Rams back on the park and ready to defend 2020 title

The Rams in action before the competition was shut down last season. Photo: Christian Triffitt.
Share this story

The Penrith Rams will look to defend their 2020 AFL Sydney Platinum Division Premiership once again this season after the 2021 competition wasn’t able to be completed due to COVID.

Like many winter sports, the AFL were forced to cancel their Sydney competition halfway through last year after the Delta outbreak wreaked havoc on New South Wales.

Speaking with the Weekender ahead of this Saturday’s season opener against Southern Power, long-time Rams coach Kevin Kirk said his troops are more than ready to be the ‘hunted’ again.

“You’ve got to beat the Champs to be the Champs, I guess… so technically we do still carry the title,” he said.

Like every club, the Rams lost several players this past off-season with long-time captain Nathan Wright and fellow ruckman Shamous McDonagh being the major casualties.

Kirk said while the pair will “definitely be missed” because of their size, he is excited about some new blood being injected into the team.

“Nathan’s been a mainstay at the footy club for a long time, he was our longest serving captain,” he said.

“We’ve had a few guys leave and a few new guys come in as well, which is exciting in a way. It will be interesting to see how that all turns out in terms of chemistry and how they gel together as a team.”

Filling Wright’s big shoes as skipper is none other than Matthew Laffan who, like his predecessor, has been a Ram for many years.

“Matt’s a different style of player and person to Nathan, but he’s been good in the role so far and is quite enjoying it as well,” Kirk said.

Also returning for another season with Penrith is popular teammate and fan favourite, big Phil Aumann. The goal scoring veteran will return for another year in Rams colours and, according to his coach, is raring to go.

“We’ve also got the big fella coming back again, big Phil is defying time and coming back for his 56th season,” Kirk joked.

“He’s about as fit as you’d imagine him to be but he’s very keen also. It’s always good to have the big fella back, the boys love him around the club.”

The Penrith Rams will field three teams this season in Platinum Division, Platinum Division Reserves and Women’s Division 2.

The 2022 AFL Sydney season gets underway Saturday morning, with all three Rams teams taking on Southern Power at Waratah Oval in Sutherland.

Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the Weekender's Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for a decade.

Share this story