Parramatta captain Adrian Musico wants his club to parlay a historic Ken Catchpole Medal win into tangible growth for rugby in western Sydney.
Musico became the first Two Blues player in the history of the Shute Shield to take out the top individual honour on Tuesday night.
The openside breakaway, who also captained his side this season, polled 17 votes, holding off West Harbour flanker Kelly Meafua (16) and Southern Districts captain Marcus Carbone (15).
The result was announced to huge cheers from the audience at the Hilton Hotel, and came as a surprise to Musico given the Two Blues’ 10th-place finish in the Sydney club competition. Sydney University won the Shield after beating Warringah 45-12 on Saturday.
“It was a huge shock to be honest, I had no idea,” Musico said.
It’s finally good to get a win [for the club]. Personal accolade aside, it’s just a small win considering what’s going on with rugby in western Sydney, but it’s a step in the right direction for the club and we can hopefully build on it.”
Two Blues president Brian Blacklock said the win was a reflection of the competition’s values.
“We were completely shocked and blown away but when you know Adrian and what a great character he is, he’s not only an excellent player over the ball, who topped the tackle count last year, but he also has the respect of the referees,” Blacklock said.
“There was a lot of applause from a lot of the clubs. I guess they were partly cheering for us because we wear the underdog tag and they were also cheering in acknowledgement of Adrian and how well respected he is.”
The award was also a boost for the Sydney and NSW Rugby Unions, who are under pressure to do more in western Sydney.
Blacklock revealed the club was working on a major overhaul in the lead-up to next season, involving a new name, a bigger catchment and the $11 million redevelopment of their Granville Park home.
“We are re-branding to the Western Sydney Two Blues to broaden our reach beyond Parramatta,” he said.
“Our juniors are from Baulkham Hills, to Hawkesbury and down to Liverpool, so being isolated as ‘Parramatta’ doesn’t resonate with everybody. We also live in the shadow of the Eels [rugby league team], so this is a great opportunity to re-establish rugby as a sport and as a viable pathway to the elite levels.”
The Two Blues are pleased to announce and congratulate Adrian Musico as the Two Blues First Grade Captain for season 2018. The Shute Shields top tackler in 2017 Muso leads by example and is set to lead the Two Blues troops out in round one this Saturday v Sydney University.
Nasinu RFC from Fiji claimed the inaugural Biu Blacklock Shield at the weekends first trial for the Two Blues. In a highly entertaining match Nasinu claimed the game with a conversion on full time to snatch victory 36-34.
The Two Blues and Nasinu have joined forces entering into a sister club association with the two clubs touring to contest the Biu Blacklock shield named after current club presidents Paula Biu and Brian Blacklock.
The game was a great first hit out for the year for the Two Blues with some exciting rugby played by both sides.
The Two Blues now work towards the next trial v Gordon on the 17th March followed by final trials v Manly on 24th March all at Granville Park featuring both colts and grade.