Inside Back sport column

OTHER SIDE: Rugby ref Dylan Sigg. Picture: AJF Photography
OTHER SIDE: Rugby ref Dylan Sigg. Picture: AJF Photography

Whistle while you work

Former Manly rugby player Dylan Sigg was on his couch a few years back, screaming at the referee in charge of a New Zealand v France Test match. He was finding fault in just about every decision the whistleblower made. "Then suddenly I thought to myself 'put your money where your mouth is. How about picking up the whistle?'," he told Inside Back. "If I think he's stuffing it up, why don't I have a go at it and see if I can do any better?"

After 110 first grade games for the Marlins, Sigg hung up the boots and signed on to become a ref. Quickly making his way through the lower grades, the 35-year-old made his first grade debut in the recent Gordon-Parramatta Shute Shield clash at Chatswood Oval, earning high praise from both sides.

"I was probably more nervous that day than playing my first first grade game 15 years ago," he said. "But once I got out there it was all about doing the job and letting the boys play."

So, any abuse? "No...but it probably helps I'm one of the bigger blokes (1.98m and 105kg) on the pitch," he said with a laugh. "I know there can be a slip of the tongue when emotions are high but I don't take it personally. I understand the passion."

Sigg hopes to one day referee at representative level but for now is happy to serve his apprenticeship in the club ranks.

Help from above

Inside Back hasn't set foot in a church for a while and we're not completely sold on this divine intervention stuff but maybe there was something spiritual about the performance of the South Curl Curl SLSC boaties at the Aussies. Almost a year to the day Sth Curly legend Graeme "Zom" Knox lost his battle with cancer, the small club blitzed the nationals, winning four titles and finishing on the podium in three other events.

"I was at the carnival to see these amazing young men and women perform. I know Zombo would be so proud," Zom's widow, Jen, wrote. "Congratulations everyone who made this happen."

It's the club's best-ever result and was no doubt celebrated with the odd schooner of Zom's favoured drop.

Classic encounter

The action wasn't all confined to the water at last week's Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic. We have it on good authority that a romance developed between one of the leading international female surfers and a northern beaches' sporting figure. The pair spent several days together before the surfing circus moved on and the lovefest came to an abrupt end. The young bloke was clearly bowled over by his new friend and has promised to stay in touch.

The beer around here

Inside Back is a drink responsibly type column, but sometimes a couple of cold ones can help ease the blood pressure when your footy team is doing it tough. The good people at 4 Pines Brewing know this and sent us a six-pack of their fine Sea Eagles-branded Northern Beaches Lager three weeks ago with the following message: "Thinking of you during these difficult times. Enjoy a drink on us." Since we took our first sip, Manly has gone on a three-game winning streak. You can get the limited edition cans at Lottoland and 4 Pines venues for now, but they will soon be in local bottle shops. "We've been sponsoring the Sea Eagles for three years and it's an awesome relationship," 4 Pines spokesman Adam Gummer told us. "The Sea Eagles cans have been really popular. We've been getting a lot of good feedback."

Lights go out on Cup run

We told you last week about the lights going out at Melwood Oval early in extra-time in Forest-Killarney FC's FFA Cup tie with Unanderra Hearts. Instead of replaying the entire game, the two sides were instead ordered out to Glenwood's Valentine Sports Park to complete the final 28 minutes. Unanderra got the cash with a late penalty sending the Greens out of Australian football's biggest knockout competition. Manly Vale FC and Manly United both live to fight another day after round four wins.

We'll be watching you, Katie

If Big Brother is your thing, you might want to swing your support behind local girl - and the subject of NBR's cover story - Katie "the Warrior" Williams over the next few weeks.

She is described by Channel 7's word shovelers as "the 27-year-old from Sydney's Northern Beaches who is a former champion beach sprinter turned personal trainer and podcast host".

Katie, who competed for Collaroy SLSC, said: "Big Brother is going to throw us curve-balls. The only thing we can do is hit back with force."

She copped a fair old curveball in the first week when they threw her ex-boyfriend Mikey Pembroke into the Big Brother house.

That's as much as we can bring you at this stage. For updates, check with the nearest teenager in your life.

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