SO High School tours Aus­tralia


Dur­ing the Easter school hol­i­days, Bal­clutha-based South Otago High School trav­elled to Queens­land as part of its three­yearly rugby tour.

The boys spent many hours and months fundrais­ing for the trip by mak­ing cheese rolls, hold­ing sausage siz­zles, quiz evenings and cut­ting fire­wood.

It was also a great team build­ing ex­er­cise for the 54 boys in­volved, South Otago High School teacher in charge of rugby, Ja­son Palmer, said.

‘‘The aim of the trip was for the boys to ex­pe­ri­ence rugby cul­ture in a dif­fer­ent coun­try as well as to ex­pand their hori­zons be­yond the Bal­clutha bridge.’’

Two teams trav­elled, the first XV and the sec­ond XV/un­der16, as well as par­ents and coaches.

The first game against St Edmunds Col­lege in Ip­swich, ended in a first XV win 43-0, with the sec­ond XV en­coun­ter­ing more of a bat­tle, win­ning 17-12.

The sec­ond game was against Marist Col­lege near Ash­grove, Bris­bane, where un­for­tu­nately, both teams were de­feated in the tough Aus­tralian heat. How­ever, it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence, Palmer said.

‘‘These games were a good buildup to the up­com­ing sea­son, where both teams hope to make the fi­nal. The first XV will be faced with some tough games, from John McGlashan this Satur­day as well as Otago Boys High School on May 13.’’

He said the first XV had some promis­ing up and com­ing young play­ers, such as Luc Thom­son, Jesse Hut­ton and Kace Shaw, who trav­elled to Aus­tralia at the end of last term to rep­re­sent Otago at the Scots Col­lege Rugby Sevens Tour­na­ment.

They played three games against Aus­tralian teams, beat­ing Can­berra Gram­mar 24-5 in their first game, then lost their next two games, 26-21 to Scots Col­lege and 38-22 to The New South Wales De­vel­op­ment team.

Palmer paid trib­ute to the South Otago com­mu­nity and lo­cal busi­nesses for spon­sor­ship that helped make the trip pos­si­ble.

Ad­vance Agri­cul­ture and Clev­er­leys won nam­ing rights for the first and sec­ond XV jer­seys, as well as SSG Con­tract­ing and LD Thomp­son Con­tract­ing for the polo shirts and sports bags.

The team was able to take some time out, at Dream­world and Aus­tralia Zoo, and did a tour of Sun­corp Sta­dium.

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