St Mary’s College Junior School

Rugby Trip to Wales 6th classes

Rugby Trip to Wales 6th classes

On Friday morning, the 6th January, you could feel the excitement building within the classrooms of the 6th classes. This was the day that we were going on our rugby tour to Wales. We had school as usual in the morning – but everyone was too excited to complete much work! The bus picked us up from school at midday and took us to Dublin Airport. We got through security in 15 minutes so we had lots of time to relax and visit the shops before we got on board. We were flying over to Wales with the Leinster squad and we couldn’t wait to meet them!

We landed in Cardiff and it was around 4 o clock when we got off the plane. We had lots of time to get signatures and photographs with all the Leinster players with whom we had flown over with on the plane. The players were great and were very generous with their time in chatting, signing autographs and having photos taken. Jordan Larmour, Dan Sheehan and Josh Van Der Flier to name but a few were there. I got my jersey and an autograph book signed by all the players and I also got my boot signed. After about 30 minutes we got the bus to our hotel. The bus ride was great as we were singing the whole way from the airport to the Clayton Hotel. Once we arrived at the hotel we got our keys and went up to our rooms. Dinner was at 7pm so we had had plenty of time to relax. We had spaghetti bolognaise for dinner - it was really good. After dinner we went into a conference room to have a team meeting. We discussed the games that we were playing the following day against Ystalyfera RFC and Ystradgynlais RFC, and the teams and captains were named. That night we all went to bed relatively early because we had to wake up at 7.30am the next morning to be ready for breakfast at 8am. At 10 o’clock the bus came to bring us to our matches. The A team, my team, were playing Ystalyfera RFC and the others teams were playing Mr. Owen’s home team, Ystradgynlais RFC. I had been looking forward to this match for so long and it didn’t disappoint. The atmosphere before the match in the changing room was electric . We got out to the pitch and started to warm up. We were all nervous but excited at the same time. Once the whistle was blown we were straight into them. We were tearing into them, putting in big hits and making scything runs which resulted in numerous tries. The whistle was blown for full time - we had won 31-0. The match was far more difficult than the score line suggested. After the match we shook hands with the opposition before diving and sliding into a big puddle on the pitch - it was great fun. We then all ran to the changing room be the first in the warm showers! The showers felt so good because we had just won and it was so fun that water was going everywhere. Every part of the post-match celebration, the singing, the chanting and dancing, was just incredible. Everyone got changed quickly because we were all starving. We had a received a great welcome in Ystalyfera RFC and were fed well. After we’d eaten our food and Mr. Sloan had made a speech, we headed down to Ystradgynlais RFC where our classmates were playing. Our B team lost and our C team won. We had a very warm welcome in Ystradgynlais RFC. Mr. Sloan made another speech in Ystradgynlais RFC before we bonded with our Welsh host by playing games and singing songs. We stayed in Ystradgnlais RFC until 6pm, when we left and headed down to the stadium to watch Ospreys versus Leinster.

When we arrived the gift shop was open. Most of the boys, including myself, decided to get an Ospreys jersey. Some of us also got to meet George North, Dan Lydiate, Owen Watkins and Sam Parry who were signing autographs there.

Once we got to our seats, 30 of us were given Leinster flags and were led to the side of the pitch so that we could wave our flags in support of Leinster. The rest of my team mates got a chance to do this in the second half. The rugby match was fantastic. The Ospreys started the match well and in control for the first 40 minutes. However in the second, half Leinster came out and were ready to get stuck in. Try after try we were now winning but sitting on a tight rope. We held on to come out on top in the end. It was a decent performance from Leinster.

After the match was over and we had clapped the Leinster team from the pitch, it was straight back to the bus that was taking us back to Cardiff Airport. In the airport we got another chance to meet the players and get more autographs! It wasn’t long before we were called to board the plane. Once we had boarded the plane we were all really tired so a few of us went to sleep, 40 minutes later we arrived in Dublin and jumped on the bus that took us back to school.

Overall our trip to Wales was an incredible two days that will stay in my memory forever.

By Conor Rapple

Form 6.

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