The rugby gods must have been cursing themselves for not intervening the day Stingrays co-captain Tom Beattie dislocated his shoulder on the 23rd of June. The sea was angry that day my friends! Monsoonal rains buffeted the players for most of the match and a moment of sheer selflessness ended the season for Tom Beattie. After his shoulder crumbled between the ground and an opposition player, Beattie, thinking only of his team, took his place in the defensive line with his shoulder still dislodged from its socket.
As one of the leaders of a vastly inexperienced Stingrays outfit, Tom Beattie along with Ben Church, were made co-captains for the 2012 Premier rugby season. Both players have been involved in the Stingrays campaign for many years and coupled with their experience, toughness and uncompromising style, were obvious selections to lead the team out to battle.
According to team mates, Beattie inspires those around him by his actions and deeds. Reports from Stingrays camp suggest Beattie is a positive influence and is energetic around the players. Such is the importance of the team and putting the team first, Beattie took a personal interest in welcoming the new boys to the squad throughout the pre-season and formed strong relationships right from the get go.
Beattie, hailing from the Fraser Coast, moved closer to SCRU central a few years ago to further develop his rugby and make a bid for Stingrays selection. Fast forward to 2012 and Beattie, through a mountain of hard work and persistence, has been rewarded with the Co-Captaincy. Paired with Ben Church, the pair have complemented each other’s game extremely well throughout the year. Church, introverted, quiet and thoughtful where as Beattie is loud, hyperactive and speaks his mind on the pitch.
Beattie had developed nicely over the year. He seems to have thought long and hard on positioning himself to be more effective than previous years popping up all over the field to harass ball carriers right across the park. Beattie’s strength lies in his defence and breakdown ability. Having grown up on a diet of both League and Union, his ability to bring men down who are bigger and heavier than he is second to none. He has proven to be a real menace at the breakdown this year which has given his side every chance to compete for the ball.
Beattie, whilst not yet drawing the curtains on the 2012 season, has been missed by the Stingrays since his mid-season demise against Brothers. The players appear to thrive off his enthusiasm and feel at ease when he is on the park. The team have learnt to live without their leader and others in the team have picked up and tried to fill the breach left by Beattie. With the season still 6 games out from the finals, there is the slight chance that the Stingrays leader could be back for a cameo in the closing rounds. The players will have their fingers crossed in hope that there is a minor miracle and the gods intervene this time.
Tommy Beattie, a great team man and someone that all kids coming through the ranks should aspire to be.
- Terrance Llewellyn- Bowater.