08 Aug 2019
Day 13 - Olly Hartley and James Sheldon

Fixtures vs South Otago

1st XV -

48-0 W

Yesterday was a day to remember. A much tougher game started off with an amazing Hakka. The game was immensely tight with line breaks after like breaks. One to remember was the opposition fullback carefully picking up the ball in the backfield and then putting a sumptuous chip and chase in that will stay long in Gons memory. Niall McGann and Gabe Seriki looked hungry as they manages to eat more Polynesian shoulders in 70 mins then they have had hot dinners. We then saw some robust carrying from Piero and an exquisite out the back offload from JV to Slevin to then put the biggest poacher of them all Charlie Beckett in under the posts. Bertie was loving life in defence as he came out with more chops then he had on his plate from the night before. Fitzys first challenge was waking up in the morning and picking 1 of his 5 pairs of boots to wear. Luckily for us he picked his kicking boots and nudged us into half time 22-0 up. Gon was having a game to remember as he finished a try that simply, to the naked eye, looked impossible to score. An expansive game of rugby with endless Bullets and cross field kicks left Berger puffing more then a Wednesday morning with Eugene. As we scored a couple more lovely tries that ended with Fitzy nudging a touchline conversion over. It was substitute time and the finishers sure brought their defence with them. Some courageous efforts from the Subs led to the oppo camped on our line but unable to convert it into points. A couple of interceptions from the opposition led to 2 superb cover tackles from Fitzy and Harv. In the end we came out on top with a great effort from the boys leading to a 48-0 win.

2nd XV - Whitgift seconds vs south Otago

After debating wether the pitches where safe to play on due to waterlogged grounds, the team was positive to play the final match. With kibble’s wise words in us and after an intense haka the game kicked off.

The first half was a close contest between the teams where whitgift ended up on top at 18-5 at half time.

The scrums were shaky and the penalty machines were out (which will need to be worked on) but the line out and the attacking back line were exceptional. It was really clear to see how the team has both improved and come together this tour.

With the second half commencing and the subs came on, the boys kept up the high standards. The last 15 minutes showed some of the best rugby that we played on tour.
This was highlighted by Ben lapthorne finishing a team try that the coaches believed that 12 player out of the 15 players got the ball.

The match was played and ended in good spirit with the opposition putting up a strong fight. Other honourable mentions in the match go to Acton, Jake Murray, Ollie Matthews, Fola for scoring.

This was a great way to finish the tour and the mood in the changing room after the match will be remembered by all the players as a memorable experience.

JRL Addition - In the evening we were treated to a post match reception at the South Otago Country Club. We started with a rugby quiz which was won by Mrs Wilkins, much to her husband's delight! Speeches were made and gifts exchanged with everyone mixing and socialising with ease. The hospitality that we have received across New Zealand, but in particular Balclutha has blown us all away and I know I speak for everyone when I say that our time in Balclutha shall stay with us for a very long time!