Ireland Rugby Tour
The Beginning of half term saw the Rodillian Academy’s first ever “over seas” (of sorts) Rugby Tour, as the year 9 & 10 Rugby team travelled to Ireland. The Boys set off early doors on Friday morning to catch the Ferry at Holyhead, the beginning of a long day of travel.
Following a rather choppy sailing, felt by both staff and students, they arrived in Dublin, travelling an hour and a half further to Belfast to watch Ulster beat Cardiff at Ravenhill Park. They arrived to a fantastic atmosphere with chants of “ULSTER” ringing around the ground, similar, if not only matched by that of a Headingly crowd on a “RHINOS” Friday night. It ended up a very late night for the young tourists.
This late night paid its toll in the first fixture against the Royal School Armagh, as the tired, lack lustre Rodillian teams lost in both games, however valuable lessons were taken from their physical counterparts.
Despite the disappointing morning, the tourists donned their tour polo’s, fleeces, beanies, smartened up and made their way to spend day at the wet and very blustery Giants Causeway. The young men, like sponges, absorbed all the culture of the day with audio guides, photographs and a constant of questions. Another tiring day saw the players return to their quarters for a well earned rest after filling their boots at dinner.
Day 2, Fixture 2, Belfast Royal Academy, the boys re-energised and refreshed following a good nights sleep, copious amounts of chicken eaten from the previous nights meal and north coast sea air.
Both teams, polar opposites to the previous morning, played out of their skins with the year 9’s very unluckily losing out by two points to the host team and the year 10’s not only beating B.R.A but also Bristol Grammar, in two riveting exhibitions. There was a new buzz within the camp after the previous mornings tiresome results. The lads finished their Sunday with a stroll and shopping around Dublin’s Grafton Street, getting pictures with some of the cities famous sites and statues, such as Molly Malone herself and Theobald Wolfetone. Finally, heading to Nandos for another almighty Chicken feast and prize giving. Year 9 Player of Tour went to Dylan Naughton; Man of Tour went to Josh Lunn and Top Fund Raiser went to Aidan Langley. In year 10, Player of Tour went to Mason O’Malley, Man of Tour went to Brandon Lawrence and Best Fund Raiser went to Big Danny Brennan.
The lads and staff returned home very early Monday morning, exhausted from a weekend full of new experiences for all.
Special thanks need to go to the parents for who travelled to support the team and who got up so early to pick the Boys from school on Monday morning.
A very successful tour, thoroughly enjoyed by all, and just a taste of what is to come. Preparations now can begin for the real overseas tour to likes of Chile, South Africa or Australia.