Royal Grammar School

Newcastle

U12 Belfast Rugby Tour

U12 Belfast Rugby Tour

The commencement of the Christmas holiday once again brought with it the departure of the U12 Rugby squad for the annual Belfast Rugby Tour. Planned and executed by Mr Smith for his hat trick of this event and ably supported by Messer’s Nicholson, Wood and Davidson there was much anticipation for what is the highlight of the Year 7 Boys Sport Calendar each year. The previous year had seen the RGS U12 A go unbeaten for the first time in the history of this grand event and with that record hovering over the opposition, we knew the class of 2014 were always going to be up against it. The ferry ride over was the first major hurdle and what a hurdle it turned out to be: a total of 41 places had been booked for a group consisting of no less than 46. 

What better way to begin an Irish Rugby tour than with a visit to Belfast City Centre Christmas Market!? The only rules for this excursion were be back on time and don’t eat sweets before your Rugby match this afternoon; on the return time the group was at about 30% capacity and most were covered in remains of chocolate, candy floss and overpriced curio’s which apparently originated from a small Rastafarian village in Zimbabwe.

The first match on tour was against the highly acclaimed Methodist College or Methody as they are known. The A team competed until a rather unpleasant spear tackle ended the combative Dormer’s opening game but seemed to hit the coaches hardest. Mr Smith’s beard stroking prance became a scratching gallop on the touchline and Mr Wood lost all sense of purpose and stopped taking photographs…

The B team learnt a rigorous warm up routine!

Bowling, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and Ice Skating were the three evening excursions and were all well attended and seemed to create the necessary distraction from potential Holiday Inn levelling. In fact the biggest concern in all three evenings was the 3D version of The Hobbit which was thrust upon Mr Smith who had mentally prepared himself for the 2D version. 

The largest and most vicious battles were not to be found on the fields of the Lonely Mountain or the Rugby pitches of Northern Ireland but rather on the scattered plains of outdoor Lazerquest! Smith and Wood made some excellent tactical decisions in team selection; the likes that evaded their Rugby managerial skills it must be said. Through this they took the Nicholson-Davidson squad to pieces, through a combination of superior sniping skills and regular false starts; at one point executing a manoeuvre that could only be described as shooting penguins! 

The Academicals Institution of Belfast and Colraine were the final two fixtures and an upward curve of success was gained by both teams involved. While the B team took their warm up routines from strength to strength, the A team showed excellent resolve in the Colraine match and were unlucky not to 
come away with a win.

The overriding memory of the tour will undoubtedly be the overwhelming comments from the public about the impeccable behaviour of the group. RGS can be extremely proud of the behaviour these young boys showed from the harshest rugby environment to the most crowded of public venues. 
Mr Smith deserves special thanks for his planning and organisation of the tour, as well as the care that he shows with each individual. It certainly takes special people involved at every level to go on a rugby tour, not win a match, and return with bright and vibrant smiles and memories!

Mr Michael Davidson

Tour Awards:
A Team Player of the TourMatthew Deehan
B Team Player of the TourZac Welsh
Best Craic On Tour and Top SniperDominic Hodgson-Bajoria
Top TouristJamie McLeod
Staff Award – Steven Bathgate