The Helensburgh Attack Comes In Gold And Black
The Tigers are Helensburgh’s local rugby league club, with teams ranging from Under 6s to Senior First Grade. Home games are played at the football fields in Rex Jackson Park (more commonly known as Helensburgh Ovals) in Walker St, Helensburgh.
Notable former Tigers players include Justin Poore, who played for St George Illawarra Dragons (2004-2009), and currently plays for the Parramatta Eels NRL team; and also Neil Piccinelli, another NRL player who played with the Illawarra Steelers (1989-1996), the Hunter Mariners (1997) and the Newcastle Knights (1998).
The Helensburgh Tigers R.L.F.C is part of the Illawarra Division Rugby League competition that has been running in the Wollongong area since 1911. Helensburgh was in fact one of the five founding clubs in the league, along with Dapto, Wollongong, Unanderra and Mount Keira. These days the league includes clubs from Berkeley, North Wollongong, Corrimal, Thirroul, Shellharbour, and University of Wollongong.
The Illawarra Division is part of the Country Rugby League of New South Wales, and considered one of the strongest local competitions in NSW, featuring former and current NRL players. The Illawarra Division Senior representative team have also had consistent wins in the Country Rugby League championships.
The player grades within the Illawarra Division Rugby League include:
- Under 6s to Under 12s competitions
- Under 13s to Under 16s competitions (merged with the Group 7 Rugby League, which consists of clubs from the South Coast)
- Senior competition (First Grade, Second Grade, and Under 18s) are known as the Carlton Illawarra League, due to sponsorship rights, and the Second Division competition is called the VB Cup
The Helensburgh Tigers play a small, but important role within this larger league. In addition to their junior and senior teams, there is also a girls team known as the Tigerlillies.
The Tigers’ emblem is, of course, a tiger, and the team colours are gold and black. These colours have traditionally been reflected in the sports uniform of Helensburgh Primary School, and even in the school’s official crest, showing continuity in community spirit. Local community sponsors of the team include:
- Peabody Energy/Metropolitan Coal
- Westside Helensburgh Petroleum
- Tri Clark Brothers Earthmoving
- Canavan Building
- Darkes Forest Horse Riding & Boarding Stables
- Helensburgh Metal Fabrication
- Blackwell Bros Pty Ltd
- Ray White Helensburgh
- Al’s Gourmet Meats
- Helensburgh Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic
- Helensburgh Civic Video
- Helensburgh Workers Sports and Social Club.
The Helensburgh Tigers are three-time grand final winners, securing the Illawarra Rugby League First Grade Premierships in 1986, 1988 and 1993. The Tigers also won the Reserve Grade Premierships in 1952, 1960 and 1961.
The current club President is Colin Doran, with Steve Gilmour serving as Vice-President, Stephen Rolfe as club Secretary and Dorian Cobb as Treasurer. The club’s postal address is PO Box 26, Helensburgh, NSW, 2508. Anyone wishing to contact the club for enquiries can do so through the Secretary, Stephen Rolfe, on 0418 758 099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images/Photos, and Article © Ian Piggott 2013 – all rights reserved,