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Irish Schools Oz Tour Diary

Irish Schools Oz Tour Diary

Irish Schools Australian Tour Results

The following are the results achieved by the Irish Schools Squad on their tour of Australia:
Irish Schools vs New South Wales Country, Won 78-0
Irish Schools vs Queensland Chauirman’s XV, Won 30-19
Irish Schools vs Queensland, Won 24-11
Irish Schools vs New South Wales Combined High Schools, Won 27-22
Irish Schools vs New South Wales, Won 15-5
Irish Schools vs Australian Schools A, Won 30-10
Irish Schools vs Australian Schools, Lost 23-12

Wednesday, 25th August

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The players met with the management at the management motel and did a video review of the Australian “A” game

At the team meeting Barney announced the team to play v Australian Schools on Thursday 26th @12-30pm at Vikings RFC in Canberra.

15. Rob Kearney
14. Fionn Carr
13. Tom Gleeson
12. Darren Cave
11. Peter Shallow
10. Conor Gildea
9. Duncan Williams

1. Gary Walsh
2. Gavin O’Meara
3. Gary Mitchell
4. Billy Holland
5. Devin Toner
6. Michael Essex
7. Diarmuid Laffan (Captain)
8. David Pollock

Darragh Hurley
Sean Cronin
Paul Collins
Jamie Cornett
Barry O’Mahoney
Joe Burns
Conan Doyle
Rory Drysdale

The team had lunch in a local golf club before departure to the Vikin’s RFC ground for the Captain’s run.

Tuesday 24th August

The squad met at Marist College in Canberra for their final training session before the Captain’s run on Wednesday.

Following an excellent session the group travelled to the Irish Embassy for a reception.

Following this very pleasant reception the party transferred to Wests Rugby Club for lunch and then on to view the facilities at the Australian Institute of Sport which is based in Canberra.
This was followed by a visit to the City Centre shops where the CCC shop was the centre of attention for the players and management.

The players then returned to the Irish Club to be picked up by their hosts.

The players will meet with the management on Wednesday morning when the team will be announced.

Monday 23rd August.

The squad met at Oakhill College and transferred to Canberra with a lunch stop en route. On arrival Barney organised, with the help of liaison man Baden Stephenson, a pool session which was supervised by Dave Lyons.

The squad then moved to Canberra Irish Club where they met their host families for the next two nights. The entire group will attend a reception this evening at the Irish Club, hosted by Vice-President Ray Halpin. Tomorrow the touring party will attend a reception at The Irish Embassy after training at Marist College in Canberra.

Folks at home wishing to send messages of good luck can fax them to Barney Mc Gonigle at The Garden City Motel. 0061 2 6239 6289. The team will be delighted to receive messages of support from home.

Friday 20th August, Parramatta

The squad finished their training session at Oakhill College and Barney accompanied the players to Manly Beach. Some of the boys went for a swim whilst others played Beach Volleyball and the remainder took to the shops.

Liaison Brian Peace, who had looked after us exceptionally well, arranged for Roger, Keith, Davy and Peter to play golf on the lovely Foxhills Course. After a closely contested game Keith emerged as the winner.

Meanwhile the ladies had been taken by Linda Rae for a trip into the Blue Mountains and accompanied by Andy Crawford, SVP, IRFU, had a great day of sightseeing and shopping in this beautiful part of the world. Mili and Averill returned looking resplendent in their newly-acquired hats.

Saturday 21st August and the Management are guests of the Australian Jockey Club at the meeting at Warwick Farm Race Course. We were received by Trevor Williams, Chairman of the AJC and his wife Connie as well as Chief Executive Tony King and his wife Lynn. Col Murray was instrumental in the organisation of the day and thanks are due to everyone for a marvellous day’s entertainment and hospitality.

The players had the opportunity to do some more sightseeing and many went to some of the big rugby league and rugby union matches on in the area on Saturday.

All in all, Saturday was a relaxing day prior to the big game on Sunday v Australia”A”.

Thursday 19th August, Coogee.

The group were fitness tested by Management on Wednesday with Billy Holland scoring highest amongst the forwards in the 150m shuttles and Fionn Carr winning the backs competition. Exam results were received and the players seemed happy with their results.

