Tour Update from Cape Town, First Practice Matches

We follow the latest few days of the tour over this weekend and individual player blogs from both the U18 and U16 squads so thanks to them for blogging and telling us about their progress. Three cheers for Andy Murray !  Hip hip hooray, Hip hip….

Friday 5th July

The squad had a 9am breakfast this morning before they were put to work with Alan and his 2 v 1 attacking zone drills. Focusing on the contact zone, Alan concentrated on support lines and keeping the ball alive which would be reflected later in the day.

After a short, sharp burst in the swimming pool to loosen some muscles, the boys headed straight to the restaurant for a healthy portion of lasagne and salad to get them set for their practice match against Folkestone Academy, another touring side from the UK.

Following match preparation with Mr Cook and Mr Bowden, the teams were set to hit the pitch for their matches.

U16 Match Report v Folkestone Academy by Harry Collins

In our first training match of the tour we as a team played very well. We were playing an academy side from Kent, called Folkestone. Our structure and communication were our strong points leading to an early try from our winger Zach Jermyn. Zach continued to have a positive game scoring a further two tries.

We also played with a high tempo, which put the opposition under pressure. This resulted in numerous handling errors from them. We would then convert these opportunities into points. This included three tries from Zach Jermyn, two from Matt Langmead and then one from Oscar, AJ and Goo. We have taken lots of confidence from the game and will look to build on this performance as we continue on the tour.

U18 Match Report v Folkestone Academy by Will Norton

Today we had our first training match against an academy from Kent. It was to prepare us for our games against South African clubs and schools. We were ready to go from kick off and had the adrenalin rushing through us. Throughout the game we had very aggressive opposition who were ready to play hard and fast. No matter what, we didn’t let them through our defence and kept them back from our try line.

We had a number of rolling subs for the new players and the injured. Unfortunately, we lost our captain (Lee) for a while down to a raking on the back of his head which he dismissed as a scratch. This didn’t put us down though; it got us ready to go back and encouraged us to play harder.

Even though our end result was 0-0, it was definitely a game we can look back and see where we could improve. We have a couple of days to train and improve our performance ready for our next match against Springbok opposition!

An evening braai was definitely in order and definitely well deserved. Pork spare ribs filled each boy’s plate which were demolished within seconds before the boys parked themselves in front of Murray’s semi final.

Roll on the series victory for the Lions tomorrow!

Saturday 6th July

Lions! Lions! Lions!

Despite Callum winning it, the handbag award for moaning definitely goes to the entire U18 squad for their performance in the pool recovery session this morning. Loosening muscles from yesterday’s physical fixture, the boys “enjoyed” a short, sharp burst before a match analysis in the seminar room.

It was then Lions time, 41-16…what a result for the boys in red against the old rivals Australia.

After another great lunch from Marius, the two age groups split for the afternoon sessions. Mr Bowden and Miss Teague took the U16 contingent for a short trek around the foot hills surrounding RPC while Alan worked on recycling the ball from breakdown with the senior side before heading off for a team run.

The U16s returned for a short session of touch while a 5-a-side football tournament the other side of the road was turning rather competitive until bad light stopped play. The true winners were obviously the staff…

A great braai for the last evening was followed by a presentation of the Seaford shirt to Alan for his hard work and great efforts with both the sides. After the presentation of gifts to the rest of RPC staff and MAN OF THE MATCH shirts from yesterday were awarded to Zack Jermyn and Will Hunter, the group continued the competitive tone of the evening with a closely fought sports quiz! The captain and coach’s team took the top prize.

Tomorrow, the squad will return to Cape Town, stopping at the West Coast Ostrich Farm and a Game Reserve before arriving at the hotel that they will stay at for the rest of the trip!

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