HBHS play Under 18 Chinese Rugby Team in historic first

The shortest day of the year was a day of firsts at HBHS, with the Chinese Under 18 Rugby team playing their country’s first international fixture outside of China against a New Zealand side on the school’s number one field.  The entire school was on the side-lines to welcome the visitors and to share anthems and demonstrations from both cultures that were live-streamed to an estimated Chinese audience of six million viewers.  HBHS fielded a Barbarians team, captained by Zac Pene, selected from a number of senior sides entering the business end of their competitions this season, and this match-fitness showed through, with on-field haka leader and winger Joshua Wirihana-Tawake scoring in the corner within the first five minutes.  Japanese International Student Kenta Komura scored the first of his hat-trick of tries soon after and getting over the line clearly helped kicker Max Wilson to get his eye in as he converted his own try and the two that followed.  HBHS speed and defensive pressure proved hard to handle for the Chinese side as forced errors allowed Wirihana-Tawake and Komura to score again, putting the half time score at 31 – 0.  A rousing full school haka at the beginning of the second half fired HBHS replacement forward Albert Nadan over the line and he was followed by Arie Gordon who converted his own try to push the score out to 43 – 0.  Despite looking promising on a number of occasions, and showcasing some impressive bursts of speed, the Chinese side were unable to string together enough moves to penetrate the HBHS defence, and handling and passing errors proved costly.  Komura’s third try was the final scoring act in the match, with HBHS securing a historic 48 – 0 win.  Congratulations to all of the players who participated in this very special match, and who played in a fashion that indicated an understanding of how important it was for both sides and countries.  

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