Wednesday morning at 6:45 there was lots of excitement amongst the 75 girls and boys heading off to Auckland, and for some it was their first time on tour. Arriving in Auckland we split up, with the girls going to their first game and the boys going to Rainbows End. We had a great few hours, with the boys making the most of their free time. Everyone had a go, either on The Stratosphere, The Fear Fall or The Spinning Invader. It was great for the boys to get their minds off the games ahead and to bond with their teammates.
After the heart pounding thrills it was time to meet our first school St Kentigern and their billeting families. After the relaxed night for most we met at St Kent’s for our pre-match training session. Our first game was a tight one, with STAC having most of the possession and many missed goal-scoring opportunities. At the break it was 1-1. We went back on the field with determination and Mr Shaw’s tips in the back of our minds. After a long gruelling second half with all the defenders working really hard we came out on top with a penalty stroke by Etienne, set up by the forward trio of Elliot, Jordan and myself to win 2-1.
After a catch up with the other kids and a much-needed afternoon tea we headed off to our new King's billeting families for the night. In the morning we were taken on a tour of the Auckland sights, which included Mt Eden, the Auckland Harbour Bridge, the Sky Tower and the Viaduct Basin.
Our second hockey game began well with STAC leading by 2 in the first 15 mins by Etienne and Victor, both from penalty corners. King's then stepped up a gear and despite body-on-the-line defence by Victor and the other defenders they went on to score 5 unanswered goals.
Over the time of the tour we all got to know each other better, developed our hockey as a team and improved on Mr Shaw’s well constructed plans. Huge thanks to Mr Shaw, his knowledge and positive attitude definitely helped our team perform to the best of their ability. It was a great flight home with many stories being told and when we arrived it was time for a well-deserved rest.
(Edited by Sam McNeill - original submission Tuesday, 17 June 2014, 9:25 PM)