Roseville Under 14 Rugby 2013

Roseville Under 14 Boys Rugby Tour - South Island Sept 2013.

The Roseville Under 14 Boys Rugby Team from Sydney, Australia arrive in Queenstown on Saturday 21st September to begin their 4-match Tour of the South Island. The 8 day / 9 night Tour will see the boys play matches in Queenstown, Alexandra, Dunedin and culminating in the final game being against the Belfast Rugby Club in Christchurch.
The 27 boys and 13 fathers will also enjoy a great cultural experience when the touring party enjoy a Maori cultural evening experience capped off with a traditional Maori meal – a Hangi

Other activity highlights will include the Queenstown Gondola, Luge, Jetboats and Ice Skating and also White Water Rafting in Rangitata. There is plenty to see and do during the tour so the boys won't too much time to rest. 

Follow the Roseville Team either here on the Tour Diary or on Facebook where we'll regularly update the happenings both on and off the field with plenty of photos as we give our Aussie friends a real taste of Kiwi hospitality.

The 2013 Roseville Under 14 Rugby Touring Squad is:
Players:- Tom McMullen, Jamie Basheer, Tim Opie, Tobi Tuerk, James Armstrong, Tommy Ridhalg, Harry Waugh, Jack Bucknell, Tom Kriger, David Borghgraef, Brad West, Rhys Watkins, Matt Cleworth, Samar Alva, Harry Howe, Sam Baptist, Jack Powell, Hamish Davidson, Kelsey Howe, Ollie Drew, Toby Donohue, Michael Killen, Jed Shaw, Jack Donohue, Didier Radford, Oliver Vinter & Fred Leach.

Parental Supporters:- Simon Basheer, Gavin Opie, Christian Tuerk, Geoff Ridhalgh, Alec Waugh, John Bucknell, Stephen Howe, Michael Powell, George Davidson, Steve Howe, Gavin Drew, Simon Donohue & Michael Vitner.

Don Warner

Your Kiwi Host

Day 1 - Saturday 21st September 2013

Luge Racing at Queenstown

The Eagles have landed!

Plane on time, good flight across the Tasman, landing at midday, after the very early 4am (Aussie time) start. The weather in Queenstown surprised us all, very moderate with the sun breaking through from time to time. Temperature around 14-15 most of the day but it did cool down dramatically once the sun went down.

First stop – the Bank! Christian (Minister of Finance) had it all under control. Then to the Gondola and Luge rides, a few crashes, nothing serious, no skin lost and a few "bragging" rights here and there. The pies and burgers got a thrashing and everyone enjoyed their first afternoon in Kiwiland.

Back and booked into the Best Western Cranbury Court Lodge and coach Gavin hd the lads straight over to the training field for an hour run around. I think they enjoyed it, a few moans and groans as they returned.

Dinner tonight was at Winnies Pizza Hut, excellent! Great service, the boys and men cleaned up the towers with ease, even the Pizza's were great value.

A good solid start to the Tour – everything is GO!

Day 2 - Sunday 22nd September 2013

Prepare for Battle!

Again the weather has been ever so kind to us! Fresh morning but still no rain. Really disappointing news around 9.30am when the local Whakatipu Junior Rugby Team contacted us to forfeit the game due to a lack of numbers – hard to tell the Dads the news and even more embarrassing to inform the lads – mind a number of yahoos were heard on the Bus when we decided to head across to Cromwell (55km) and head for Paint Ball Central.

Paint Ball Central were very accommodating and we had a BBQ lunch in the surrounds of the Battleground as everyone got prepared for War. Half an hour later it was all on! Even though the sides were selected as Yellow Team and Red Team it meant very little! Everyone got shot, shot died and reported to Hospital as the rules stated while others disregarded every rule and shot who ever moved! Some great bruises to show, a break between battles – the little Shanty Town war ground was a favourite and there were some tall stories to be told on the bus trip back to Queenstown.

A quick stop at the Bannockburn Speights Beer, a game of touch in the carpark to ease the pain of the bruises and back to Queenstown just after 6pm. A singalong on the bus was entertaining to say the least and the rendition of my beloved HAKA to the tune of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" proved the highlight.

Dinner tonight was the Indian delights of the Bombay Palace. Butter Chicken proved the favourite amongst the lads. Fed and finished by 9 the lads headed for home for a night in front of the TV, a card games while some actually headed for bed.

A good day and let's hope it all continues – it can only get better from here!

Day 3 - Monday 23rd September 2013

Boy – did we see some countryside!

Breakfast at the Cranbury Court went well, the weather didn't look that flash but the activity of the morning was the Thunder Jet Boat ride 44 km around Lake Wakatipu and into the Kawarau River got the day of to a solid start. A brief stop at AJ Hacketts original Bungy Jump didn't have any takers but the views were sensational.

