Rugby Colts perform at WorldSport Gold Coast tournament
In the last school holidays 27 Under 15 and Under 16 players travelled to compete in the annual WorldSport Rugby Carnival. Run by former Wallaby Barry Honan, the carnival was celebrating its 25th year and was attended by many teams from New Zealand and Australia.
The first day saw the boys start positively with two comprehensive wins against Toowoomba Grammar and St Josephs Terrace Grammar. Some key performances in these games came from Daniel Sakisi who threatened every time he had ball in hand, and from Marshall Hannah who scored a hat trick against St Josephs. To rest the bodies the boys were lucky enough to enjoy a rest day on the beach followed by their favourite past time - shopping.
Day two of the tournament saw the boys up against Scots College from Sydney. This team was well drilled and held our key runners in check with solid defence. Scots took a win, and immediately qualified for top position in the Under16 playoffs. Our afternoon game was against Te Aroha College, another New Zealand team. Te Aroha took straight running rugby at us and snuck home with a close fought win. Another rest day followed and the boys enjoyed the rides and pools of Wet n Wild.
Day three saw us play a semi-final, against Toowoomba Grammar. The Toowoomba team were much more disciplined than in the first game and the game was a hard fought encounter which either team could have won, though a real turning point was when Nathan Koolen crashed over for a try after busting through three defenders. This rise in confidence saw the boys close out Toowoomba for the remainder of the game. The final against Scots College was a much different affair to our first encounter. The boys had made specific changes to deal with the Scots defence and as such we were able to break through and score two tries and take a good lead. However, two sinbinnings meant that for half of the 40 minute game we were forced to play with 14 players and this gave the Scots outside backs too much room. By the end of the game Scots had managed to take a 6 point lead and the game.
All of the boys grew as players, and as tourists, and it is hoped that they take these skills into their seasons in 2016. The team, and rugby club wish to thank Barry, Taylor, and the Makuru whanau for all of the leadership they provided in getting the boys to the Gold Coast for this amazing opportunity.