August 2012

Ryan De La Harpe

by admin on August 20, 2012

You will need to go a long way to find someone like Ryan De La Hape. Namibian international and World Cup 2011 veteran he is super friendly, a family man (complete with baby pitch side) and a wonderfully peaceful disposition. He lives in the UK now playing his 15’s for Moseley and his 7’s for Templars.

Ryan took five minutes out to tell us a bit about himself.

So Ryan you play at scrum half why do you so enjoy this position? You know I wouldn’t want to play any other position. I like the responsibility of being the playmaker in the team and when you play for a team like the Templars it’s so easy, you couldn’t get a better bunch of players. I love it.

In terms of your training can you talk us through what you prefer? My training for 7’s and 15’s varies obviously but for 15’s I will do more fartlek style training and I also enjoy hill sprints. I will do 40, 60 80 meter sprints in succession, 15 or so times for each session. Look you need to use what you have got and adapt training to that. Most important you need self-belief, believe in yourself and what you have to give. Like I said before use what you have got.

With all due respect Namibia are always underdogs, struggling through matches how do you prepare for international matches knowing that? We don’t think we are going to get thrashed and that we are always going to defend. We look at what we can do, look for work to do, we aim to keep getting better. We won’t stop fighting for 80minuets even if the score is 100 nil, we have pride and we represent our country. It’s a growing country, 19th in the world and there is so much to still do, we know that but we are always improving.

What does it mean to play for the Templars 7’s team? Honestly I can’t describe what it means to play for the Templars; they make you feel some comfortable coming into camp. Humble boys. We play to win and are very focused but after each game we can relax and then there is just family. We then regroup and bring it to each subsequent game with such good guys, it’s amazing. I am really grateful for opportunity I have been given to represent the Templars.

 

Such a humble guy and a pleasure to interview and hang out with, he optimises all that is good about the southern hemisphere setup and belief system.

On a final note the challenge to all of us is how many of us would play with such passion even though our team was 100 points down?

Ryan De La Hape we salute you!

Pappy

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SA Rugby blog diary #2

by admin on August 17, 2012

Friday 20th saw the lads enjoy a day to themselves, enjoying a well-deserved trip around the main shopping centre in Cape Town, The Waterfront, buying yet more souvenirs to show off to the rest of the group, and using the opportunity to buy as much sun-cream as possible in preparation for the trip North to sunny Durban. The group was also interested to see that the Manchester United tour bus was parked next to the group, ahead of their pre-season game against Ajax Cape Town, and so the hunt to find the team began, sadly to no avail!

The next day the tour party travelled to watch the hockey team play Langa Township, something that was very new to many of the rugby boys. However, within minutes the group was cheering the hockey players on, even making use of the stand to create chants for the team. Spurred on by the support, the hockey team excelled and ran out comfortable winners in the game, a hugely memorable moment of the tour, a point at which the two team really began to respect each other’s sport and the skill required to play it at U18 level.

Sunday saw the rugby teams train at Milnerton R.F.C and the hockey team at the local Astroturf. With truly gruelling weather, the group was understandably miserable to begin with, although, after seeing just how much we were progressing as a team, the mood lifted somewhat and the sun even came out to mark the end of the session. A tough training session, the group were again allowed to relax for the afternoon before visiting the local restaurant for dinner. On Monday we arose later than normal due to this day being devoted to travelling the long journey to Paul Roos where we would be hosted for the next two days. After arrival at the school the boys met with their hosts and departed to their residence to get acquainted.

Tuesday 24th was a highly anticipated day for many as it meant they could spend the day at a cheetah reserve and even stroke the cheetahs themselves, which for many was seen as, not only a chance of a lifetime, but also an opportunity for a new profile picture on Facebook! Even some of the older boy’s softer side was exposed as they bought cuddly cheetah toys for relatives and girlfriends, much to the delight of the younger boys who jumped at the opportunity to crack a joke or two at their expense.

After the sanctuary the group travelled back to Paul Roos for their penultimate fixture. Paul Roos boys had often been described to us as the thoroughbred rugby players and met with gasps when told we were playing them. The rumours did not disappoint. A well drilled and extremely solid opposition team met us as we emerged from the changing rooms. It was clear that this would be a huge challenge for the team considering it was just our third game of the pre-season. A strong start from Paul Roos left us defending bravely on the try line but they inevitably crashed over in the end. It soon became obvious that this game was to be a test of commitment and will to develop, as oppose to the final score. This was indeed the case and the boys were highly praised because of their desire to learn, if not win. It is safe to say no team at Warwick had ever progressed so quickly over the space of 3 games, an attribute that put them in great stead for the final game. Final score, 19-5 to Paul Roos.

Wednesday was yet another day devoted solely to travel as the party flew to Durban to enjoy the concluding fixture as well as a safari and boat trip in the sweltering heat and humidity of the more northerly climate of Durban. A short 2 hour flight saw us touch down in Durban where we transferred to the Durban Marine Parade for two nights.

Thursday 26th was primarily all about playing the final fixture against Collegians RFC, however the morning was allocated as time for the boys to explore Durban a bit, and to see the sights and sounds, relax before the big game. After a chilled out day, the 1st XV travelled to the evening venue against Collegians RFC. The 2nd XV played Crusaders RFC and the hockey team played Maritzburg College. These fixtures were seen as many to epitomise our tour, every single player performing to the highest standard, with the true belief that nothing would stop us from finishing the tour on a real high. It was an inspiring moment to see just how far each team, each player had come over the course of tour, showing huge potential as individuals and as a team. The final score, 36-5 summed up the tour with an emphatic win and a great way to top of the tour.