The squad left Coogee and transferred to their new hosts at Oakhill College via King’s School where they trained and had lunch in the magnificent surroundings of King’s School. On arrival at Oakhill the players met their hosts and management returned to their hotel.

The squad will assemble at Oakhill on Friday morning to put together final preparations for the game against Australia “A” on Sunday. The squad will be announced on Friday.

Wednesday,18th August, Coogee.

The Irish Schoolboys squad are enjoying a well-earned break in the resort of Coogee. Unfortunately the weather has not been good with much needed rain constantly falling.

The group will participate in a fitness session this afternoon and then move to train at King’s School, Paramatta tomorrow to begin preparation for the forthcoming game against Australia “A” on Sunday at King’s. The Australians have picked a very strong team which will provide a severe test for the Irish boys on Sunday.

Sydney Monday 16th August

A change in the weather has come as a surprise to the Irish squad. Rain is falling in Sydney!!

The squad met at Waverley College and after saying good bye to their hosts, departed for a three day examination result camp at Coogee. Once again the players had received superb hosting from the families with whom they stayed and a big debt of gratitude is owed to those families.
Andrew Elliott, Vice-Principal of Waverley, was responsible for the organization of the hosting and much more besides. He did a marvellous job in ensuring our stay with NSW Schools ran smoothly.

On arrival at Coogee after visiting a local shopping centre, the boys settled into their apartments and some then went for a run, some for a pool swim, some for a sea swim and others for a maintenance session of weights.

The entire group then met for an evening meal in a local restaurant.

Tuesday am, and after a good night’s sleep the group woke up to find it was still raining!!!

Breakfast in the local restaurant and then most of the group are heading into Sydney to visit that beautiful city.

Barney has organised the entire party to have a celebratory meal in a restaurant this evening to acknowledge the success of the tour so far, celebrate the birthdays that have taken place whilst on tour and calm the nerves before the exam results arrive.

Saturday 14th August, Sydney.

After two good training sessions on Friday at Waverley College, the squad had a day off on Saturday in preparation for the Sunday game v NSW at Cranbrook School.

Many of the players attended the big Rugby League game on Friday evening at the Aussie Stadium and on Saturday they all met up in the Bondi area.

Management used the time on Saturday to indulge in a little retail therapy with Barney and the Doc leading the way to the jewellery stores. Comparisons on the success or otherwise of the shopping will be made later this evening.

Dave Eakin, Peter Melia and David Lyons went to the big GPS Schools game of the season to see St Joseph’s play King’s , Parramatta at Hunters Hill. They were accompanied by Bernie Carberry, Administrater for the ASRFU.

The squad will meet for their pre-match meal at 11-00am on Sunday at the management hotel and the build-up for the game at 2-00pm will begin.

This will be the toughest game of the tour so far but everyone is looking forward to the game.

Ireland Schools team to play New South Wales, Sunday August 15th, Cranborne School, Sydney:

15 Robert Kearney
14 Fionn Carr
13 Darren Cave
12 Jonathan Sexton
11.Peter Shallow
10 Conor Guildea
9. Duncan Williams
1 Gary Walsh
2.Gavin O’Meara
3.Gary Mitchell
4.Jamie Cornett
5.Devin Toner
6 Diarmuid Laffan (Capt)
7 Barry O’Mahony
8.Darren O’Reilly
Replacements from
Joe Burns, Conan Doyle, Rory Drysdale, Jonathan Shortt, Sean Cronin, Paul Collins, Darragh Hurley, Billy Holland, David Pollock.
Note: Michael Essex is recovering from injury and was not considered.

Thursday 12th August, Sydney

The Irish Squad met at Eastwood Rugby Club and then visited a local fitness centre.

Physio David Lyons took this as an opportunity to treat some of the bumps and bruises sustained in yesterday’s game whilst Barney Mc Gonigle supervised an aerobic pool recovery session.

On returning to the club, Peter and Keith conducted a video analysis session with the players. This proved worthwhile and targets were set for the next game.

CHS parents have hosted the boys exceptionally well and thanks are due to them and Glen Clayton who co-ordinated our visit.

The party now move to Waverly College where they will be hosted by families from that famous school.

