Tahara rugby boys return home
The dream has been realised for a squad of boys who have returned home from their South African Rugby Tour.
Tauhara College First 15 had a three game rugby tour, combined with a two week cultural experience.
The group of 22 boys, five staff and four supporting parents grew a strong bond and got an experience that not every school has the opportunity to have.
Capitan of the squad Dylan Macdonald said the experience was eye opening as some members of the team had expectations and stereotypes of what South Africa would be like.
‘‘Going over you see a different life style,’’ he said, and it is amazing how good we have it here in New Zealand, ‘‘we are really lucky.’’
Macdonald said playing rugby against three different South African teams was completely different, as football teams over there are very skilled. They won two of their three games.
Coach Phill Andrews said the experience was life changing for a lot of the team. Many of the boys had never been on a plane or left the country before. ‘‘It was a massive trip.’’ He said the tour ‘‘proves that there is more to rugby than just the game, and it was also about making new friends around the world and sharing cultures.
‘‘The culture and team have really bonded.. it shows how close we have come as a team, and the boys loved it.’’
‘‘It is about taking Kiwi culture there and bringing South African culture back.’’
Macdonald said everywhere the team went they were asked to preform the haka, and every game started with a haka.
‘‘They treated us like we were All Blacks,’’ he said.
He said being over there made the team appreciate what they have back home. Students in South Africa ‘‘are so happy with so little compared to what we have.’’
While there the team donated school stationary and basic necessities such as clothing to help the under privileged schools and people they visited.
The team spent nine months fundraising and had a lot of help and financial support from family and friends, and ‘‘their hard work is much appreciated,’’ said Andrews.
He said without the management team who put in the countless hours behind the scenes, the trip would not be possible.
Andrews and Macdonald said this tour tops off a good season of Tauhara Rugby.