The Collingwood senior rugby squad is on Day 9 of their Australian tour. The team will play Matthew Flinders Anglican College late this afternoon. Currently it is 30 degrees so the boys are hoping that the temperature will drop considerably before the 4:00 and 5:00 kick-off times.
Before the tour party arrived on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, the team had a terrific stop at Barker College in Sydney. Barker rolled out the 'red carpet' in every way for their Canadian visitors.
The one thing Barker could not control was the weather. Thus, the team embarked on its Thursday morning trek into downtown Sydney with storm clouds threatening. As the team climbed the steps of the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, it was raining heavily but the boys were still smiling when we reached "The Rocks", which is the oldest part of Sydney.
Happily, the sun made an appearance as the team stepped off the Manly ferry. The boys had a good visit at Manly before we returned to Barker.
Upon their return to Barker, the juniors ran a joint practice with the Barker U-16 B's. They then scrimmaged against the Barker boys. This was a very tough situation as the Barker squad was far more polished. However, the Cavs stood up physically and played very well.
On Friday, the 1st XV team took to the field to play a mix of Barker's 2nd and 3rd XV players. Although, Barker was not fielding their best team, their historical home stand was filled to capacity and the Barker prefects were leading the home fans in their school cheers. It was fabulous for the Collingwood boys to see the energy and school spirit that is the norm at Australian high school events.
The Cavs would fall 10-3 to Barker in the match, but Collingwood played a very good game. The lineouts were superb and so was the team defence for most of the game. Barker scored on the last play of the first half to take a 5-3 lead and only made it 10-3 with a couple of minutes to go. The Cavs showed a lack of tactical awareness when they turned down a chance to kick a penalty to make it 6-5 for Collingwood.
Man Of The Match was Thomas Foote who was a machine defensively. Nate Holm earned 2nd Star honours for the second straight game. Joel Abdel-Barr earned the 3rd star with his terrific lineout throwing and all-around great play.
The squad arrived on Sunshine Coast on Saturday afternoon and played a rousing game of touch rugby in incredible heat before jumping into the MFAC pool. Everyone had a day with their host family yesterday so all the boys were at the beach having a great time.
The coaches are looking forward to both teams having great games this afternoon.
The wet but happy boys on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Collingwood juniors practicing with the Barker U-16 players.