South Coast Group 7 Rugby League
South Coast Group 7 Rugby League has established a reputation as one of the premier competitions in the old Country Rugby League (now NSW Rugby League) since its inception. This reputation was further enhanced during the 2020 competition when the COVID-19 pandemic when, after restarting their competition mid-season, was the only NSW competition to complete their competition with a full complement of their original teams. The competition’s border stretch from Lake Illawarra in the north to Ulladulla in the south, although Batemans Bay Tigers did take part in the competition from 1978 (winning the competition in 1979), a lack of players and financial pressures led to them returning to Group 16 at the end of the 2014 competition.
Clubs include Albion Park-Oak Flats, Warilla-Lake South, Shellharbour, Stingrays of Shellharbour, Jamberoo, Kiama, Gerringong, Berry, Nowra-Bomaderry and Milton-Ulladulla. At times many of the above clubs have withdrawn from first grade for short periods, however, have turned things around and are now competitive.
St Georges Basin has also taken part in first grade a couple of times, while St Michaels also took part at one stage in the 1970s. The competition has also catered for many smaller clubs who have taken part in the third grade (formerly Regan Cup) competition, including Robertson, Mt Warrigal Kooris, Albion Park Outlaws, Sussex Inlet, Culburra, Crookhaven and Wreck Bay.
In the competition’s formative years, there were also many now-defunct clubs like Albatross, Jervis Bay, Kangaroo Valley, Wandandian, Roseby Park, Pyree, Greenwell Point, Bombo, as well as three Kiama teams, Waratahs, Starlights and Kiama-Bombo have also competed – many of them in first grade in the early days. The Ladies League Tag (formerly Women’s League Tag) competition was introduced in 2010 and has been a huge success, with record numbers recorded in 2020, while junior numbers continue to grow.
The Group has also produced many international and state players (including Australian Schoolboys) Gerringong’s Michael Cronin, Rod Wishart, Paul Quinn, Ken Stephen, Reuben Garrick as well as Ashton and Tariq Sims. Kiama’s Brett and Josh Morris and Shawn Timmins. Milton-Ulladulla’s Jack Murchie (also Gerringong). Shellharbour’s Ron Costello, Ron Lynch, Bob Bugden, Martin Silarski, Trent Merrin, Luke Bailey, Matt Cooper and Jai Field. Nowra Warriors’ Tony Branson and Bruce McGuire. Batemans Bay’s Ben Cross and Michael Weyman. Berry’s Joe Jorgenson, Gus Miller and Andrew Walker (also Bomaderry). Warilla-Lake South’s David Boyle, Josh and Blake Dowel. Albion Park-Oak Flats’ Luke O’Donnell (also Milton-Ulladulla) and Drew Hutchison.