Moulton founded Newington College in 1863 and then Tupou College shortly after. He would love watching the relationship grow again between the colleges. This relationship is strengthened each year through the service learning and rugby tours that include these great Rugby games between the Tupou College under 15’s side and a touring Newington College side. The game is played in great spirit and the boys played the second game in mixed teams from both Colleges. A great evening was also had watching the full footage with both teams. Well done to both teams and Rugby was certainly the winner on the day!
Thanks to Matt Watson for his time editing photos and video for the summary video of the first rugby game.
PHOTOS AND VIDEO TO COME
The final full day at Tupou College began like every other with a 6am wake up. Lights flashed on in the dorms and most boys were preparing themselves for breakfast, but some retreated back under their sheets to regain some needed sleep after a hard night of dealing with gastro issues. The boys who had successfully negotiated the last few days without contracting any stomach illnesses, made their way down to the library to have a breakfast that was once again prepared by the lovely ladies of Tupou who have become Tongan aunties with the hospitality and care that they have shrouded the boys in over the past week. Despite some boys who attended being borderline on contracting diarrhea, all of the boys gorged themselves on the generous servings of fruit, eggs, toast, sausages and cereal, which the ladies of Tupou happily provided them with. Well nourished, the boys made their way back to the dorm closely followed by some members of the Tupou community, who were carrying plates of food to give to the boys who feeling under the weather back in the dorms. The extent to which they look after their guests is remarkable and it was very heart-warming to see these people care for these sick boys as if they were their own sons. As some boys tested their appetites with a few bites of food, the healthy boys reminisced about the afternoon fixture against Tupou College and whether Newington would be able to field a full team of 15. However before the rugby in the afternoon the boys had an interaction task with some of the Tupou boys.
On Monday an exquisite display of phenomenal human feats occurred during the under 15s rugby match between Newington College and Tupou College. We started the war with the boys running on, led by inspirational Captain America. Both teams then had the honour of singing their respective national anthems in front of the strong crowd. Tupou College started the game with a towering kick and chased it with blistering speed, setting a super pace for the game. The battle was fought on many fronts, however, one area the Newington boys were defenceless against was the brilliant scrummaging of Tupou College. After a brief stint of resolute defence, Tupou eventually broke our wall of defence and went over for the first try of the game. The conversion was missed to leave the score at 5-0.
The game continued to roll on with the excellent scrummaging of Tupou overpowering the Newington forward pack as well as some formidable hits in defence from the hosts. Newington hit back with a counter attack taking the ball almost to the Tupou line. Unfortunately, unlike our opposition, Newington was unable to crack the line. Tupou continued their dominance in the set plays and eventually cracks began to show in the Newington defence. Off the back of a ruck, a pick and drive worked the Tupou forwards in behind our defensive line and the number 8 for Tupou triumphed over the line. The conversation was made successfully to take the score to 12-0.
Close to half-time Newington found themselves attacking Tupou’s line. A smart lineout started a roll-on in our attack. Our forwards began linking together in the phase play, one beautiful offload from Tom Piroddi to Charlie Mannix found him within inches of our first try. A strong clean out at the ruck pushed Tupou off our ball and with the quick ball we threw to the backs who had a one man overlap. Sam Clarke raced for the corner but was met by scrambling cover defence, with the Tupou winger ripping the ball just shy of the line. This stoppage signalled the end of a brutal first half.
Upon resuming the game, Newington continued to rise in confidence. We began working out that when we kicked for territory Tupou were reluctant to counter attack and as a result we were finding better field position. The discipline of the Newington team began to show as they picked up several quick penalties with kicks for touch the easy option for good yards. Our defence tightened up as well, affording the hosts less room to move in attack and we started giving a few bruising hits in defence ourselves. Our newfound confidence was giving us good continuity in attack and after some good lead-up play by the entire side, Tom Piroddi crashed over for a try about 10 minutes in to the half. The score was met by rapturous cheering from our loyal and vocal supporters (see separate post on cheering). The conversion attempt was unsuccessful, 12-5 to Tupou.
As the two sides tired, attacking opportunities and line breaks were harder to come by. Newington kept pushing for an equalising try but we could not finish off our good work. Tupou were making our ball at the breakdown difficult to come by but they were unfortunately on the referee’s bad side by this point in time.
The game concluded with some near chances for both teams just missed with no additions to the score. There were some excellent try saving tackles from Josh Wheatley and Tom Banuelos to keep Tupou wanting. A hard-fought victory for our Tongan hosts, 12-5. To our boys, well done. Despite being heavily out-muscled and out-weighed we kept going back for more and were always in with a chance to win the game. Man of the match went to the Tupou College inside centre who was ever-present in both their attack and defence.
The principal split the school in two and assigned 6 houses to cheer for Newington and 4 to cheer for Tupou College! Our supporters quickly learnt some of our songs and adapted some of theirs with Newington words. All up it was a great atmosphere and a lot of fun was had by all. Make sure you watch the whole clip to see some staff making fools of themselves (for a worthy cause)