Ysgol Abersychan School

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Canada Rugby Exchange

 

 Friday 7th March – Sunday 9th March 2014

Abersychan 54, Mississauga Blues 15

Following the success of the exchange visit and tour to Canada in 2012, Abersychan School hosted a touring side from Mississauga Ontario.  The Mississauga Blues RFC is based in Streetsville Ontario with a high number of players attending Streetsville Secondary School, one of the schools we will be visiting this October.

After visits to Stamford Endowed School in Lincolnshire, Glyn School in London and Ysgol Bro Morgannwg in Barry, the boys from Mississauga made their way to Blaenavon for a tour of Big Pit before arriving at Pontypool united rugby club to meet their host families. Some of the Abersychan boys who had not hosted before were a little apprehensive but soon relaxed and made friends with their new roommates. That evening the boys treated their Canadian friends to a night at the rugby club to watch Pontypool United 1XV take on Brynmawr in a Welsh league fixture.

On a sunny Saturday morning the boys arrived at the club for 9:00am ready for the game. Both teams were out early ready to warm up as a large crowd began to fill the ground. The game kicked off with both sides looking to play an open style of rugby. The home team looked to move the ball and run the heavier Canadian team around the field. After some great handling by both the forwards and backs, flanker Caelan May crashed over for the first score in the corner, with Sam Watkins converting from the touchline.  In a half dominated by Abersychan, the home team ran in further tries with a brace from Sam Watkins and centre Wil Edwards. Watkins was accurate with the boot and soon a convincing victory was on the cards. However, after some hard carries into the 22 by the Blues, they were rewarded with a scrum, 5 metres out and the visiting number 8 charged over the line for a consolation try before half time.

At half time a number of changes were made, but this did not have a negative effect on the team performance.  May, Callum Bailey Aitkin and Jack Skyrme continued to carry hard and after some quick ruck ball, wing Kyle James raced over to score, again Watkins converting. The Abersychan boys took control of the next 20 minutes with a further 3 tries scored. Conversions were kicked by Sam Watkins but due to a dead leg versatile second row Alex Robinson had to step up and take the final kick for Abersychan. It was an extremely difficult kick from the far left hand touchline that Leigh Halfpenny would have difficulty with, but Robbo calmly stepped up and slotted the ball straight through the sticks for the 2 points. The tourists never say die attitude was rewarded with 2 tries in the dying moments of the game. .

Following the game a presentation between the 2 sides took place in the club with home captain Matthew Bancroft thanking all involved for making the day such a special occasion. He presented the captain and vice-captain of the blues with Abersychan Rugby beanies and t-shirts and presented the club with an Abersychan Rugby pennant.  The touring team selected a man of the match for Abersychan and to no surprise it went to full back Sam Watkins for his faultless performance.

The day was not over for the Canadians as they travelled to Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium to watch Wales thrash Scotland in the final weekend of the RBS 6 Nations. A great day was had by all involved and I know the Abersychan boys are really looking forward to playing their new friends on foreign soil in the autumn term.  Well done lads.