Rats go for gold at emotional 50-year reunion
THEIR motto is "run hard, tackle low and back up all day", and that's what they did.
Two hundred plus Ex-Rats and Ratettes - old rugby players and their WAGS - came to the Maurie Ryan Oval, or "Mauriedome', last weekend, to celebrate 50 years of Lismore rugby across four institutions, which now fall under the banner of Southern Cross University.
And to "cap off a great weekend", the Rat first grade team beat Lismore City 50-14.
As one former Rat, Jonathan Moeller, said: "It was a fitting score for a 50th anniversary".
It was the 300th run on for stalwart Peter Murphy, who's been playing for The Gold Rats since 1986.
One Gold Rats first grader commented after the game: "I've never played in front of a crowd like that, great atmosphere, it would be awesome if the Ex-Rats could come every week".
The grand reunion began with a stroll through the '50 years of Gold Rats Rugby' museum, curated for the event.
"We all reminisced about the toga parties, pub crawls and sing along bus trips on tours to Coffs and Mallanganee," Moeller said.
A highlight from the evening was the speech from ex-Wallaby, Justin Harrison, who told of how "as he walked into the Rats clubhouse on uni orientation day, having never played rugby, he became a Wallaby".
"Before SCU became a university for the digital age, some had played with long hair for Lismore Teachers College in the seventies and others for the Northern Rivers College of Advanced Education, during the "stonewash" eighties," Moeller said.
"Some came to study, pass and move on, others came to turn on, tune in, drop out."
Disclaimer: Jonathan Moeller is the brother of the journalist.