16-Mar-2022 JFAN rugby on tour
After a long two years without trips or tours, the Joyce Frankland Academy set off for the south-west from Essex with their year 11 rugby team in February.
After a morning journey down the M4 the tour started with a professional coaching session with the Bristol Bears at superb facilities courtesy of North Bristol Rugby club, and the perfect appetiser for the match this evening. Workout over, the group set off for the YHA in Bristol, an ideal base for the next few days, to check in and enjoy an early dinner. With no time to waste they were soon heading across to Ashton Gate with tickets for the Premiership encounter as the Bears welcomed London Irish. A Q&A with Bears srum-half, Andy Uren preceeded the match, who joined the lads for some photos too. On a cold Friday evening, the Bears held the lead at half-time, but were blown away by an explosive second half performance from the Exiles, who ran in five tries after the break to run out 32-49 winners at the close. What a match! Eleven tries and eighty-one points was fabulous entertainment.
After a good night's sleep the team enjoyed a training session with their own staff and some ten pin bowling - great for both teambuilding and relaxation. On Sunday, it was time to head across the border into Wales for a fixture against Llandaff RFC, friendly rivals they had met a number of times before. Perfectly matched, the games could have gone either way and ended in a 15-15 draw. The second friendly game of the tour was also played in Wales, as Crickhowell High School hosted and won a super game 25-17 against the tourists. This had followed a Champions Lap of Honour tour of the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, always a popular feature of a visit here. There was still time to enjoy a High Ropes course at Go Ape in the packed itinerary too.
Too many have missed out on so much for so long. There's so much benefit from a sports tour, both on and off the field, whether in the UK or abroad, as the JFAN experience proves.