School exchanges are not just about winning. It’s important to win but school exchanges are also about making new friends, having new experiences and handling yourself in new situations.
St Andrews College (STAC) hosted John McGlashan this winter so that meant a couple of long bus trips for us. We left Dunedin on Sunday morning and had a fairly leisurely trip to Christchurch. Denley Jones, Director of Sport at St Andrews, hosted staff that night and boys headed off in all direction with their billets. Most boys arrived back at the College the same evening to watch a much-anticipated basketball clash. Hopes were high for a JMC victory. It was not to be but the game was entertaining and competitive. After a slow start, JMC worked their way to within seven points of STAC but could not gain the advantage. In the end STAC ran out the winners comfortably 90 – 78.
The second match was played mid morning on the Monday. Hopes were again high for a better performance from the visitors even though some team members had commitments for other sporting codes. Scores were level at half time but JMC couldn’t sustain their intensity and STAC drew away for a 102 – 72 win. If the three pointers had dropped the Johnnies boys would have been more competitive. This was a great workout for our boys as they prepare for tournament week.
Monday morning was all go with chess, debating and badminton all starting in various venues at St Andrews. The hockey boys were on the bus and heading to the nearest turf for a clash with the number two ranked side in the country.
The 1st XI made a good start against STAC and the score was one all at half time. We stayed in the game up until the last five minutes when STAC scored two quick goals to secure the match. While the final score was 4 - 1 the team had some good phases of play and learned some valuable lessons. STAC is currently the second ranked team in New Zealand so it was good to have the opportunity of testing our team in preparation for the national tournament in August.
The team consisted of Frazer Reynolds, Samuel Leaper, Harrison Biggs, and Krishan Luxmanan. This team minus Krishan who normally plays in the B team played at the Otago regionals, coming 5th.
Unfortunately, when it came time to play our games at STAC, we found out that we could only play one game each against their team. We had been hoping each of us could play each individual member of their team, with the overall total of points being out of 16. However, as we only played one game each, the total points were based on the four ties. Out of the four games our team played, we won three of them. This was one of the three events that JMC won at the STAC exchange, with the other two being theatre-sports and rugby. This was also a really good opportunity for the JMC chess players to gain experience, as the games were quite challenging and we all had a great time.
The JMC badminton team found themselves up against a STAC side that was all ranked at South Island level. Our side was depleted and found the going tough. The team members all tried hard with Andrew Gou and Chris Denton combining well and competing solidly in the doubles.
Although JMC was without their top debater Joe Garry they performed well against experienced opposition. The moot was: This house believes that party members rather than politicians should choose party leaders.
We were opposing by arguing that the politicians should choose the party leaders. We argued that politicians are better decision makers than the party members because they understand the role and the characteristics of possible leaders. In addition, the politicians are democratic because people vote for them. Our second point was that this would cause people to lose engagement with politics as it adds an extra layer of bureaucracy to an already complex system. Our final point was that it would cause a political bias against lower socioeconomic groups because they would be less likely to vote in leader elections due to having less time and money to dedicate to party membership and having generally less engagement in politics.
Our team was Liam Miller, Josh Mackay and Louis Jennings. Liam isn't normally a member of the first debating team but worked remarkably well with the rest of the team and spoke very well.
We lost the debate by a single point with both teams scoring in the 250's range out of a possible 280.
After last years no show by STAC in cold conditions at John McGalashan College, the rugby clash was eagerly awaited. 2016 saw another disappointment as STAC failed to front with their topside. They did have some injuries as well as illness in their camp. The JMC team took umbrage at the apparent disrespect shown them. They went out in an aggressive frame of mind and took a second string side apart. The point was well made and it is hope that this sort of thing won’t happen again.
The McGlashan side is on a rising plane of confidence and even the heavy, slippery conditions couldn’t slow their progress. Brett Kingsbury scored three tries and Rory Ferguson four. Reon Lowery, Sam Moir-Grace and Jimmy Sinclair scored one try each. Hunter Cleland kicked two penalty goals and five conversions.
Match-ending injuries to key players and a failure to capitalise on several chances saw the First XI suffer a disappointing 5-1 loss in their match against St Andrews’ top footballers.
Having beaten STAC at football in 2014 and 2015, the McGlashan lads headed for Christchurch with high expectations. Sure enough, we played a decent opening few minutes, before a torrid 20-minute spell in which we lost goalkeeper Sean van Dyk and young forward Charlie Gruppelaar to injury and conceded three goals.
The lads regathered under the leadership of captain Spencer Byers and deputy Harry Rodger, and applied attacking pressure that paid off when Louis Renner scored, drifting the ball over the STAC keeper and defence into the back of the net off a superbly struck corner.
Trailing by two at the break, McGlashan was still in with a chance, but this was one of those games when our opportunities – and striker Luke Davis-Rae, in particular, created plenty - were destined not to stick, while those of our opponents assuredly did.
Matters were not helped by further injuries as the game progressed to key mid-fielder Bradley Holdridge and starting wing back Alex Thomson, and St Andrews – with some pretty classy players in their line-up – scored twice more in the second half.
Tom Warman, Harry Fraser and Matt Johnstone were typically persistent in middle attacking and defensive rolls, and Jack Nicholls’ work rate was excellent in this, his second match for the firsts. Callum Duncan made some strong breaks down the left and Yugen Miyahara had to handle plenty of pressure in defence.
Jordan Mitchell deserves a special mention for rising to the challenge of his First XI debut also being his unexpected debut game as a goalkeeper; he pulled off a number of good second half saves that kept the score line from rising further.
The final result though, was not what the team, nor coach Jude Fitzpatrick, had hoped for.
This year the John McGlashan Theatre Sports team outplayed the STAC team beating them 22-17. After just losing to them last year we were able to come back with a win with the help of new recruits Alfie Richardson and Henry Ward. Both players provided some "Tear jerking" moments in the game 'Slow Mo commentary.' This is where two players commentate on a sport or any mundane day-to-day activity when the other two players act it out in slow motion, a strong favourite of the team. Teams play three games and are scored from 1-5 on technique and entertainment. All of what is acted is improvised and on the spot. Good Job Boys.
The trip up to Christchurch for the STAC exchange started for the Trapshooting squad at 6:30 on Sunday morning. Previous to that we were at an intercollegiate shoot in Timaru, where the team found success having won three out of the four events and Shane Sanders shooting the top score for the day. The team shoot left us in second place by just four targets, to STAC.
We then continued on up to Christchurch to attempt revenge against STAC the next day. Unfortunately, the final score was JMC 394 to STAC 411, with Cameron Lowery and Shane Sanders shooting the top scores for the JMC team. The STAC team has improved greatly over the years and is a very formidable opposition and we hope to continue to have good competitions with them in the future. Hopefully the team will be able to regain the title next year. The boys would like to say cheers to their coach John Fooks for all the time and effort that he puts in as well as Jenni Sanders for helping to organise the boys during the weekend.