We hope to see a huge crowd there to celebrate this fabulous achievement for the Grenfell Panthers.

PRESIDENTS MESSAGE

On behalf of the Grenfell Rugby Club I would like to welcome everyone to our 50th year reunion weekend. Whilst rugby started in Grenfell in the gold rush years, in 1875 a local six team competition was formed, this year marks the 50th consecutive year of rugby.

Saturday’s games against West Wyalong will kick off at 12.30pm with our Junior Panthers and Viva Girls, followed by Golden Oldies at 2pm and 1st Grade at 3.15pm. Following the day at the Rugby Club, the Reunion dinner will be held at the Grenfell Golf Club, starting at 6.30pm. Guest speaker will be current Australian 7s coach, Andy Friend.

During the evening various speakers will reflect on each decade, as well, there will be a few surprise presentations. In amongst speeches we will auction 25 special edition commemorative jumpers, worn on the day by our 1st grade team. These will be a one off jumper never to be available again. 

I would like to thank our many sponsors and supporters, especially Lachlan Fertilizers, our major sponsor for the last decade and Justin Harris of Alliancefm for his continued support. 

I wish everyone safe travels and an enjoyable weekend.

Trevor Cooper – President Grenfell Rugby Club