Noosa Dolphins - Rugby - July 2015

Noosa Dolphins Under 15 Rugby Tour - July 2015

The Noosa Dolphins Under 15 Rugby Tour of the North Island in June-July 2015 included 3 matches and a two-day camp at the Massey Institute of Rugby in Palmerston as well as numerous activities and fun over the 7 night/8 day visit.

The 20 players were Adam Jurisevic, Aiden Swindlehurst, Alex Moses, Rohan Tickner, Chavon Moccero-Long, James Dewar, James Ramsden, Jayden Arca, Jesse Russell, Joe Campbell, Joel Cavell, Joshua Brooks, Kai marshall, Matthew Leo, Noah Blake, Patrick Sobey, Sameet Raju, Zak baird, Adam Habershon, & Callum James. The Management team was Greg Marshall, Andres Moccero 

The team played Macleans College (loss 19-23), Rotorua Boys High School (loss 0-61) and Dannevirke High School (win 37-17) as well as enjoying the training and coaching facilities at the Massey Institute of Rugby.

Activities included Snow Planet, Asylum Paint Ball, Extreme Go Karts, Eden Park Tour, White Water Rafting, Gondola & Luge Rides, Agroventures, Maori Cultural Experience & Hangi, Jetboats and Adrenalin Forest – plenty of action and fun!

A highly enjoyable tour with the lads certainly enjoying the cultural aspects and made plenty of improvement in their rugby skills especially considering the heavy defeat at the hands of one of New Zealand top Rugby Schools.

Noosa Dolphins Rugby - Day 1

Noosa Dolphins departing Brisbane Airport

The Touring Party arrived in Auckland late morning and were met by myself (DJ) and transferred to Aucklands accommodation – Nomads Lodge right in the centre of Auckland city for the first 2 nights of the North Island Tour.

Settled mid afternoon, what to do? Snow Planet at Warkworth got the "nod". Over an hours entertainment was had by those brave enough to venture into the cold. At least one was in shorts and there were plenty of spills for us to have a giggle at. Burgers were the menu for tea at the Velvet Burger Bar and then a sneaky look at the Super 15 Semi-Finals on the Pubs TV before bed.

Good start, accommodation adequate if a little cramped but first night away from home went pretty smoothly. 

Noosa Dolphins Rugby - Day 2

Breakfast at Dennys to start the day then packed our Rugby gear – jersey, mouthgaurd, shorts, sox, undies and boots (well maybe not everyone packed their boots) and out to Macleans College for a warm-up and match at 1pm. Two quick tries to Macleans wasn't the ideal start but from there Noosa competed strongly at all aspects of the game but let in a soft try just on halftime which was the killer.

Noosa dominated the 2nd half but couldn't get across the line enough losing 23-19 but showing good team work to start the Tour. 

A very nice aftermatch "feed" and speeches along with presentations. We were out of there smartly and out to Kingseat for a couple of hours at Asylum Paintball, which left a few bruises here and there. 

Extreme Go Karts at East Tamaki was next on the activity list and several lads will need some extra tuition before getting behind the wheel of a "real" car – I hope! Great fun, spectacular crashes and most importantly, no injuries!

MacDonalds and KFC greeted us for a late meal then back to nomads and bed.

Noosa Dolphins Rugby - Day 3

The players entrance onto Eden Park - All Black Fortress!

Moving Day – and me and Murphy hate moving day!

This morning the squad visited Eden Park, the fortress of the All Blacks before moving southward to Rotorua with a brief lunch stop at Hamilton. Our own homemade filled rolls were a real feature with Jason and his team doing an outstanding job.

Over the Kaimai Ranges into Rotorua where we thought about Gondola and Luge Rides before darkness got us and we headed for the Backyard Inn, our new quarters for the next 4 nights. We walked to town and found a delightful Italian Restaurant for our evening meal – good choice Andres, very well received.

Our Backyard Inn accommodation again bunk rooms but plenty of room. A few tired bodies headed for bed in preparation for tomorrows "action day".

Noosa Dolphins Rugby - Day 4

The splash from the Jetboat made them sprint!!

Action Day!

Good breakfast at Backyard Inn and out to Rotorua's Agroventures where the deal was "select 4 rides and go for it!" Bungy Jump pretty popular, Mini Jetboat sprint, Shweeb Bike, Swoop & the Freefall all got a thrashing. Best action came toward the end when the Mini Jetboat had a couple of "splash cHarges" at the players and then the Management – some wet bodies out of this! In between we had a BBQ lunch at Agroventures.

Then the Gondola and Luge got a hiding at Skyline. Picturesque views over Lake Rotorua then the action on the Luge! 5 rides each with very few injuries but some scores settled on the racetrack. Takes about 15 mins to complete the track then get the chairlift back to the top, great value!

Back to base and a team meeting before dinner to prepare for tomorrows clash with a very strong Rotorua Boys High School team.

