For my part a couple of special mentions:
- First to Reg, our coach driver – He was nothing short of fantastic, and a tremendous asset to the tour. Flexible but firm, and he developed a great relationship with the boys.
- Second to Tom Taylor and Dom Bird, for giving up there morning to breakfast with the boys. Congratulation to Tom on his engagement, and call up to the All Blacks, and to Dom for describing his pre-game ‘let the excitement build’ approach.
- Finally as a coach the session with Jason and Dave was simply outstanding. Their ability to translate [sometimes] complicated technical aspects of the game into simple actions, drills and focus points for 14 year olds was superb. Some of the simple messages – violent on the ground, balls over the ball, take the ball early – we carried into each game. I feel we carried a massive advantage into each game, particularly Christchurch Boys, on the back of this session.
In all an extraordinary trip, successful in every way. Capped off with a Highlanders win in the Super final [that’s for Ashley, apologies to everyone else!]