20th August 2018
The Biennial North Island Sports Tour took place in the third week of the July holidays. The thirty-five boys and four staff visited Hereworth School (Havelock North), Huntley School (Marton) and St. Peter’s School (Cambridge) to play Football, Hockey and Rugby.
I wish to acknowledge our appreciation to the three schools that hosted us during the week, and in particular, to the families at these schools for their hospitality in opening their homes to our boys. The boys had a variety of wonderful experiences whilst being billeted and have certainly returned south with many new friendships having been formed.
On the sports field a small school like Waihi is always ‘up against it’ with nine games of sport in a few days against these larger North Island Schools. As ever the boys showed real Southern grit and determination and battled until the final whistle in each and every game. Results were the best ever on tour with five wins out of nine. The 1st XI football securing victory at Huntley and St. Peter’s, and the 1st XI Hockey going through the week with an unbeaten three wins out of three. The 1st XV Rugby faced three stern tests and early injuries in our first game meant having some hockey boys and a footballer having to fill the bench in the latter part of the tour
Our thanks to the parents who found time to travel north to support the boys, and to the staff team for all of their efforts throughout the week. Finally a huge well done to each and every boy for their passion, perseverance, commitment and pride they displayed whenever they pulled on the jersey. Tu igitur prefer adversa boys!
REFLECTIONS FROM NORTH ISLAND TOUR:
On Monday 23rd of July the Waihi 1st XV rugby, 1st XI football and 1st XI hockey teams travelled up to Napier to compete against Hereworth, Huntley and St Peter’s Schools, and hockey against St Paul’s.
When we arrived at Napier Airport, George MacLeod got off the plane first and he played his bagpipes in the airport as we all walked in. That was pretty cool as all the parents were there and Mr Sutherland had made a Waihi banner which made us all feel proud. Our billets took us home from the airport.
Rugby – On Tuesday morning we had to get up really early so we could go to Chapel at Hereworth. George piped us on to the field at the start of the game, which was cool, and then Hereworth did a haka. It was a good haka. The rugby game was played hard and fair. Malachy got a intercept to get Waihi their first and only try of the match, which was good, but not enough with Hereworth winning the game 86-7.
Hockey – This was our first game of hockey for the 2018 North Island Tour. We travelled up to the turf from Hereworth to play. The game was played hard and fair, and both teams played well, but once Waihi but some goals in we came out on top.
Football – Both teams played well but Hereworth won the game 2-1.
We had an early start the next morning to get on the road to Huntley School in Marton. We stopped at the New Zealand Institute of Sport at Massey University and Jacob Oram gave us an awesome tour of their facilities. Everyone loved looking around. They had heaps of good playing fields and gym equipment. We had lunch in the carpark before we headed to the hockey turf at Palmerston North High School.
Hockey – Waihi was a very strong and skilful team, yet Huntley put up a good fight. Mitchell and Ryan put a few balls in the back of the net and Waihi came out on top.
Rugby – On Thursday morning the rugby was underway in wet conditions. Our Waihi team seemed small but stood strong and put up a good fight against Huntley. Waihi still gave it our all but Huntley came out on top, scoring a total of seven tries all converted.
Football – The day was cloudy and the pitch was really muddy but once we got started that didn’t stop the game. The football was kicked off and Waihi was two goals behind inside the first ten minutes. But Waihi put up a good fight and Damon and Mitchell put some goals on the scoreboard, and Waihi came back on top and won the exciting game 4-3. After the game the Waihi boys went and started sliding on the field and their white tops were then brown.
ST PETER’S COLLEGE
We left Huntley after a good feed and had a four hour bus trip to St Peter’s College in Cambridge. The long bus ride was fun, stressful and in some parts boring. We were entertained by the most interesting movies, Moana and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. ”At the back it was more like a boxing ring than a row of seats” said Beau. “And we were highly entertained by Sam Lambie’s pick-up lines”.
St Peter’s is a huge school and was pretty impressive, with an equestrian centre, gym, indoor swimming centre and hockey stadium.
Hockey – We had our first night game at St Peter’s. It was pretty cool playing under lights. We played well and won the game with some good plays.
Rugby – On Friday morning George piped us all out of the changing rooms in a line down the slope to the field where St Peter’s were waiting. They did another haka and then the game started. It was the toughest game we have ever played. We had a strong first half and kept them to one try. Tom was taken out by a big tackle. They ran away with the game but our boys never gave up and tried hard.
Football - The football team had another tough game and fought all the way to the end for their much-deserved 3-1 win. It was a good result for the team and Mr West as his last tour with Waihi.
After the fixture was finished, we went to the Golf Driving Range where we all had a go at hitting some balls. Some of the parents joined in too. It was fun.
Then we went to the AvantiDrome where they do track cycling indoors at the big arena. It was pretty amazing to see it. We were split into two groups and had a go on the track bikes for an hour each. We had some time to get used to the bike and the track then we had a race against the clock.
Then we went back to our billets for the last night.
On Saturday morning we went to Hamilton and the hockey boys had a game against St Paul’s College - Year 9 and 10s. They were very strong in the hockey game as they were a lot bigger and faster than us but that didn’t make us give up. Unfortunately Waihi could not put the ball in the net but St Paul’s could and they ended up winning 5-0.
On behalf of all the boys we would like to thank Mr Shaw, Mr Lennox, Mr West and Mr Short for organising such an awesome tour, Mr MacLeod, Mr Goldsbury and Mr Sutherland for coaching the rugby, the for parents for supporting us at all of our games, and Waihi for giving us such a huge opportunity.
Tom Taylor and Jack Sutherland 8PH