The Wyong Kangaroos (known as the Wyong Roos) are an Australian Rugby League club based on the NSW Central Coast. They play in the Central Coast Division Rugby League Competition and also field a team in the NSW Cup. Between the years 2003 and 2012 they competed in the Newcastle Rugby League Competition, winning the premiership in 2009. Wyong’s colours are green and gold and they play their home games at Morry Breen Oval, Kanwal, New South Wales, Australia.
|Full Name Wyong Rugby League Football Club|
|Colours Green and Gold|
|Competition NRL New South Wales Metropolitan Cup|
|Competition CRL Central Coast Rugby League Division|
|Home Ground Morry Breen Oval, Kanwal, New South Wales, Australia|
|Club Manager Michael Coghlan|
|Football Manager Matt Lavin|
|Coach Robert 'Rip' Taylor|
1910 – 1919
A Wyong District Rugby League Competition was formed by F.G (Gersh) Baker and S.A.McKinnon in 1910. Many of the players had previously played Rugby Union. Unofficial matches were played until 1915 when the first organised challenge matches commenced between Wyong, Erina, Gosford and Ourimbah.
1919 – 1947
In 1919 the Wyong and District Rugby League was formed which included teams from Jilliby, Kincumber, Nords Wharf and Yarramalong. Wyong were unable to consistently field a team during the war years with some players choosing to play with Ourimbah. Races (dogs and horses) were held every Saturday at Wyong or Tuggerah and interest declined, forcing Wyong to withdraw from the 1925 competition and not re-forming until 1929 when they won their first officially recorded premiership. Further premierships were won in 1930, 1931, 1932, 1934 and 1936. During this time the Wyong Rugby League Association became the Erina Rugby League Association with many members of the Wyong Club, including Gersh Baker, holding most of the executive positions. This competition collapsed in 1937 with most Wyong players electing to join other clubs. Wyong struggled in the years leading up to, and during, the war and eventually disbanded again in 1942. In 1944 they combined with Morriset to play in the Newcastle competition.
1947 - 1959
In 1947 the Central Coast Rugby League Association was formed. Wyong, with Ted Watts as coach, won the premiership in all three grades. Unfortunately this success did not last and Wyong struggled for the next decade. Wyong teams continually finished on the bottom of the ladder in all grades and eventually withdrew from all competitions in 1958 due to lack of interest, player unrest and poor administration. Most Wyong players left to play with other clubs in the 1958 and 1959 season. The club was reformed in 1960 after a meeting convened by Artie Mollett at Wyong Memorial Hall.
1960 – 1980
Following the reformation of the Wyong Rugby league Football Club in 1960 a junior club with Russell Potter as President and George Glading as Secretary/Manager was established in 1961. In 1963 Morry Breen was appointed as Wyong’s 1st Grade Coach. It was one of the most significant appointments in Wyong’s history as Breen instilled a style of play and culture that was to lead to ongoing success in the '70s and '80s. Breen arrived at Wyong after an extensive career playing and coaching in North Queensland, NSW country and with Brisbane Souths and Eastern Suburbs. He was a visionary and was a major force in the establishment of a licensed club in 1973. With Dennis Smith as coach Wyong won the premiership in 1968, 1969, 1971 and 1974. In 1970 Wyong Rugby League Club became an incorporated body to be known as Wyong District Rugby league Football Club. This was a very prudent move because it ensured that the licensed club, that was to be established and the football club were the one, and same, body. Land was purchased to establish such a club in 1971 and after obtaining a liquor license in 1972 the licensed club was opened by Australian Rugby League President, Kevin Humphreys in June, 1973. The main playing field was named Morry Breen Oval. Wyong continued its dominance in the '70s winning four consecutive club championships between 1973 and 1976.
1980 - 1990
Wyong, with Paul Taylor as captain/coach, won the 1982 Grand Final defeating arch rivals Woy Woy 28-10. There was a lot of controversy before the game when the selectors could not reach consensus on the make-up of the team and Taylor insisted on making numerous changes to the team that had defeated Umina in the preliminary final. Wyong reached the Grand Final in 1987, 1988 and 1989 but were unfortunately beaten in all games. However, the '80s could be looked on as a very successful era. Of 46 Grand Finals played in all grades between 1980 and 1989 Wyong had played in 24 for 13 premierships and had also taken out the Club Championships four times. Another highlight of the decade occurred in 1986 when the Wyong Under 16s, coached by Mick Kent, completed their time in junior football with nine successive premierships. In nine seasons the team played 167 games for eight losses and four draws. Tony Newbury, Adam Aiken, Steve Carter, Darren Barratt, Lee Sharp and Damian Kent played in all grand finals.
