St John’s School set off for the South of France for a three night rugby tour. From their tour report below it sounded like everyone involved had an amazing time.
“Before the birds had awoken the 1st XV were setting off on their end-of-season trip to experience the culture and hospitality of the South of France. As it turned out we were not let down in any way whatsoever and for four days the boys had a rugby adventure to remember. On the first flight out of Gatwick we arrived in Nice, early on the Friday morning’ to warm sunshine and accommodation that was a stone’s throw away from the beach. A relaxing stroll along the Promenade des Anglais was a nice way to start the day and afterwards we lay on the beach, taking in the sun and winding down after the early start. There was plenty to see in Nice and the boys wandered around the parks near to the city centre before an early night in preparation for the first match on Saturday morning.
Match 1 vs Rugby Club Valettois Revestois. Won 72 –53
Scorers: Joshua Ogunnaike, 5 tries, Adam Hart 3 tries, Shore Ojutiku 2 tries, Temide Johnson 1 try, Sam Bickerstaff, 1 try, Jamie Graham 6 conversions.
In order to make the first match we had to get up early and drive for about an hour and a half towards Marseille, where we would go later in the day, to get to Rugby Club Valettois Revestois. It was a very warm morning and we were fortunate to have a large group of parents who had made the trip to support the boys. We started well and scored a number of tries through Joshua Ogunnaike and Adam Hart who worked very well together in the midfield. In the forwards we competed very well and our organisation in defence and attack was very good.
There were some storming runs from Charlie Vaughan who managed to make several metres each time he had the ball in attack. The French team came back each time and scored some good tries but the St. John’s side just managed to keep ahead and out wide our backs looked much more dangerous when we had the ball in attack. The side played really well and after three twenty minute games both teams were relieved to have a rest. It was a a great start to the tour. Afterwards we had a super reception in the clubhouse whilst all the boys enjoyed the company of the opposition.
Once we had said our farewells we set off to Marseille to watch the top 14 clash between two of the biggest clubs in Europe; Toulon and Toulouse. As we approached the Stade Velodrome in Marseille you could tell there was a big match on! The crowd was a sell out with 65000 expected and the buzz around the stadium was not unlike that of an international match. Once inside and seated we were entertained by two excellent teams who put on a real cracker of a match. Toulouse eventually spoiling the party for the home team by having an excellent second half to win by 34-24.
Match 2 vs Rugby Club Pays de Fayence. Won 32-10
Scorers: Joshua Ogunnaike 3 tries, Shore Ojutiku 1 try, Sam Bickerstaff 1 try and Jolan Baxter 1 conversion.
Although we won by a comfortable margin this was a tough match and the opposition had a very strong centre who always managed to get over the gain line. However, Joshua Ogunnaike powered his way over the line and the St. John’s defence held up well under constant pressure from the opposition. Shore Ojutiku scored a good team try and this was followed up by Sam Bickerstaff who chased a kick through to score.
Near the end of the match the Pays de Fayence side attacked and put tremendous pressure on the St. John’s players who tackled superbly. Another great win on tour. Afterwards we were hosted by the opposition who gave us a fantastic reception complete with BBQ and fresh local produce.
Overall the boys had a fantastic trip that was even better than expected. It was great to see so many of the parents and siblings making the journey to support us and I’m sure the boys will take away memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you to everyone who was involved in making this trip such a success.”
St John’s School: Rugby Tour to France Highlights!
The rugby tour to France was enjoyed by all, with many fond memories:
If this is a tour that appeals to you and your rugby club, please contact us through our online enquiry form and we will happily provide you with the information you need.