Friday saw the tour party begin the long drive to the Hluhluwe Game reserve for the safari that marked the final activity on tour. On the way, the group stopped off for a Lake St.Lucia Estuary boat trip on which we travelled through crocodile and hippo infested water for an hour and a half before returning to the coach for the final leg to the game reserve. After finally reaching Bushlands game lodge where we would be staying for 2 nights, we hastily departed for a quick dinner before grabbing an early night, fully aware of the 5.30 wake-up that awaited us for our first morning game drive the next day. Rising early on Saturday morning was surprisingly easy for most as we were hugely excited to get out into the reserve. A short journey to the reserve allowed a few more minutes sleep before we entered the park. Over the course of the day and evening, we saw a huge variety of animals from the more well-known such as Lions, Rhinos, Elephants etc., to the less such, whose names I will not even attempt to spell! It’s fair to say there was not a single person whose eyes weren’t raking the surroundings in the hope of spotting something no one else did, or taking a picture at every spare moment, or simply just soaking up the surroundings. After the excitement of the first day’s drive, the group was eager to see what awaited us on the second and final game drive the next day. Again we arose early, this time met with freezing temperatures and biting winds leading to a bit of the enthusiasm being lost briefly, before an elephant crossed the road in front of us which is always bound to wake you up in the morning! Wrapped in blankets, the group came to admire the surroundings just that little bit more, knowing that this was sadly the last day of tour. Although an amazing country and a truly wonderful tour, the tour group was not disappointed to be going home as we all felt we had got the best out of South Africa, be it on, or off, the rugby or hockey pitch, there was not one regrettable moment for any. As we departed home for England, a perceptible air of respect for one another was evident and rightly so, every person had earned their place in their respective teams.

For me, simply to stand back and see friendships form, players and teams develop, and most of all, a consistently fun and friendly atmosphere, was awesome to see, and the tour has gone down as easily one of my most memorable moments. It’s here I must say a big thanks to Akuma for the support they provided to make the tour possible for me, as well as the kit they supplied which did not fail to make the rest of the team incredibly envious!

 

Warwick School on Tour, written by Joe Blake.

 

 

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Akuma in South Africa by Joe Blake

by admin on August 14, 2012

On Thursday 12th July Warwick school departed on tour for South Africa with 62 boys and 8 coaches, after twenty hours flying, an exhausted, but excited, party hit South African turf. On the official first day of tour, Saturday the 14th of July the Group trained at the local sports science institute used by the most highly rated teams, undoubtedly the most well equipped and prestigious gym the group had ever experienced. The group went on to enjoy watching the Stormers play the Rebels in the final round of fixtures in the Super XV at Newlands Stadium. Although an exhilarating game of Rugby, the Warwick party highly praised the Cheerleading performance on show, distracting them somewhat from the rugby game itself. After enjoying a trip around the local market to buy souvenirs for friends and family, the party retired to the hotel for the night.

After both Squads arose the next morning to grim, comparatively English weather, we enjoyed an excursion around the Cape Peninsula, the most dramatic point of Africa with stunning scenery and an uninterrupted view of the horizon. We then went on to travel to the Cape of Good Hope nature Reserve where we sited baboons and other wild animals local to the cape. Finally, we reached cape point at which we enjoyed unique views of the most southerly point of the continent, climbing hundreds of feet to the lighthouse which marks the most southerly point of the continent, an amazing experience for all, it was a truly memorable moment for the party.

On Tuesday, in the morning, we woke up to a glorious day, with clear blue skies and temperate weather, much to the delight of the group after they perhaps ambitiously predicted record breaking high temperatures, despite it being the middle of South African winter. After a hasty breakfast the group departed for the short trip to the summit of Table Mountain, opting for the cable car instead of the 6 hour climb and trek. The boys were greeted with a truly majestic panorama, aided particularly by the truly superb weather, the view stretched from the entirety of Cape Town, all the way to the cape and the sea beyond.

On the same day we played our first fixture against Wynberg Boys High School in Cape town, where the squad undertook in a physical and fast game, narrowly running out 13-5 losers. Despite a loss, the boys played well as a team, with a strong offload game and an abundance of talent, not a bad start to say the least and to quote the coaches, “Very promising”.

Wednesday the 18th July, not only memorable for Mandela day, but also for those who undertook their sixty seven minutes of charitable work throughout the country. The Warwick party dived headfirst into their own sixty seven minutes at the eye-opening Goedgedacht Trust which caters for vulnerable children from rural areas. The high point being the enthusiasm with which the children engaged towards an Akuma rugby ball, engaging in passing and tackling with tremendous passion, showing up a fair few of the Warwick lads! Too many of the children, they had never had the opportunity to play with a proper rugby ball, and this was a touching sight to see them so happy for the entire party. The group continued on to the local playing fields in an attempt to help train the local rugby teams, but soon found the children were far too interested in swarming and taking down the largest members of the group to their huge delight.

Thursday 19th saw our biggest fixtures of the tour, against Bishops School being played on the oldest pitch in South Africa. A tremendous effort from Warwick led to a tremendous win, against an experienced Bishops side. Winning with a late winner, with a fine finish in the corner by captain Miles Dean, a truly valiant effort throughout.

 

 

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