The Final Word Goes to.....
1st XV Coach
Rangiora High School 1st XV Raise the Bar in 2009
This was an epic season and one which will be remembered by those involved for many years to come. It began with an invitation to play in the AMI Tens tournament as a pre-season build up. This is a competition for Press Cup schools within the Canterbury Union and Rangiora was invited to enter as an opportunity to measure up against a higher level of opposition. It was to prove great experience for those involved and the highlight must certainly have been a trip to AMI Stadium to play Lincoln High School as a curtain-raiser to the Crusaders S14 game against the Stormers. Beating Lincoln with a last minute try to Toby Ashby was outstanding.
The team again entered the International 1st XV Rugby Festival at Christchurch Boys High. It was an exciting weekend resulting in wins against Aquinas College (Perth), Melbourne Grammar and Papanui HS. James Marr and Duncan Bonfield were voted MVP’s for the tournament and the weekend was an enjoyable experience for all.
The season began with a home fixture against Saracens and a comfortable yet scrappy victory. The players had worked hard on fitness having trained before school twice a week pre-season and continuing throughout the season with Monday morning circuits at 7am. The commitment was there to ensure that the team was the fittest in the competition.
Round one of the U18 combined competition was followed by the championship round and involved teams from Nth Canterbury, Ellesmere and Mid-Canterbury. Finishing top of the table and winning a semi-final against Tinwald set up a final against Burnham. The team played arguably their best game of the season and overwhelmed the Burnham side to win the Combined U18 competition and the Leigh MacIntosh Trophy for 2009.
The squad for Brisbane assembled very early at Christchurch Airport and an eagerly awaited tour to Australia was underway. A fantastic week was had by all involved despite the battered and bruised bodies that returned a week later.
Contesting the North Canterbury U18 competition was the focus and topping the round robin competition earned a place at Club Finals Day and a game against the only club side to have beaten the team in 2009, Kaiapoi. It was a well contested final and a few tense moments during the second half but in the end fitness and team work allowed Rangiora finish the season victorious.
The players worked hard throughout the season and deserved their success as a team and the many representative honours that follow a successful season. Five players made Canterbury Country teams; Jeffrey Bigwood, Toby Ashby, Ollie Bithray, Alex Kennedy and James Marr. Many others represented North Canterbury sides from U16 through to U19.