The John McGlashan 1st and 2nd XV had a very successful tour of Australia in April, on and off the field.
Early on the first Saturday of the Term 1 holidays, 39 young men, their coaching staff and parent supporters left for Australia for an 11-day tour.
The tour started with a couple of nights in Brisbane where on the first night the group went to the Suncorp Stadium to watch the Queensland Reds take on the Southern Kings. The next day we took a river cruise to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
The next stop was Rockhampton, where our boys were billeted out by the Rockhampton boys. There is now a strong relationship forming between our two schools, which is wonderful to see. On the first day in Rockhampton, the 2nd XV had a very narrow loss to the Marist College 1st XV. After that, our 1st XV completed trounced a local rep side 78-12. The following day there were good victories by both teams over Rockhampton. The 2nd XV won 50 – 0, and the 1st XV won 36-12. On the last day, there was a trip to the local crocodile farm.
After Rockhampton, the tour party travelled to Great Keppel Island for a few days taking in some sunshine before starting to focus on the main task at hand, the John Elders Country Cup in Toowoomba.
The 2nd XV had some tough games against host Downlands College, St. Ignatius and Shore College. This set them up in a battle against The Scots College in their final game, who they beat to gain some pride in a very tough competition. Charlie Dougherty was named the player of the tournament for our 2nd XV.
The 1st XV had another rematch versus Rockhampton, who put up a bit of a fight in the beginning, but our team overpowered them in the second half to win comfortably. They also had big wins against Scots College and St. Ignatius. The grand final came down to the hosts, Downlands and our 1st XV. It was a fantastic finale as John McGlashan scored 4 tries to 1 and were eventual winners 22-17. Captain Reon Lowry made a fine speech at the closing ceremony, and the icing on the cake was to have Jimmy Sinclair named ‘player of the final.’ Leroy Ferguson was named ‘player of the tournament.’
After an exhausting tournament, the group travelled to the Gold Coast for some rest and recovery. There was a trip to the ‘Wet n Wild’ theme park as well as time at the malls and on the beach. A real highlight was when a group of us attended the Dawn service on Anzac Day. There was a huge crowd down on the beach where it seemed that the Kiwis outnumbered the Aussies.
Overall, this was a very successful tournament in terms of not only preparing the boys for the rugby season ahead but also in terms of team bonding and seeing some sights in Australia. Thank you to Sandy Guy who spent many hours organising this trip as well as the other parents that helped us out on tour.