On Friday the 27th of April a group from Ratu Sukuna Memorial School from Nabua Suva, on the Main Island of Viti Levu, Fiji arrived at Te Puke High School.
They brought a well drilled U16 School Rugby team, coaching staff and parent helpers.
On Saturday morning at 11am, the Ratu Sukuna School U16 played the Te Puke High School 2nd XV rugby team in an entertaining game of rugby in trying conditions on the TPHS field.
There were drizzly rain patches throughout with a strong northerly breeze.
Ratu Sukuna School did not waste any time scoring a well-executed try after some great interlink play and wonderful offloads that Fijian teams are known for.
Unfortunately 15mins into the game, some ill discipline meant Ratu Sukuna lost their tighthead prop after a dangerous tip tackle.
Te Puke rolled up their sleeves and worked hard for the next 20mins of the match with some strong ball running and aggressive clean outs led by Captain Ayden Mackie and hard-working forwards Lucas Green and Maniah Winiata.
The TPHS side made their way upfield on numerous occasions but were unable to cross the touring team’s try line.
The Fijians responded with three more well-executed tries in the first half and continued to play with intensity.
A Te Puke penalty saw the halftime score at 22 – 3 to Ratu Sukuna School.
The second half was an even affair with entertaining and flowing rugby on offer given the conditions.
Special mention to Lukas Harris, Ferguson Stephens, and Cuba Te Aho for their tireless efforts.
Te Puke worked hard to score a great team try however Ratu Sukuna School matched them and finished the second half two tries to one.
Final score – Ratu Sukuna Memorial School 36 to Te Puke 8.
A good starting match for the 2nd XV who showed heart with a new and untested lineup.
Credit goes to Ratu Sukuna School who looked classy throughout and played some wonderful rugby. The team has been playing together for 4 years and are one of the top 5 U16 sides in Fiji.
The Fijian side passionately sang for Te Puke who responded with their Haka.
This was a humbling cultural experience for all.
All the best to Ratu Sukuna Memorial U16, coaching staff and supporters who are off to play St. Johns College (Hamilton), Hamilton Boys High School and Wesley College before returning home.
Thank you to everyone who helped with cooking, cleaning, providing bedding and hospitality, you were brilliant!