Monday, August 9th

The Irish Schoolboys squad arrived at Eastwood Rugby Club in the Northern suburbs of Sydney after a long day’s travelling to meet their hosts for the next stage of their tour.

On Monday morning the party met at the club and after a warm-up taken by David Lyons, Manager Barney Mc Gonigle announced the team to start against Combined High Schools at Eastwood RFC on Wednesday 11th with a 2-15 KO.

The team announced is:
15. Rob Kearney
14. Rory Drysdale
13. Darren Cave
12. Jonathan Sexton
11. Fionn Carr
10. Conan Doyle
9. Joe Burns
1. Darragh Hurley
2. Gavin O’Meara
3. Paul Collins
4. Darren O’Reilly
5. Billy Holland
6. Diarmuid Laffan (Captain)
7. Michael Essex
8. David Pollock

The subs will be chosen from

Peter Shallow
Duncan Williams
Jonathan Shortt
Conor Gildea
Gary Walsh
Sean Cronin
Gary Mitchell
Devin Toner
Barry O’Mahoney

Jamie Cornett and Tom Gleeson were not available for selection due to minor injury problems.

After the team was announced coaches Peter Melia and Keith Patton worked with the squad in advance of the game on wednesday. The management had done an analysis of the last game and areas of concern were identified which will need to be addressed before what will be a very tough encounter with a physical and talented NSW Combined High Schools team.

Sunday 8th August

The Irish party will meet at ACGS and have a short run out before departure fo Sydney via Moorecydore Airport. On arrival in Sydney, the group will meet up with host families at Eastwoods Rugby Club.

We leave Queensland with great memories of this beautiful state, especially the warmth and hospitality of the people we encountered and look forward to our next game with the Combined High Schools side on Wednesday.

Saturday 7th August, Brisbane

After a team run at Anglican Church Grammar School in Brisbane on Friday the squad were taken into Brisbane to do some shopping and sightseeing. At 4-oopm they returned to the school to meet up with their hosts who in true Australian style have been most generous to the players.

Management returned to their hotel before going for a meal wih Peter Murdoch, Damien Barker and Bill Luscombe, representatives of the Queensland Schools RFU in the Brisbane Irish Club.

After an enjoyable evening they returned to the hotel to finalise arrangements for the game on Saturday.

Wednesday 4th August Noosa, Queensland.

After a good training session and team run on Tuesday at Noosa RFC, the players and management went for lunch at a local restaurant.

The afternoon saw Barney and Dave supervise a jet skiing session on the local river whilst Peter, Keith and the Doc went to a local Par 3 golf course with the rest of the players.

Keith met his match on the course when his own RS Dungannon pupil, Irish No 8 David Pollock, beat him in an exciting Pitch and Putt match.

The players met their billets at 4-00pm and then the entire squad returned to the rugby club in the ebvening for an excellent Bar-b-Que provided by the club.

Host families have organised various activities for the players during the day on Wednesday but the group will meet at the management accomodation at 4-00pm to begin the build up for this evenings game.

The host families in Noosa have taken the Irish boys and been really generous in their hospitality. They have been superb hosts and the squad are all in good form and looking forward to the game.

Opening Match

The Irish Schools won their first match on their tour of Australia by 78-0 against NSW Country Schools yesterday at Singleton RFC.

Ireland Schoolboys’ opened their Australian tour with a commanding performance against a very spirited and committed NSW Country team in Singleton this afternoon. The game was played in excellent conditions in front of a large crowd of enthusiastic supporters at Singleton RFC.

Early in the game No 8 David Pollock went in for the first try after a rolling maul following a line-out, a facet of the game which Ireland dominated. This try was unconverted and immediately after the restart following a clever kick from scrum half Duncan Williams, left wing Peter Shallow gathered a bouncing ball to run strongly to score the second try which again went unconverted.

On ten minutes following a quick recycle of the ball, loose head prop Gary Walsh stormed over for Ireland’s third try which was converted by Darren Cave.

NSW Country responded strongly and had the Irish team on the back foot for a few minutes but the Irish lads weathered the storm and following a break out of defence good handling from the Irish team led to right winger Rory Drysdale scoring after 15 minutes. Again Darren Cave converted the try.

