Saturday, December 7, 2019

International High School All Star Rugby on this Tuesday

Rising from the Southern Pacific Ocean as Neptune’s spear, Trident All Stars have come ashore the North American continent in formidable fashion.

Trident High School Rugby All Stars, from Whakatane New Zealand, look to finish the third leg of their 2019  North American Tour with perfection when they test a Colorado HS Select Side next Tuesday night, 5pm, on the StoveTop at Infinity Park, Glendale. The tourists topped an elite Canadian squad in Vancouver to kick off the three-match schedule and blanked Liberty Rugby Club, 24-0, in MLR dual-champion Seattle SeaWolves’ home ground at Starfire Sports Arena on Tuesday last.

The 2019 Northern Hemisphere visit is Trident’s eighth since 1987. Group leader, Chris Burn, states the purpose of the trip as, “to make a difference in the lives of these young men. Broaden their horizons and instill in them (the credo) that if (you) want something you need to work for it.” Thus the players engaged in a wide range of activities from bobby calf collecting* to hay bale wrapping to earn this significant transition. “Most of the boys have not (previously) been on a plane, never touched snow. Our school is in a very rural area with a high indigenous population,” Burn adds.

Whakatane is located on North Island of New Zealand along the coast of the Bay of Plenty. Major industries in the area include forestry, farming and fishing, though tourism is on the rise.

The high level of rugby at Trident has supplied New Zealand’s national side with All Blacks from the region: mid-fielder Arthur Stone (1980s - AB# 832) and more recently, front row Kane Hames (AB# 1152) flourished under the Trident banner. Burns reports, “The Super Team from our area is the Chiefs but the boys tend to follow individuals.”**

If you’re wondering what All Blacks look like in their formative stages, come have a looksee on the Tuesday, 12.10 at Glendale, 5pm.

* Bobby Calves are newborns who’ve no Mom (I know!) and/or bulls under 30 days old; suffice to say, they are surplus to the dairy industry.

** I’m an Ardie Savea man myself - ed.

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