An arranged "friendly" rugby match against Cromwell High School was preceded by a visit to Subway, the Cromwell Bakery, Mitre 10, the Video Shop and the Public toilets on offer! The skateboard park got a real thrashing from the Rugby Balls, rubber balls and general mayhem as the lads and adults charged their batteries for the game.

Cromwell High School proved too strong led by a sterling HAKA that got the locals of to a solid start scoring 2 early tries before the Roseville lads found their feet and, at stages, were looking very good. However 7 tries to Cromwell and 3 to Roseville was the difference but gave the visitors valuable experience of what they can expect from the 3 remaining matches. Awesome facilities, a lush green field to play on was certainly a new experience for the visiting Roseville players and adults.

Immediately following the game presentations were made and we were on the bus for the 45min trip to Alexandra...............Unfortuantely 45mins became almost and hour and a half as our experienced, organised Tour Co-ordinator took the wrong turning, but we did see some exhilarating countryside, thousands of wild rabbits, some deer and a great long dusty road!

We made it to Alexandra, after some great navigating and arrangement of directions – only 20 minutes late for tea – but all well and with still a smile on the face. Leader DJ suffered again from all quarters this time!

A roast dinner at Centennial Court Motel and ice cream for desert was all the lads needed and they were content to head to their rooms and watch a little cricket on the telly and reflect on a pretty tough introduction to New Zealand Schoolboy Rugby.

Day 4 - Tuesday 24th September 2013

A cooked breakfast greeted us in the Dining Room at the Centennial Motel then we headed back to Cromwell (hopefully for the last time!) for Go Kart Racing at the Highlands Raceway. Great fun, plenty of action, a few "crashes" and several near misses.


Lunch was fruit and sandwiches and a last drive along the banks of the River and a glimpse of the Clyde Dam just outside Alexandra. Todays game was against a very well drilled Dunstan High School who greeted us with another mighty version of the traditional HAKA – a HAKA the teams trains at during the week! Again pretty intimidating! Dunstan had a mixture of lads obviously several older and larger than the Roseville boys but the lads never gave up and put in some spirited tackles. We did manage a try but our tackling was shown up on occasions as the locals run in several spectacular long range tries to run away with the scoreboard.


A brief after-match function and it was on the Bus for the 3hr jaunt to Dunedin. We stopped at a small town called Roxburgh for "pie, spud and peas" which was pleasant enough and gave us a break. With the video in action and some tired people (both boys and dads) we continued into the night arriving (just as the movie finished) at our Dunedin accommodation – the Adrian Motel in St Kilda. Boy has the temperature dropped!

Not a bad day, a lesson in rugby, but some more improvement from the boys continues to bode well for the future.  

As the Tour makes it way thru the South Island the boys and dads are coming to understand the rugby culture of the Kiwis is pretty unique. And it only gets tougher from here.

Day 5 - Wednesday 25th September 2013

Continental Breakfast in our Units – which the boys weren't particularly impressed with, and it wasn't much better outside as we headed for a Tour of the Forsyth Barr Rugby Stadium the home of the Super 15 Franchise Highlanders and the ITM Cup Otago Rugby Union. Met by ex-Highlander Hooker Jason MacDonald who took us on our Tour around the stadium included the behind the scene overview of Highlanders and Otago Rugby. The Otago ITM side was training at the ground and the boys met ex-All Black Prop Kees Meuws as well as watching World Cup winning Lock Brad Thorn roaming around injured watching the team.


As the weather gradually deteriorated our game (easily the toughest) against the Otago Metropolitan Team approached it's 4pm kick-off. Official referee and a stiff opponent had us really struggling to compete at most facets of the game. Occasionally breaking out of our half we were completely dominated by this Rep Selection team who had recently beaten the Canterbury team and showed the talent the obviously have available from such a huge player base. The score was irrelevant but hopefully the Roseville lads will have gained valuable experience for the future.


After the game we headed to the Moana Indoor Swimming complex (heated pools) for some recovery and try their exploits in the Diving Pool. While no future Olympians were uncovered the boys certainly had some fun and put the game well and truly behind them.


A few of tha dads stumbled across an Irish Bar just down the road and they were collected soon after 7pm when the boys settled for McDonalds for tea and the dads headed to a local steak house for a sample of the local steaks and ale.


The weather still bloody cold and everyone will be happy to put Dunedin behind them after this.

Day 6 - Thursday 26th September 2013

Transfer Dunedin to Christchurch via Rangitata White Water Rafting Experience.


7.30am departure out of the Otago region and onto the Canterbury Plains with a breakfast stop at Oamaru (you guessed it – McDonalds for a tasty snack?).


