A special Connection for Calrossy Reunion Weekend

Photo and Story Courtesy of the Northern Dailty Leader - October 12, 2023

For as long as Middlemiss sisters Brianna, Amie, Jess and Peta can remember, Saturday's in winter have meant one thing - going to the rugby.

It's been a ritual from when they were in nappies, through to running up and down the sidelines as ball girls and later cheering their beloved Barraba on, to now lacing up the boots themselves; their love of the game ingrained from parents Shayne and Jenny.

When you talk rugby, particularly Barraba, there aren't too many people who have made as big a contribution.

After coming over from New Zealand to play for the Rams in 1986, Shayne went on to play around 150 games, and since retiring, has served on the committee in various capacities. Jenny was secretary for over 20 years and is still part of the committee.

Both are Life Members. Jenny is also a Life Member of Central North, while Shayne was awarded the Prime Services to Rugby award in 1999. Now the girls are taking up the mantle.

Brianna (now Mack), who is the eldest at 30, and Amie (25) were both foundation players for the Rams women's side. Both are also office bearers with Amie the club registrar and Brianna the secretary. 

Jess (22) also played before eye issues saw her hang up the boots, while Peta (28) played a bit at uni. Before the long weekend though they had never all been part of the same team. In what was a special moment they united for the Calrossy Red side in the alumni women's match.

Peta was actually meant to be going camping before she got the call-up the night before. Having not played for about six years she was a bit hesitant, but said she thought she'd regret it if she didn't. She was possibly regretting it that she did, joking that she "felt like death" afterwards.

But it was a lot of fun.

"It was good fun. I play with Brianna throughout the season so that's always good, but it was good to have Pete out there," Amie said. Neither she or Brianna had played with her before. They'd had a game with Jess. 

Other than her being able to play (she ran the water), the only thing that would have made it more special, Brianna added, was if they had of got to pack down for a scrum in the front row together. 

It was for her, Amie and Peta the first time pulling on Calrossy colours. Jess was the only one that had the chance to play at school. There was no rugby program when they were going through. 

Such a big part of their lives growing up, Brianna said it is exciting to be able to play now.

"I guess always having to sit on the sidelines and watch the boys play, you always sort of wanted to get out there and have a run around," she said.

"As soon as we got the chance to play, we all sort of put our hands up for Barraba," Amie added.  "We're at the rugby anyway so we might as well play while we're there."  For her this season was a milestone one. She became the second in the family to play 50 games for the Rams.

"But you don't get your name on the board till 100 though so I've got a little while to go," she joked.  "[But] it would be nice to get up on the board with the old man."