On Tuesday this week, the Sun Valley 1st XV Rugby Team set off to Kwazulu-Natal for a week long Rugby Tour that they would never forget. The boys flew on Kulula Airlines. It was a first time flying experience for a few of the boys involved on the tour. Plenty jokes and laughter were heard throughout the trip. The boys looked professional in their beautiful, personalised tracksuits.

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Upon arrival, the boys met their beautiful luxury bus/coach. Our driver, Musa was, for lack of a better term, an absolute legend. He and his beautiful vehicle remained with us for the course of our stay which allowed us to move freely between activities and matches.

Our first match was up against Clifton, Nottingham Road. This school is located 11km from Michael House and is a very prestigious school in the area. Driving in, the boys were absolutely mesmerized by the huge grounds, beautiful trees and even a stable/show jumping grounds. One of the boys shouted, “Sir, this looks just like the school in Spud.” After good preparation, the lads took to the field and looked focused and determined to start their tour off on a high.

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Clifton boasted some strong boys, and some very nippy lads. They immediately showed that they had serious fight. Our boys initially battled to come to terms with the way matches are officiated in Natal. However, after adjusting well, the boys produced a pleasing performance to win their opening match 47-0. A wonderful post-match function ensued as the lads enjoyed delicious Boerie Rolls and Chips together, played some touch rugby in the dark and made lasting friendships.

We were accommodated at the beautiful Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve. With Zebra grazing outside our rooms, it was a stunning setting. The food was delicious and the staff incredibly helpful and kind. The boys had plenty of fun in their dorms during their stay.

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Our second day started off with two exciting outings. Firstly, we visited the Sharks Board. This was an amazing experience for the lads as they learnt about Shark Conservation, how “Shark Nets” work and for those who have strong stomachs, a dissection of a dead shark to find out how a shark’s anatomy works. Thereafter, the team set off to Growth Point Kings Park for a tour of the stadium. The boys loved the tour! They got to experience the changing rooms, board rooms, press rooms and of course, the hallowed field.

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Cordwalles Prep School, the top team in the Midland region, were next and our boys were prepared for a massive encounter. Cordwalles are a strong Boys school in the Pietermaritzburg region of KZN. Coming off two top-class festivals, ‘Cordies’ were on form and shocked the Sun Valley lads with three quick tries to take a 19-5 lead at half time. However, the SVPS boys dug deep, showed off their GRITTY, fighting spirit, and came backstrongly  to take the score to 19-17 with moments left in the game. Unfortunately, the boys could not hold onto the ball and we narrowly went down. It was a great learning experience for the boys and motivated them for the rest of the tour. Once again, the Cordwalles staff treated the coaches and boys to a beautiful post match function.

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After a great breakfast, the boys visited Howick Falls and the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in the morning before their match begun.

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Our next match was against St Charles – a big rival of and similar strength to Cordwalles Prep. The boys knew what to expect and were determined to give this their best. From the start, the boys looked the part. The forwards rucked aggressively, the backline passed and showed off some superb skills. A top class performance took the 1st XV to a very impressive 36-10 victory.

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The final match of tour was against a enormous team – the Midlands Development Team. These lads were big, strong and powerful. Despite being physically drained, the team took to the field focused and driven to end the tour on a high. Despite questionable officiating of the match, the 1st XV dominated every aspect of the first half. The Midlands Team brought on even bigger boys in the second half and the lads were forced to put their bodies on the line. Sun Valley managed to win a scrappy, physical game 31-27. The team were relieved to hear the blast of the final whistle.

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The final afternoon was spent at uShaka Marine World. There was a sense of relaxation among the coaches and boys. It was time to PARTY. The boys ran, jumped, dived and laughed their way around the magnificent Wet & Wild Water Park for hours. What a way to cap off a superb tour. We set off to our new accomodation at the Umhlanga Road Lodge before enjoying a team dinner at Spur.

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On Saturday morning, the boys said goodbye to the beautiful, humid Durban conditions and flew home. Mr Keller Senior was waiting for the boys at the airport. What an awesome welcome.

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Thank you to the amazing coaches for the magnificent work they have done with the boys, to the parents for their support and to every one of the boys for being phenomenal ambassadors for Sun Valley Primary School.

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