The rugby squad has now been in Australia for four days and it has been quite a trip so far. The boys landed in Sydney and after a two-hour bus ride arrived on the Central Coast. After a quick lunch, the team hit the paddock for their first training session. While seeing the sun was a joyous occasion for the water-logged and snow-weary Vancouverites, the boys were not so keen about the temperature being ninety degrees.
After a very strenuous run, the boys met their hosts and went off to have a great night's sleep in the hopes of recovering from the 15 hour flight. On Monday morning, the team reconvened and everyone was happy that the temperature had dropped considerably.
After another great practice, the team headed for Terrigal Beach, where everyone had a fantastic time in the surf. The boys also thoroughly enjoyed their lunches in the sun as the Terrigal strip provided them with many a terrific Aussie culinary option.
On Tuesday, the teams played their first games of tour. The juniors came away with a solid 10-0 victory. Thomas Simon scored the team's try when he went on a rampaging run on a 2/4 slide. Graeme Neill-Klein added a conversion and a penalty.
The senior team played a fantastic first half and scored three brilliant tries. Cole Young scored the first try of tour when he took a Duncan Bustos pass and sped past the helpless CCGS defenders to give the Cavs a 5-0 lead. After falling behind 12-5, the team put together an incredible five minutes of rugby that resulted in a sensational 15-phase try for Carter Proc. After falling behind 17-10, Max Moyes went on a thunderous run. Noah Wolverton then made a terrific over the head pass that sprung the backline. Ethan Lucke finished it off by beating three defenders.
Sadly, the second half was full of mistakes. The Cavs' overall lack of game fitness also played a huge role in the team's demise.
On Wednesday, the team travelled through an epic rainstorm on their way back to Sydney. After dropping their bags at the Collaroy Beach Youth Hostel, the boys headed off for a skills practice. A Kyle Cup competition followed and for a second straight time, the Blue team was victorious. The team moves to St. Augustine's tomorrow.
The rugby squad's first stop on this tour is Central Coast Grammar. As the map shows, they have a few more fields than Collingwood.
Duncan Bustos enjoying a vigorous run in the Aussie sunshine on Day 1 of tour.
The team at Terrigal Beach on Day 2 of tour.
The junior and senior rugby teams are in the last stages of preparation for their upcoming three-week tour of Australia. Since 1999, Collingwood has taken a squad 'Down Under' every second year. In those nine tour years, the team has come back and won five BC AA gold medals, one silver and two bronze. The correlation between touring and winning provincial championships is clearly very strong.
Collingwood will play five games on tour. The team flies into Sydney and plays Central Coast Grammar and St. Augustine's while in New South Wales. The squad then moves up to Queensland, where they play Matthew Flinders Anglican College on the Sunshine Coast and Somerset College and All Saints Anglican School on the Gold Coast.
There will be 43 boys travelling this year. Eight players will be on their second tour, but for the majority of the boys this will be their first taste of international rugby. It will be a chance for them to visit a country that takes great pride in their rugby history. The Wallabies are currently ranked #3 in the world, but if you asked an Australian rugby fan what they thought of this, you would undoubtedly be told it is not nearly good enough.
Of course, there will be much more to this tour than just rugby. The boys will have five homestays, which will give them a real taste of life in Australia. There will also be lots of time for fun. There are numerous beach trips planned along with the usual visits to both the amazing Gold Coast Wet n' Wild World and the 'Big Kart' Go-Kart Track. This track has been the scene of many an epic race between teachers and students. Perhaps this will be the year that a student actually wins the 'Top Driver' award.
Last year, the Collingwood ski team came home with two provincial championship banners. This year they went one better and brought home all three as they won the boys', girls' and combined titles. Here is Coach Ramsden's report on this amazing feat:
Both the boys and girls team participated in the Ski and Snowboard Provincials in Whistler on March 1st – 3rd. In the GS Addie Tiller's smooth but aggressive skiing earned her the silver medal while Jamie Border claimed 6th place against athletes that are 5 years older than her. Misa Yamaoka may be small in stature but she charged down the course to a 14th place.
On the boys side, Mark Konigsmann and Edward Coleman battled through fog so thick they could only see one gate ahead. This didn't stop either of them from putting up blistering fast runs. Mark secured the bronze medal and Edward came 5th. Sam Fuller had a phenomenal second run which allowed him to climb to 10th spot overall.
On the Terrain GS day, the athletes woke up to 25 cm of new snow and gusting winds which lead to tough course conditions, and a multitude of timing mishaps. The girls continued to dominate with Morgan Border battling from bib 60 to cinch 4th place.
The two male veterans of the Collingwood team, Edward and Peter, shared the podium in second and third, respectively. Alec Coleman stepped up huge with a phenomenal run that clenched 6th place. Both Olivia Tiller and Michael Kennedy gave it their all for the one run race and posted excellent times.
On the final day after all the results were tallied we are proud to announce that Collingwood took home THREE provincials banners: Girls Ski, Boys Ski and Ski Combined. The coaching staff is very proud of all the athletes as they were driven, and focused the entire time. We would also like to thank the following seniors for being great role models for the younger athletes: Peter Konigsmann, Edward Coleman, Hannah Palacios and Sophia Ludwig. We will miss them very much next year!
Morgan Border, Misa Yamaoka and Olivia Tiller are all smiles despite the suspect race conditions.