Sedbergh School Football Club Tour of Hong Kong and New Zealand is underway, with the Brown recording countless victories against some of the best school and university rugby teams in the world.
SSFC played three fixtures in Hong Kong – the 1st XV played Hong Kong U19 and Bishop Wordsworth U17A, and SSFC JBS XV also played Bishop Wordsworth U17B. In Hong Kong, the boys attended a reception for Old Sedberghians, family, friends and supporters. Dan Harrison, Second Master, spoke of the outstanding past and present Sedberghians who call Hong Kong their home.
The first day in New Zealand saw the tour stop in Hamner Springs, at the foot of the Southern Alps. After the bustling, humid environment of Hong Kong, this was an oasis of calm. The boys enjoyed the thermal pools before heading out onto the local park for a training session. Rugby fields are a common feature of parks in New Zealand and a clear marker of how deep rugby is ingrained into the culture there.
In New Zealand, the 1st XV started with a fixture against Rangiora High School 1st XV, winning 26-5 against an extremely competitive side which lived up to the expectations Sedbergh had about New Zealand schoolboy rugby. The Brown never got away with a comfortable lead but did come away with a 26-5 win in the end. Tries from Hodge (2), Haydon-Wood and Birch, and three conversions from Hodge.
Next fixture was JBS v Christ College 2nd XV, which saw the Brown take a 52-0 win (Birch, Magee, Halsall, Brundage, Walsh (2), Hollins, Barber, and six conversions from Foster. The full match report for this fixture highlights several outstanding periods of play that showcased the very best of running rugby. Replacement scrum-half Tom Walsh scored a dazzling solo effort down the blindside from a scrum and Hugh Hollins picked a glorious line off a set-piece move to carve through the Christ College defence. Harry Woods was excellent all game on the open-side with his link play and relentless carrying.
Most recently, this weekend, SSFC 1st XI were victorious against Lincoln University Colts XV, with a 50 – 7 win. Tries came from Hodge (4), Rodd, Watson, Walsh and Moore, and conversions from Hodge (4) and Foster. The match report describes Max Silvester’s strong carries and industrious play, and Rob Farrar as an extremely physical blindside flanker. Sam Moore was unstoppable of a lineout move and the front row of Wade Williams, Bradley Clements and Bevan Todd didn’t take a backward step all game.
Today the 1st XV play St Bede’s College. Match reports and photos of the tour can be found at https://ssfchknz2017.wordpress.com