2 November 2016
On Friday 14 October, 23 Year 7 and 8 pupils met at 8:30 am to travel to Jersey for their long anticipated rugby tour.
A relatively short coach journey did not dampen our excitement at the thought of going to Jersey. Once dropped off the boys made their way to the terminal at Southampton airport. After clearing customs, WH Smith and Costa Coffee clearly made very large profits from their sales to our boys who indulged themselves on hot and cold snacks.
A short delay, followed by a thirty minute flight and we arrived at our destination. Once we had reclaimed our baggage, we were met by the Tantivy coach, which was specially designed for the narrow lanes of Jersey and taken to our hotel, The Merton. Once we had checked into our rooms we were able to enjoy some leisure time at the hotel's Aquadome swimming centre.
Following supper at the hotel the boys enjoyed two games of bowling at the Jersey Bowl. It was clearly evident that the more dextrous backs had an edge on the more robust forwards when it came to bowling with a few exceptions.
The following morning we all enjoyed a hearty breakfast and then boarded the Tantivy coach to Gorey Harbour and then made the short walk to Mont Orgueil Castle. Our tour guide explained how Mont Orgueil Castle had cast its imposing shadow over the beautiful fishing port of Gorey for more than 800 years and how it was one of the finest examples of a medieval fortress in existence. The boys explored the network of staircases, towers and secret rooms and heard several gruesome tales of treachery and murder. High on the battlements, we enjoyed the commanding view of the surrounding hillsides and distant French coast. This visit proved to be the cultural highlight of the tour.
Following lunch at Pizza Hut, we made our way to Jersey Rugby Club to play the first of our two fixtures against Jersey RFC Under 13 As. The whole squad contributed to a narrow victory (Won 30 – 25) against a very strong Jersey outfit. But Oscar, Noah and Henry all stood out.
After supper, the boy’s spent the evening relaxing at Cineworld and when they returned to the hotel were able to ‘chill’ in the hotel's games room.
On our last day we had an early breakfast and made our way to Jersey Rugby Club for our last fixture of the tour against a mixed Jersey RFC Under 13s side. A thorough warm-up followed by a meeting for a photo opportunity with Matt Dawson (Wasps, England & British Lions) was the prelude to what was to be the most outstanding touring performance I have witnessed. The match proved to be a great opportunity for our Year 7s to gain a great deal of experience playing with our Year 8s. They all performed heroically well. The final score was a convincing 50 – 10 win. The ‘champagne’ moment was when Joe ‘grubber’ kicked the ball over the Jersey line and Lucas touched down to score!
We arrived back on Sunday evening at 7.30pm exhausted but nonetheless excited by our tremendous experience. I would like to thank Nathan Hart-Hendy, Oliver Kearey and all the boys for their care, consideration and great spirit while on tour. It is one that will not be forgotten.
Director of Sport