A great evening meal then bed.

Noosa Dolphins Rugby Day 5

Scrum time Noosa v RBHS

Match Day!! Rotorua Boys High School!! Maori Welcome – "Powhiri"

The lads will never forget this day!

A light training at our base then a wonderful Cultural Experience at RBHS where we were greeted by the Schools Kapa Haka group in Maori War Dress and treated to a welcome (Powhiri) by the team we were playing. What an experience! Alex Moses accepted the challenge and led us into the School. Once RBHS had sung a wardance to us we replied with the Noosa Dolphins – "you bloody beauty" response.

The game was one way traffic, with the locals completely dominating in the forwards and backs recording a 61-0 victory. The Noosa lads never gave up and created one or two chances that with a little luck could have brought us tries. The only worries were the injuries to Chavon, Alex and Josh suffering injuries that ruled them out of the last match. Chavon was the worst hit suffering a dislocated knee but all three were back with the team by 9pm that night.

After the match and with the lads shell-shocked we headed for the Polynesian Pools for some recovery, rest and relaxation.

However all credit to the Noosa boys who took it all in their stride – well done boys RBHS are one of the best Rugby Colleges in New Zealand, producing many All Blacks in their time.


Noosa Rugby Tour - Day 6

Action Day!! White Water Rafting.

With the injured back on board all except Callum took on the thrills and spills of the Kaituna River and the 7-metre Waterfall toward the end. Some adrenalin and excitement was captured here and everyone forgot how cold the water was once they got started. Hot Chocolate and cookies greeted the lads to help recover and all the injuries and rugby were well and truly forgotten during the Rafting. Some tipped out and some jumped out but this was one of the special highlights as it is for all Touring groups.

Pizza Hut got the call for lunch and the afternoon was spent with a leisurely walk and some souvenir shopping in the town centre. Some watched the RBHS 1st XV in their match against a visiting School and also received some special tuition from the NZ Under 20's halfback (a past student at RBHS) from the Under 20's World Cup winning team – great little session on passing skills.

The evening gave us another solid meal and a bit of continued action on the lounge pool table.    

Noosa Dolphins Rugby - Day 7

Massey Institute of Rugby Indoor Training Room

Moving Day!! And me and Murphy hate moving day!

Long transfer today from Rotorua to Palmerston North vis Lake Taupo and the Desert Road. Early breakfast, on Murphy by 9am and across to Taupo and an appointment with Huka Jet Boats on the River at the base of the Huka Falls. All decked out in the right water gear the boys took to the water – again bloody cold – before a mini celebration for Adam Jurisevic's birthday.

The to the AJ Hackett Bungee Jump where Callem James had his thrill taking on the 47 metre jump! No stopping Callum today and he took it all in his stride!

Home made filled rolls on the shores of Lake Taupo and the loss of not one, but two rugby balls into the depths of the Lake. Any way, good lunch unfortunately no sign of the snow on the mountains with low cloud and rain all the way along the Desert Road. Toilet stops on the Desert Road and at Fielding helped pass the time before arrival at the Massey Institute of Rugby in Palmerston North. Straight of the Bus and into a Fitness Analysis Test that the boys weren't looking forward to. Not too stressful afterall then book in to the rooms used by International teams, including the All Blacks when they prepare for matches at all levels.

Superb accommodation including all meals and faciities to match.

A pool table and table tennis received a pretty good thrashing. We were the only ones staying for these two nights so a "little" noise wasn't really a worry.

Noosa Dolphins Rugby - Day 8

Adrenalin Forest, Wellington

Another Moving Day!! We hate moving day!

Not so bad today, booked out of Rugby Institute – poor dish washer got a thrashing – and down the road to Porirua and some fun at Adrenalin Forest which certainly takes some upper body strength to succeed. It's a forest of pine trees with various rope ladders and flying foxes to get you thru the various stages. Almost everyone had a go and found it not quick as difficult as it looked however some tired bodies climbed down and onto the Bus for a short jaunt to the Nomads Lodge in central Wellington.

Everyone now looking forward to returning to home and a reasonably quiet night saw the squad head to the movies and a basically quiet night.

Noosa Dolphins Rugby - Day 9

Murphy about to depart Wellington

Final Moving Day! The journey ends.

Packed Murphy and around the corner to Te Papa and the ANZAC commemorations from the 1st World War. Not quite what we expected but enough for everyone to reflect on the sacrifices both countries suffered in difficult times. A quick stop at the National War Memorial and onto Wellington International Airport for the 3pm departure across the "ditch".

A great tour, a lot of fun had by all and some fond farewells to me and Murphy.

Thanks Noosa Dolphins Rugby Club, these young men can return home as true ambassadors for your Club, Noose and Australia. Well done to all.

Me and Murphy had a long drive home and spent a bit of time in thought about a great bunch of new Aussie mates I've made.

This old Kiwi has had a ball.