The First Team Rugby boys ventured off to the annual Trinity House National Rugby Festival last week.

IMG_3309

With this Tour only being the second group to attend this particular festival, we can proudly say that our boys set a high precedent for future “Vallians” to come. The boys gained a great deal of respect, not only on the field but off the field too. This came in the way of their fighting spirit, never say die attitude, and ability to make good decisions under pressure – key ingredients to being a successful team.

IMG_3316 IMG_3326

IMG_3333 IMG_3337

IMG_3357

 

Upon arrival, the boys met their host parents with excitement was they were set to stay with this family for the next four nights. Each team member began bragging about their amazing hosts.

This tour was not going to be easy as the challenge was set to take on some big schools such as KEPS (King Edwards Preparatory School) , Highbury Preparatory as well as power-house rugby school, Merchiston Primary.  Playing these games one day after the other was gruelling and the physical aspect took its toll on the boys’ bodies.

IMG_3457 IMG_3477

IMG_3499 IMG_3524

The two initial matches of the tournament were amazing learning experiences for the lads. After leading 19-7  at half time against a massive, physical KEPS team, the boys let it slip. It was only a penalty by KEPS that helped them to a 26-23 victory. The boys were shattered. It was clear how much the game meant to the boys as tears welled up in their eyes. Playing under lights was simply spectacular and something these kids will never forget.

IMG_3566 IMG_3573

IMG_3595 IMG_3649

The match against Highbury had a lot of hype as both teams had some special players who could turn the game on its head. It was a back and forth affair with neither team taking control. In the end, small mistakes on defence cost the boys as they went down 19-24.

IMG_3601 IMG_3622

That evening, our first team captain, Christian Kapp, represented Sun Valley at the prestigious Captain’s Dinner hosted by Trinity where presented an unbelievable speech explaining how he would get South African rugby back to the number one spot in the International rankings. Displaying his amazing confidence and rugby-knowledge, Christian blew the crowd away as he brought humor and great insight to the party. Head Masters of the Trinity House Group lorded praise on the speech as one of the best they have heard in the past 17 years.

Tha confidence was taken into the final match of tour. This was against possibly our strongest opposition of all – MERCHISTON. Upon arriving at the ground, the coaches sensed that “something special” could happen. The boys seemed to be more focused, more determined than seen before.

Merchiston were equally pumped up and blew us away in the first half. We were 12-24 down. The coaches walked away from the huddle, and captain Chris Kapp spoke to the team. After that, it was like a different team. Brutal, structured defence and devastating attack followed. In a last, nail-biting moment, Sun Valley scored a scintillating try to take the WIN 36-31. What a Game!

IMG_3706 IMG_3713

IMG_3746 IMG_3786 IMG_3803

Besides the brilliant rugby and fun at the festival itself, the team got the opportunity to bond at an outing to Monte Casino. The lads set off to take on one another at Laser Quest. In the end it was Mr Vallender AKA Mike Catt who won the challenge. After the Laser Quest, the boys enjoyed some snacks and milkshakes before spending some time at the awesome Arcade! Great fun was had by all.

IMG_3353 IMG_3360

IMG_3363 IMG_3364

IMG_3365 IMG_3367

IMG_3386 IMG_3391

This tour will definitely go down in the history books as one of the best. What an amazing, well mannered bunch of young men. Thank you for the laughs lads, thank you for the respect and above all, thank you for giving your all.

IMG_3812

What a Tour!

Comments are closed.