For the first time ever, a gay rugby union team has won both its local competition premiership and the Bingham Cup in the same year.
The Sydney Convicts won the Nicholson Cup Grand Final 20-3 against the Hills rugby team on Saturday.
The Nicholson Cup was fought out against 11 other division three teams from the NSW Suburban Rugby Union league this season.
Convicts president David Whittaker said the trophy was a significant step for the club.
“Winning the Nicholson Cup in the same year as winning the Bingham Cup and Bingham Bowl is a milestone achievement for the Convicts,” he said.
“No gay team has ever won both the Cup and their local competition in the same year.
“The game on Saturday was the Convicts A-side’s 18th consecutive win, including the six wins at the Bingham Cup tournament.”
Whittaker said the win continued the club’s nine year fight against intolerance as they promoted diversity in sport.
Convicts head coach Charlie Winn said he was extremely proud of the team.
He said the team was led “brilliantly” by Jayson Down for only his second game as captain while regular captain Steve Thorne was injured and out.
“Their belief in themselves was fantastic after having two tries disallowed, their heads never dropped at any point and defence was outstanding through the whole finals’ series with no tries let in,” he said.
As Down accepted the trophy on Saturday, he thanked the gay and lesbian and rugby communities for their support this year.
“We would like to thank St George rugby, Hills and all the other Division 3 clubs for making us welcome in the competition this year and for pushing us to be our best,” he said.
“It’s been a long year of rugby but the boys did us proud.”
With the local season done and dusted, Whittaker said he was looking forward to Australia’s gay rugby championship, the Purchas Cup on this weekend in Brisbane.
“We will be playing against our great friends and rivals the Brisbane Hustlers and the Melbourne Chargers at Easts Rugby Club on Saturday 22 September from 11am,” he said.
“It will be a massive celebration of rugby with a big party on Saturday night at the Wickham Hotel. Everyone is invited.”
In June, the Convicts club won both the Bingham Cup and the Bingham Bowl in Manchester, UK.