Match Day #3 – Shawnigan v. Kelston Boys High School
Tuesday – a later breakfast this morning as we had a kick off at 3pm against Kelston Boys, a lot of sitting around, or some would say good preparation time! The daily team meeting discussed tactics, and focussed on the boys mental preparation. Captain Haydn E. took the team for a light exercise and stretching session to ensure the bodies and muscles were at their peak condition.
An unlucky take of the kick-off and a quick turnover had Shawnigan defending their own goal line in the first minute, and a short dive for the line had the Kiwis up 5-0. The team fought back bravely with strong ball carrying from Djustice S.D., Zak E. and Joel B. and smart kicking out of hand from Guiseppe D. The boys in gold and black eventually forced an error from Kelston deep in their 22. A solid scrum and great back play gave Cody M. enough space to force his way over the line to even the score. An unlucky charge down meant Guiseppe could not convert the try.
More outstanding tactical kicking resulted in Shawnigan being awarded another penalty in front of the Kelston posts and Guiseppe was able to slot his penalty to make it 8-5 in favour of the Canadians at half time.
The second half, much like the first, had Shawnigan defending with everything their bodies could give which gave the New Zealanders no space to run and offload – their usual style of play. It also forced errors and the forwards were scrummaging brilliantly, allowing Shawnigan to play the rugby in Kelston’s half. Another penalty for Shawnigan and Guiseppe made no mistake with the kick at goal. 11-5. Excellent running from Brandon H., solid tackling from Spencer S. and the forwards crossing the gain line nearly every play gave the perfect opportunity to slot a drop goal from half way between the 10m line at 22. Score 14-5.
Kelston hadn’t given up the fight and in the typical Kiwi style scored two quick tries from breakaways and were a point ahead within the last minute.
A good restart and the forwards up in the Kelston Boys’ faces forced a penalty just outside their 10m line. A cool headed Guiseppe had a kick to win the match. With nearly every other team and supporter cheering Shawnigan on to win, Guiseppe hit a perfect strike to secure the final victory with and end score of 17-15.
Danny H., Luis Z.B., Oliver N. and Randall B. also had outstanding games.
The post game celebration had the parents on the field for group photos, a speech from the Headmaster and a Japanese news team interviewing captain Haydn E. It was by far the biggest upset of the tournament!
Coach Murdy soon had the boys focused on the fact that there was another game tomorrow and to enjoy the moment, but not to under estimate our next opponent.
The boys were being congratulated from nearly every team they walked by for the rest of the evening, a day they will remember for the rest of their lives.
A coaches meeting that evening meant we found out our next opponent in the next stage of the tournament, the 9-16th placings. Shawnigan had Incheon Mechanical Techincal High School from Korea.
- Mike Rea