Tour Blog Day 7 & 8
Today was a good day… all the usual waking up for breakfast went on before we headed to the Signal Hill, right at the top of Dunedin. The sights were incredible, right across the whole city. We went straight from here and onto the Cadbury World factory tour, which lived up to expectations. We think that most enjoyed the part where they could pour their own liquid chocolate into little pots with all the toppings. Most were feeling quite full of chocolate by the end.
There was a little time to shop and buy lunch in Dunedin again before transferring to Kings’ and Queens’ High Schools for our matches.
The girls’ netball were met with a warm welcome and song from the lovely ladies of Queens’ school. We then took to the court and hugely improved on their performance from the previous game. The passing, ball speed and receiving of the ball was far superior and we were complimented on this in their pre-match speeches. They had a very strong side and were able to beat us on this occasion 16-48. They were such a nice group of girls and their supporters were rooting for us as well and cheering for their own.
The Seaford Hurricanes played in a fantastic location right on the beach in Dunedin. The first half was scrappy, as the side tried to force play, and were tested physically by the opposition. A couple of well worked tries just before half time gave them a 21-10 lead. The opposition scored the first try of the second half but after that they were blown away by expansive attacking rugby and courageous defence. The final score of 47-15 was fully reflective of the efforts from the boys. Player of the match was Ash Goodwin.
The Seaford Highlanders match was one which was greatly anticipated. The boys were fired up from the moment they arrived at the ground. Motivated and looking to continue their great form the team started well and were ahead early after some great handling and some strong running lines. This knocked the wind out of the sails of the Kings’ boys and the Seaford boys were able to cement their superiority with another few tries. We ran out 59-5 winners and showed great discipline and mental strength in limiting the opposition to one try. Outstanding performances from all but must mention Edward Hansell and Elliot Quinton who, on the day he turned 18, led the team superbly.
The whole of the boys’ touring party are growing in strength and unity and can’t wait to get to Australia to continue this fine run of form.
There was time for some match analysis for the girls before dinner, packing and bed. It has been nice to celebrate several birthdays over the past couple of days. Hugo Truman was 17 yesterday and both Elliott Quinton’s 18th and Archie Mayes 15th today.
Tomorrow we will be departing for Alexandra at 10:00am. The girls have another fixture tomorrow against Dunstan High school to hopefully build on their performance from today’s match.
It was our last night at the Burn’s Lodge in Dunedin, which had been home for three nights. We awoke for breakfast at the accommodation before the girls hopped on one of the coaches and headed straight towards Alexandra.
The boys made their way to the beach next to the pitches that they played at yesterday. They used the opportunity to do some recovery in the sea and stretch out from the activities of the previous day. Not many of the boys managed to go in past their toes though. They also visited Baldwin Street, which is known to be the world’s steepest street. They made their way to the top; some ran it and some walked. They then made the journey to Alexandra in time to watch the girls play.
The girls were up against it today. That was possibly one of the strongest U18 sides we have seen play netball and likely a team who would dominate nationally in the U.K. The girls gave it their all and despite a rather dramatic score line, the girls once again improved upon their performance from yesterday, and their execution of skill was excellent, especially when you consider the standard of players they were up against. It was nice for the girls to have the support of the boys in full attendance and hopefully we can continue to build upon the positives from today’s match in our next against an Australian school on Monday.
We are now within our new accommodation, boys and girls separately on this occasion, and have just had dinner.
Tomorrow is a day of adventurous activities. We will be doing the Shotover jet boat ride in the morning, as well as going up the gondola and doing the luge. Some of the brave will also be throwing themselves off of bridges and ledges throughout the day as well. Thank you for all of the consent forms that we will of course be triple checking before allowing any of these thrilling activities take place!