New Zealand’s Tamaki Rugby Academy paid a return visit to Bognor RFC as part of their European Tourand faced Bognor’s under-12s.
The evening saw a fantastic display of ability from the visitors, who top their New Zealand League and who included four international under-12s.
As part of the Kiwi tour some of Bognor’s under-12s were invited to accompany the touring side to a fixture at the home of Paris SCUF, one of Paris’ oldest rugby teams.
The England/New Zealand side won 10-0 with a fantastic display of teamwork. It was a true example of how rugby unites regardless of any language or national barriers.
Bognor coach Doug Millen said: “ It was truly inspirational for our teams to experience the skill set of these Southern Hemisphere players. It has really shown them what they can achieve if they dedicate themselves to their sport and work hard.
“The Bognor teams realise the visitors are of a similar age and it is hard work that has got them to where they are. It was an honour to be invited to play alongside them in their Paris fixture and a real opportunity for the boys to experience international rugby, travel and hospitality.
Mike Henry, Tamaki coach, said: “It was a pleasure to visit such a friendly club and they are welcome to visit us at home whenever they like. The Bognor teams showed great spirit and ability and we will be taking away lessons learnt.
“My lasting memory of our tour will be of the post-match clubhouse games, hospitality and the Bognor under-12s and Tamaki joint haka. The boys have made lasting friendships and have noticed a huge change in ability since last year. Without the Bognor lads in the side the win in Paris would not have been possible.”
Bognor thanked their sponsors for the trip and this season’s new shirts. Without the Lions Club of Bognor, Chichester College’s engineering department and transportation provided by Bognor Motors, much of their adventure would not have been possible.
Bognor’s NZ tour fundraising starts here...
Bognor 31 Worthing 12
Bognor’s first home game at 15-a-side saw their hard work over the summer pay dividends as they proved too strong for Worthing.
The visitors scored first against the run of play before great scrummaging and rucking allowed No8 Scott-Darling to step over for a try after concerted pressure.
The second half saw Bognor lift their intensity in defence and attack. Great driving by the forwards saw the backs release winger Aquila, who scored in the corner. Back came Worthing to take the lead with a well-worked try.
After a superb try-saving tackle, Southern, on his debut, burst on to the ball and sprinted under the posts to give Bognor the lead. Clarke converted.
Then came the try of the match. From a scrum five metres from their own line, Spurle fed Clarke, a lovely floated pass let Corbould run on to the ball, dummy through and then draw the full back to release co-centre Henton, who ran round under the posts. Clarke converted again.
Great feet from full-back Hayes and quick ball allowed man of the match Southern to burst through and outpace the cover to score his second try. Clarke converted again.
BOGNOR: Corney, Bishop, Wright S, Robinson, Joyce, Delaney, Bryant, Southern, Orchard, Lambert , Barker, Riley, Ide, Scot-Darling, Spurle, Clarke, Corbould, Henton, Aquila, Louis, Wright A, Peterson, Hayes, Fadera.