"The year that was": Robbie Fulton reflects on 2019 Goats Season

· WA Premier
by Rugby WA Media

Anyone would of thought playing for the Curtin University Goats in 2019 would be a season of heavy losses, bruised bodies and broken spirits however after speaking to club captain Robbie Fulton, he paints a very different picture of a club full of passion, a drive to win and a great family culture.

Expecting a savage transition into the Fortescue Premier Grade from the community rugby competition, the ‘Goats’ underwent a rigorous pre-season in the hope to prepare themselves for a long and very different season of topflight WA Senior Rugby.

As the first round quickly approached, the survival of the Curtin club in first grade hung in the balance as recruitment crumbled, scepticism shrouded the minds of club members, and results in trial games started to dampened spirits.

Despite the worries from pre-season, a surge of excitement was felt around the club as Curtin hosted Joondalup Brothers at ‘Goatland’ for their first taste of premier Grade rugby, a game which was live streamed back to Robbie Fulton’s family in Wales who woke in the early hours of the morning to watch.



Fulton recounts a dazzling atmosphere on the day and leading his team out through a raucous tunnel.

After Curtin’s first 80 minutes in first grade, Fulton and his teammates looked up to the scoreboard to see a 100-point deficit against them, a score line that would strike fear into any losing team.

Curtin marched on and continued their determination to improve, and as the season pushed on Curtin didn’t hide away.

The culture at Goat Land only strengthened. With a large contingent of players based at the club, player numbers at training did not waver and the social aspect at home games transformed Edinburgh Oval into a frenzy.

At the start of 2019, Perth’s first and only all-inclusive rugby team the Perth Rams joined forces with Curtin something which Fulton says has had a profoundly positive effect on the club.

With numbers in training strong and a bubbling atmosphere evident at the club the Goats entered the final stages of the season in high spirits as they celebrated the 50th anniversary of the club.

Underwhelming results had plagued Fulton’s troops all year and with a handful of games remaining, they remained in the hunt for their first premier grade victory.

On a rain affected afternoon at Goat Land in late July, the Goat’s produced a scintillating performance to claim their first premier grade scalp against the Southern Lions. Pandemonium swept across the club and the winless season had all but diminished.

The win was a mammoth turning point for the club who had worked tirelessly throughout the season. Although it didn’t translate into remaining wins it meant a lot for Fulton and the club in their first season of premier grade rugby.

As the season came to a close, Fulton was looking forward to enjoying down time with his wife Carla and two boys William and Owen. However, his season wasn’t over yet as he received an invitation to train with the Perth Gold squad.



Whilst many would reflect on Curtin’s inaugural year in the Fortescue Premier Grade as a disaster, Robbie Fulton will tell you otherwise, and expresses that it was a year that put Curtin on the WA rugby map.

Fast forward to 2020 and the Goats have been steadily preparing for a busy 2020 season, bolstering their squad with a number of valuable players, including former Denmark u19 captain Sebastian Thøgersen, back-rowers Tomoki Ogawa, Vau Lagaaia and fullback Alex Klewinghaus.

Curtin will look to hold their own this season and showed pragmatic signs of improvement in their opening trial game against West’s Scarborough last weekend.

 

 

Curtin University will kick their first  game off in the Fortescue Premier Grade on July 4, facing Palmyra Rugby Club at Edinburgh Oval, Kick-Off 3:30pm AWST.


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