U14s Joy in Jersey
Best tour ever!!
What a weekend! The U14s were part of a joint U13s and U14s Tour Group of 103 that woke very early on the Friday and headed to Gatwick ahead of schedule. The travel gods continue to bless us all weekend with every connection working like clockwork.
The U14s then enjoyed a gentle stroll down to the bowling alley that had opened specially for us. Much mayhem then followed until a true champion appeared, Colin. By the end of tour his score was recorded as close to 1000 points! However this early exertion did lead to a tendency to sleep in strange places and when the rest of us were trying to get home!!
With the kit handed out, “Hurricanes” were worn with pride and the adult “South Africans” were ready for anything. Apologies for those that did not get what they expected. Please can you contact Mark W (who will speak to Rupert Cutler) and we will try and sort out the orders asap.
We then transferred to Le Rocquier school to play a combined Le Rocquier and Haute Vallee school. At this more of the Jersey gods produced the Sun rejecting all prior weather forecasts. Cloudless skies accompanied us throughout!
The game against the school was played in great spirit and we watched in admiration as a team performance helped us when the game 36-0. This great performance was capped off with tries from Finn (x2), “ shoelace” Oli H, “ is red good with this hair” Sam T, “charge of the light brigade” Stan and “ our pocket rocket” Ben. A huge thank you to Joel and the rest of the teachers from both schools who helped arrange this match. We would welcome with open arms any plans for one of the schools to tour Sussex which was discussed post-match.
Another quick transfer from the school dropped us off at The Merton Hotel. For a squad whose last tour accommodation in Camber Sands this induced a stunned silence! It was the perfect hotel for us. Water parks next door, 5 mins from the beach and 10mins from the centre of town. The food was fantastic and service top draw. Through the stay the Merton staff were fantastic. All 103 rugby tourists were spoilt throughout. Thank you so much and we cannot recommend this hotel high enough.
Re-vitalised by Liberation, a monster breakfast and more sunshine we transferred back to Jersey RFC to play our hosts. The game started with Jersey hitting their stride early and winning the first half with some well taken score’s. Our team spirit game to the fore as the game went on. This spirit transferred to our skill level and we managed to score two tries from James and Finn. We will always remember this as Hugo’s game. Hugo plays for Jersey and unfortunately broke his leg as he tried to score. An ambulance on a rugby pitch is always a worrying sight and all were impressed with how the game continued and the respect the two teams had for each other. With a much more even second half Jersey ended with a deserved 29-12 win. “You sure he is not Farrell” Tom converting one of our tries.
With another excellent post-match meal at a superb club house we headed back to St Helier and some beach fun. Here Liam was assessed by our panel of coaches, parents, boys and seagulls for his application to join the coaching team next season. Despite an appeal by the seagulls and introducing us to Cornelius plus an outrageous refereeing performance he passed and we welcome him over the white line!
Before another 3 course evening meal we entered a court like no other. We had a sitting Jury, a defence lawyer, two bailiffs’ and some amazing props! Through tears of laughter we watched “two hand” James, “kick the ball” George and “shoelace” Oli defended by Paul, be sent down. He maintained his 100% record in losing every case as the Judge turned to the adults. “Sneezegate” Sarah was joined by Hugh, Andy and Susie for a hopefully once in a lifetime version of Let it go. Claire and Liam performed a clearly much practised squirty cream punishment. Steve threw himself at the mercy of the court when his one glass juggling routine failed! The whole squad were punished for being too nice and being such a great bunch of lads. The court ended in manic chaos with the drowning of the Judge whilst trying to deliver his punishment on coaches Matt & Neil. A huge thank you to Paul and Jason who clearly enjoyed the role’s far too much and we wait next year to finish the 3 hours’ worth of material Paul had produced.
After our meal the squad adult team won the quiz with Sixties expect Jerry leading the way. Donating the winning fizz to was welcomed in by all guests. Guy’s lead poisoning stud game brought much amusement and with “how can you not see that” Miles the greatest achievement.
After a late start, a first in 10 years of touring for some of us we returned to Jersey RFC. With our thoughts still with Hugo the boys signed an HWRFC shirt and presented it to his teammates before the game. A big thank you to “our pocket rocket” Ben W who donated his own shirt for this. This set the tone for the next hour of rugby. The first two 20 min periods we played a slightly changed Jersey team. 3 days of rugby, not enough sleeping and big meals are clearly the recipe for our squad. Something the coaches will need to look at closely next season. Over the first two periods we ran in 4 tries and three conversions. Our try scorers ran in 26 unanswered points with tries from; “literally the flying and punching (ball)” Finn, “charging bull “Oli T, “is that a gazelle” Angus and “you sure he is not Farrell” Tom.
With the referee commenting on how he had never refed a game played in such good spirit we mixed two baba’s team and the try fest began. Both clubs running in multiple tries as club mate tackled club mate. A true feast for all spectators with the pinnacle of “kick it” George competing a conversion and somersault in the same move!
We also had notable performances from “I pass from anywhere” Harry, “ I am taller than my dad” Freddie, “jail breaker” Joe, “we can score the best baba’s try” Frankie, “wow we can pass to the wing” Ben B, “ Sir! I could have scored” Bradley, “I love summer rugby” Sam W, ““brick wall” Archie, “he is everywhere” Alfie, “ruck, ruck run” Ellis and “I am Mike Brown” Nile.
All this was watched by our three non-playing musketeers who between them needed one leg, one arm and a new head. We cannot know how frustrating it was for these three but we salute your spirit. We had “playing rugby on tour is overrated“ Freddie, “land rovers are soft” Jack F and “why Uckfield, why me” Jasper.
Back to the club and some fantastic food, a live link to the Jersey vs London Irish game. Wasn’t Jason quiet! Then a presentation to finish. Jersey have been the perfect hosts all weekend and finished with presentations to some of the coaches and singling out Captain Oli, Finn and Ben as stars of the weekend. We thanked on and all a presented Michelle with flowers for all her hard work in making the tour runs like clockwork. We also thank all the jersey parents who organised the buffet themselves for us. It was the best post-match teas we have ever had.
A special mention must go to our A star marvellous mums. We had 10 on tour and clearly this influence sets a standard that raised our ambition, accommodation, team play and overall tour. A diversity policy we should extend to the coaching team. Any volunteers?
A free couple of hours and a gentle stroll back to the airport for tea. Plane left early, and landed 30 mins early only to stuck in congestion before docking! “I don’t need an umbrella” Guy guided us to the bus and we arrived back in Cypress car park at 9.14. 1 min ahead of schedule!!
A big thank you to everyone on Tour - you all made it a fantastic weekend. Especially to our sensational Jersey hosts Ian and his coaching teams, the refs and the star of them all, Michelle.
A special mention must also go to the Tour sponsors; hyfin, Goldsmith & Allcorn and the Heathfield & Waldron Rotary Club - thank you for your support in helping to make such a fantastic touring experience possible to all families across both squads. Bring on 2018.