1st XV Win First World Game in Japan

April 29, 2013 at 12:12 PM

On tour with the 1st XV Rugby team in Japan, Head of Sport, Mr Martin Piaggi reports that the team has won their first game convincingly, 67-0!

The team has arrived at the Global Arena an hour south of Fukuoka City to begin their quest to be crowned world champions. The boys left Auckland on the first Tuesday of the holidays and travelled to Bangkok Thailand. For all concerned, this was the beginning of their truely International sporting experience. In balmy 30 degree temperatures, the team trained and put the final touches to their already impressive combinations. With good depth in the squad it is expected that everyone will contribute on tour.

As well as the training, the boys and management staff were able to experience Bangkok and the special culture and energy that the city exudes. The experience was both scary and eye opening for everyone and will leave lasting memories. From Bangkok, the team flew to Fukuoka Japan where the team is staying at the Global Arena complex where the tournament is being hosted.

From the bustling streets of Bangkok to the orderly pristine culture of Japan is yet another amazing experience for all of us. The complete lack of English speaking here in Japan adds another dimension to everything we do. At times it can be exhausting, especially for the management staff.

Opening day of the Tournament saw all the teams piped into the stadium by a Scottish school Pipes and Drums Band. Apparently this is part of the tradition of Sanix and made us feel quite at home. One of the real highlights of the opening was the speech that TJ Faiane gave on behalf of all the visiting teams. He spoke exceptionally well, was humble and sincere as well as being very articulate.

The boys have been in good spirits and eagerly waited for the campaign to begin.  Each of the International teams played their opening round against a Japanese side.Our first game against Meikei High School from Ibaraki Japan. The Japanese are extremely well drilled and technically very good. Their line out was outstanding and they retained possession well moving the point of contact very quickly. Unfortunately they can't compete at scrum time, they miss too many first up tackles and they don't have game breakers. Sam Nock scored the first two tries with Harry Marks and Suli both scoring before half time. It was 29 nil at half time and although we used all 25 players there was no noticeable difference when replacements were made. The result was a resounding win for the team, 67-0 with Saint Kentigern scoring 11 tries with 6 conversions.

From the other games played, Mr Piaggi reports that the tournament is shaping up to be show down between England, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

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