NSW Country displayed a never say die attitude and put the Irish defence under great pressure. The Irish defence was resilient and following a NSW Country turnover, flanker Barry O’Mahoney ran in another Irish score after 34 minutes. This try was unconverted but left 34-0 in the lead coming towards the end of the first half.

Close to half time Ireland won good lineout ball which allowed their backs to show their pace and full back Rob Kearney ran in for an unconverted score to leave Ireland in the lead by 34-0 at half time.

Michael essex replaced Barry O’Mahoney at half time and Ireland immediately launched a wave of attacks on the NSW Country line. Sustained pressure saw the ball held up twice over the line before No 8 David Pollock went over for his second try.after 38 minutes.This try was converted to leave the Irish lads 41-0 in the lead.

Two minutes later David Pollock scored his third try following a period of good continuity play. This try was unconverted.

On 45 minutes Darren Cave ran in from 30 metres to score a fine individual try after good work from both forwards and backs with Rob Kearney adding the conversation.

NSW Country never stopped working hard and the introduction of fresh players gave them added impetus. They still kept coming at the Irish team but the Irish defence held firm.

After 54 minutes Ireland added another score when Captain Diarmuid Laffan scored following a well worked back row move of the base of the scrum. Again this try went unconverted.

On 60 minutes Jonathan Sexton replaced Conan Doyle and shortly after this Rory Drysdale scored his second of the afternoon. This try went unconverted. Gary Mitchell then replaced Paul Collins in the front row.

On 63 minutes following good interplay between forwards and backs Rob Kearney scored an unconverted try and shortly after this Sean Cronin added his name to the score sheet with an unconverted try.

In the last seconds of the game Tom Gleeson scored Ireland’s 14th try to leave Ireland 78-0 winners.

After the game those players not used trained under the watchful eye of assistant coach Keith Patton.

This was a very satisfactory start to the tour but there is still a long way to go and a lot of hard work ahead. Peter Melia and Keith Patton will lead a video analysis of the game against NSW Country before the next game against Queensland Presidents XV on Wednesday in Noosa.

Tomorrow Monday sees the squad leave at 7-00am to go to Sydney Airport for a flight to Noosa in Queensland.There will be a training session on arrival in preparation for Wednesday’s game and the the players will be billeted with their new hosts.

The squad will be genuinely sorry to leave Singleton. The host families have been very kind to the players and have wecomed them with open arms into their homes.Visits to the zoo, water-skiing, horse riding, hunting and farm work have all been experienced by various players who have responded by getting themselves involved with the local community.

Thanks are due to Tony Jarrett, Principal of Singleton HS and his parents and pupils for the kindness and generosity shown to the Irish party whilst in their City.

Monday 26th July:
Irish Schoolboys arrived safely in Sydney Airport at 5-40am Monday 26th after a long haul from Dublin-London-Singapore-Sydney. On arrival at Beachside Inn Motel at Bondi Beach some of the players decided to test the famous Bondi Beach by going for a swim to freshen up. After a substantial breakfast Physio David Lyons and Doc Roger Wilson supervised a stretching session on the foreshore. After the warm up Coaches Peter Melia and Keith Patton put the players through their paces with a handling session. Lunch was taken and the afternoon was spent at leisure with the entire group taking a refreshing walk along the coastline.

Tomorrow Tuesday the squad will train at Waverley College to begin in earnest their preparation for the first game to be played against NSW Country Schools in Singleton in the Hunter Valley on Sunday.

All the party are in good form but understandably starting to feel the effects of the long journey.

Wednesday 28th:

The squad are gradually starting to recover from the effects of jetlag. After a good breakfast the party transferred to Waverley College for two training sessions with Peter Melia and Keith Patton ensuring greater intensity from the players.

After a slow start the whole session lifted up quite dramatically with the players responding really well.

A break for lunch and a little relaxation in 20 degrees laid the foundation for a very good afternoon session with the emphasis on unit skills leaving Keith and Peter happy with what had been achieved.

After returning to the hotel the squad headed to the surf at Bondi to refresh tired limbs.

The squad will move tomorrow Thursday to Sngleton in the Hunter Valley in preparation for the first game v NSW Country Schools on Sunday at 2-00pm at Singleton RFC.