Along with our netball teams, our rugby teams had been in New Zealand on tour themselves only a few months previously, and it was fantastic to welcome a school from New Zealand to the beautiful grounds here at Seaford College.
The experience of hosting a New Zealand side, and in particular, to watch them perform the Haka, was hugely exciting, not only for the players, but for the many people who came along to watch the game.
“What a fantastic experience for our students at the College,” admitted Liam Doubler, Director of Sport. “For the community to come down and witness that… it’s what touring, it’s what sport’s all about.”
Palmerston North are one of the strongest school rugby sides in New Zealand, and this was the final stop on their tour, so it was always going to be a tough ask to get a victory, and so this proved.
In the 1st XV game, Palmerston took a very strong lead in the first half, and whilst Seaford improved dramatically after the break, the damage had been done and they ended up losing 0-30. Despite the scoreline, the Palmerston tour administrator, Lindsay Calton, felt that “even though the score might have blown out a little bit, it was still a physical game, a tough game, and the boys are really tired.”
The 2nd XV also struggled to cope against the strength and power of the Palmerston boys, losing 5-42.
A defeat is always hard to take, but it’s important to take the positives from them, and to focus on what can be learnt for the future. “They’ll definitely take something from the game,” said Kevin Rich. “And I think it’s a great experience for them to be able to push on after half term. They’ll reflect on this game, review it, and they’ll build on it.”
The Palmerston coach also felt that Seaford rugby was going in the right direction, and predicted that “In three years’ time it’ll be a different game.”
We certainly enjoyed hosting Palmerston North, and if they go on any tours in the future we would gladly host them again!