The Lennox Head U/13 Trojans rugby team has just returned from New Zealand having achieved a rare feat in Australian rugby circles: beating the Kiwis and bringing back a winner’s trophy.
The team flew to Queenstown to compete in the annual New Zealand Junior Rugby Festival, playing teams from Australia and New Zealand.
Over the weekend, the Trojans were cheered on by a multi-generational entourage of their families who saw them beat all comers including the Timaru Harlequins in the carnival’s grandfinal.
Up until that moment, the Harlequins hadn’t lost a game all season.
‘We improved with every game over there. The final two games of the carnival against Brisbane Brothers and the Timaru Harlequins were probably the best games we played all year,’ he said.
As a visiting captain Tom also had the very great privilege of facing the traditional Haka at the opening.
‘It was very, very frightening. But it felt kind of empowering as well, like you had the energy of the Haka upon you, firing you up,’ said Tom.
‘We lifted for the Queenstown final. Every Trojan who stepped on the field played out of their skin. It was clean and flowing. Everything just clicked,’ Tom said.
The triumph capped off an impressive year for the Trojans, who were also premiers in their Far North Coast competition.
‘We went with no expectations other than hoping the boys would play well and fill their heads with memories of the fun they had on and off the field in New Zealand. I think we ticked both those boxes,’ coach Scott Jenkins said.