Craig Robberds set to play his 200th game
Craig Robberds is set to bring up yet another milestone, on eve of his 200th cap in the mighty blue and maroon jersey, as Wests are set to take on Uni Norths at Jamison AKA The Feeding Grounds.
Robberds made his debut for the club back in 1995 and over that time has etched his name into Wests history. Racking up 158 1st grade games, 1,694 points, five John I Dent Cup victories (Three as man of the match) and three MacDougall Medals in a stellar career. Robberds was also named at inside centre in the recent Wests Team of the Professional Era, along side other Wests Royalty, narrowly missing out to the number 10 jersey by Stephen Larkham.
“It’s taken a while having 10 years off but I’m really enjoying being back playing and having some fun each week. The club means a lot to me, I’ve been here since 1995. Pulling on the Wests jersey is really special whether it’s been in 1st grade or 4th grade. My closest friends are from Wests and we have shared some special times together,” Robberds said.
“Probably my two best playing memories are the 2001 1st grade grand final when we were down 15-7 with 15 minutes to go after Viking scored and started celebrating. We then scored 15 points in eight minutes to win the game! The other one is the 2005 grand final when we won Five from Five. I remember looking across at the crowd during the break before extra time and the grand stand was on fire and all I could hear was “Lions Lions Lions”. The last 20 minutes was a bit of a blur, Steve Tonkin picked up a pass from his ankles and scored and then Frank Walmsley was able to boot a loose pass into touch to end the game. It was an amazing day for the club,” Robberds said with a grin.
Despite Robberds famously walking off the field in 2005 looking like had 12 rounds with Mike Tyson, there have been recent accusations Robberds could play his games in a dinner suit these days, a comment which hasn’t been seen around the club since the likes of Trevor Ellis in his twilight years.
“Robbbo has been an absolute pillar at Wests for over two decades, and it’s great to see him still enjoying his rugby and passing on his experience to the other guys in the grades. Robbo has been major contributor to Wests success over a long period of time, he deserves all the accolades,” Club President Angus McKerchar said.
Robberds, also 1st Grade Coach and Director of Rugby acknowledges it has been a grind this year on the field, but the Lions have begun building a platform which will see the young squad carry their experience into 2019.
“It’s been a tough year for Wests, losing 10 players from last year’s grand final side, which has had a flow on effect on some of the other grades too. We have blooded some young talent this season and they are developing really well. We've regularly been selecting four colts aged players playing 1st grade and a couple off the bench to build up their experience and blood them into the top grade. This will build a good platform for next year which is promising,” Robberds said.
Get down to the Feeding Grounds tomorrow for what is going to be an absolute cracking Canberra winter day.
Wests v Uni-Norths
1st Grade: 3:15pm
2nd Grade: 1:50pm
3rd Grade: 11:05am
4th Grade: 9:45am