The TV and Video really came into it's own with a couple of movies helping pass the time and the boys (& dads) content to keep the blinds shut and watch movies rather than the delightful scenery we went past in the 3 and a half hour journey northward. Didn't get lost this time – that was a bonus – and we finnally got to Rangitata Rafting just in time for a lovely lunch of filled rolls, meat & greens to fill those hungry tummies.


A pretty strick briefing to the lads and dads ensuring safety while the entire group took on the rapids the Rangiata River had to offer. Thick wetsuits and correct attire kept them warm and some cliff diving again proved popular and thrilling. Rangitata Rafting had hot showers – hardly used – and dished us up a great traditional Kiwi BBQ where the sausages and bread were popular but the salads again went largely untouched.


A 90 minute ride to Christchurch – another movie – and we were at our Christchurch accommodation the Airport Gateway Motor Lodge. Comfortable rooms but a few of the lads went on some random phone calling necessitating a visit from Motel Management!


Our day was done, some showing signs of tiredness but still everyone pretty happy with everything except the calibre of our Rugby opponents.  

Day 7 - Friday 27th September 2013

Training, Paintball and the sights of Christchurch.


Coaching staff called a "Training Run" just across the road to try and prepare the lads for their final showdown tomorrow – all this before breakfast as well! Some tired boys returned for a "cook-up" in the courtyard of the complex being offered a comprehensive meal of cereals, sausages, bacon and eggs – the dads were most impressive with their cooking ability.


On the Bus by 11am and a drive thru the centre of Christchurch viewing the damage caused by the earthquakes of only 2 years ago. In places looking more like a war zone than a central city shopping complex the destruction was pretty obvious and there is still much to do to get the central city area back to where it used to be. The homes and in particular the Streets still a mess in places.


Out to McLeans Island Paintball for another clash of the Titans! No BBQ this time instead we had filled rolls, ham, cheese and salads to keep the Soldiers fed. A few bruises and battle scars but not too bad and were back at the Motel by 4pm to prepare for our evenings Maori Cultural Experience at Willowbank Ko Tane. Chief Jack Donaghue was our esteemed Leader at the Welcoming Ceremony and did us proud – well has father was pretty impressed anyway. The whole squad learnt the HAKA but I don't know they frighten too many but with this, the singing, the poi poi's and a traditional Hangi (meal) everyone was pretty impressed.


An enjoyable day and most were pretty happy to retire for the evening.

Day 8 - Saturday 28th September 2013

Final match vs Belfast RFC and Team Dinner


Another big "cook-up" by the dads – well done once again. No grumbles from Motel Management, sounds like the boys are perfect little angels or else getting very tired.


Away smartly and a bit of spare time to visit the Westfield Shopping Mall for some items to take home. Not much purchased, just some snacks and a few gifts – maybe later for pressies for home. A quick lunch and arrival at Belfast Rugby Club soon after midday for our 1pm kick-off.


Once again a very tough ask against an Invitation Under 15yr squad. They were bigger than us, a big more physical but our lads showed some real "heart and determination" to compete a lot better than expected. The final score favoured the locals but we crossed for 2 well deserved tries had created several chances that went begging when we were hot on attack. Noticeable improvement in our tackling and our willingness to get the inside backs running straight and our outside backs prepared to give it a go. As usual the forwards committed themselves to the tackles and were also prepared to have a go when the chances were offered. Well done Roseville, the best game of the tour by far!


Presentations back in the Clubhouse and a filling meal had everyone happy. It was the final of the AFL so a few of the dads stayed at the Club to watch the game while the boys headed back to the shops for another crack – however rather than gifts for home it was bottles of drinks and sweeties for midnight snacks while waiting for the Rugby Test between Aussie and the Boks that received priority.


Team Dinner tonight was at The Gardens Restaurant Buffet where we got a pretty good deal and the Tourists got a pretty good selection of soups, seafood, meats and deserts – some full tummies by the end of this that's for sure.


Back to basecamp for a final burst and to prepare for the early morning Rugby Test and get ready for home.

Day 9 - 29th September 2013

Homeward Bound!


Daylight Saving caught us all by surprize and a fairly late departure was on the cards. We headed for Dennys Cafe for a breakfast of pancakes and eggs mostly with light servings the order of the day.


By 11.30am time was running out the Tourists headed for a last shopping splurge at the Container Markets in City Central and by 1.30pm it was time for farewells and check-in at Christchurch Airport. All happy all content, plenty of goodbyes and a few last laughs.


As I departed the airport for my journey home I heard the airport loudspeaker requesting "would Toby Donahue, passenger on Air NZ to Sydney please return to the check-in counter where he's left his luggage" and thought the rugby wasn't that flash, but boy we had some fun!


Farewell Roseville Junior Rugby boys and dads I hope we meet again.