NSW Independent Schools’ Tour of New Zealand Wrap
By Pierce Roseby, St. Ignatius College
Day 1: We arrived at Sydney International Airport to depart to New Zealand. The plane left at 12pm Sydney time and we arrived in Auckland at 5pm. We jumped on the bus and went straight to the welcome function at the New Zealand Institute of Sport. There we got to meet our opposition “New Zealand Hawks Academy Level 1”. The welcome function included a meal and a jumper presentation for both teams. After the welcome function we went to our accommodation.
Day 2: We travelled to QBE Stadium for a light training session before the game on the next day. This was followed by a recovery session at the beach. Then we headed to the Sky City tower and climbed it. We then hopped on the bus and travelled to Mount Eden.
Day 3: Game 1. The conditions were perfect – 24° and sunny. We walked to QBE Stadium and prepared for the game. Before the game the New Zealand side performed the Haka, which was a great experience for us. We came out and played well and won the game by 70 points. The game was followed by a post-match function. We then travelled to Rotorua.
Day 4: We woke up and travelled to “Hells Gate”. At hells gate there were sulphur baths. We were given a guide of the area and learnt about the history. After this we went into the sulphur baths. After this we travelled to Skyline and went luging before heading back to Auckland.
Day 5: Game 2 of the series. The conditions were a lot different. It was pouring down with rain and the New Zealand boys were fired up after the previous loss. They performed the Haka and came out hard. The conditions evened the game up and we were down at quarter time. But we pulled our way back to win the game by 50 points. The match was followed by a function.
Day 6: We woke up at 4am and travelled to Auckland Domain for the Anzac day dawn service. This amazing event moved everyone as we remembered those who had fought for us. We travelled back to our accommodation and prepared to return back to Sydney. We arrived at Auckland airport and departed to Sydney. We arrived in Sydney at 5pm
Overall it was an outstanding trip. AFL NSW/ACT put on a great tour. We had great resources including high-level coaches, physios, strength and conditioning coaches and managers.