1990 – 2000
The '90s began well with former Canterbury half-back, Mal Creevey, as coach, leading the team to a well-deserved premiership in 1990 after the three successive losses. Wyong dominated the '90s consistently winning the Club Championship and playing in seven Grand Finals. Premierships were won in 1990, 1992, 1996 (all coached by Robert “Rip” Taylor) and 1997 (coached by former North Sydney player, John McArthur). This was a time of upheaval in Rugby League with News Limited creating a Super League Competition in 1997. Because of Wyong’s dominance there was speculation that Wyong would join Super League or be part of a revamped ARL competition.
After defeating Tweed Head Seagulls in the 2002 Country Challenge Cup, then winning premierships in 1st and 2nd Grade and another club championship Wyong made the big decision in 2003 to join the Newcastle Rugby League Competition. At the same time they were still fielding teams in the Central Coast competition – six teams in all, which was to become a huge burden on players and resources. Under new coach, Paul Stringer, Wyong withdrew from all Central Coast competition in 2007 and made the NRL Grand Final, only to be beaten by Lakes United. Wyong were able to avenge this defeat in 2009 when they defeated Cessnock 36-4.
At the end of the 2012 season Wyong decided to pull out of the Newcastle competition and enter a team in the 2013 NSW Cup. At the same Wyong announced that all senior teams would return to play on the Central Coast. They won the 2013 Under 18s and Reserve Grade Premierships as well as the Club Championship.
Wyong were competitive in the 2013 NSW Cup winning five games including two wins against the Bulldogs and an away win against Auckland. Mitch Williams was judged the NSW Cup 2013 'Player of the Year' and was also chosen in the NSW Cup 2013 'Team of the Year'.
Licensed Club and Playing Fields
Irregular meetings were held during the '60s about establishing a licensed club but nothing eventuated until 1971 when the President, Joe Bishop, announced that six acres of land had been purchased at Kanwal to build such a club and playing fields. Kanwal was ten kilometres north of Wyong but had been recognised as growth area. The choice to go to Kanwal was led by Morry Breen. A license was obtained in 1972 and the club was officially opened by the President of the Australian Rugby League in June, 1973. The ground was named Morry Breen Oval in recognition of Breen’s vision and determination to see the project succeed. A further 26 acres was purchased on adjoining land in 1977. This proved to be a very astute decision. Between 1986 and 1992 the club had been placed in official receivership. However, the development and sale of this land and with the support of banks and creditors the club was able to overcome all its financial difficulties, enabling it to grow and expand rapidly. In recent years it has acquired ownership of the Central Coast Masonic Club, Toukley Bowling Club, Wyong Bowling Club, Budgewoi Soocer Club, Avoca Beach Bowling Club and Goulburn Railway Bowling Club, giving it a membership of over 35 000.
Including the various competitions before 1947, Central Coast competition and Newcastle Rugby League Wyong have won 17 premierships.
1930, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1936, 1947, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1974, 1982, 1990, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2009 (Newcastle)
- Roy Ferguson; 1963/1971 – Western Suburbs; 1972/1976 – St.George
- Olaf Prattl; 1969 - Balmain
- Phil Langley; 1983 - Norths Sydney
- Steve Carter (1988-02 Penrith Panthers & Widnes Vikings)
- David Thorne (1988-91 Newcastle Knights)
- Mark O'Meley
- Justin Ryder (2000-04 Newcastle Knights & Wakefield Trinity)
- Sinbad Kali (2008 Melbourne Storm)
- Rhys Pritchard (2011 Sydney Roosters)
- Josh Mantellato (2013- Newcastle Knights)
- Paul Carter (2014- Gold Coast Titans)
- Willis Pele Meehan (2014- Sydney Roosters)
- Grant Millington (2008- Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs & Castleford Tigers)
- Glading, George (1995). History of Wyong Rugby League. Kanwal, N.S.W, Australia.
- Tunn, Greg (2013). Morry Breen: A Passionate Life. Kanwal. N.S.W., Australia.
- Callaghan, Paul (18 January 2003). "Kangaroos face baptism of fire". Newcastle Herald. p. 118 – via EBSCO Australian/New Zealand Reference Centre.
- Bell, Cameron (1 January 2013). "Roos leap into NSW Cup unknown". Rugby League Week. p. 76 – via EBSCO Australian/New Zealand Reference Centre.
- Leeson, John (27 October 2012). "Edwards fear player exodus as Roos bulk up for NSW Cup". Newcastle Herald. p. 76 – via EBSCO Australian/New Zealand Reference Centre.
- "Wyong Roos News". Wyong Senior Roos. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- "NSW Cup Results". NSW Rugby League. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- "2013 Season Review Wyong Roos". NSW Rugby League.