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First Greetings from the KU Rugby Team, Whiteriver, South Africa
Greetings from South Africa! It’s day three of our adventure, and we already have so much to share.
The tour group arrived Friday evening, and after a long three days of travel, played their first match of the tour against Whiteriver. They had to hit the ground running and played a well fought match.
Jordan Brown had 5 points, Joni Hare scored 5, and Jack Voght with 7 for a final score of 17-31 in Whiteriver’s favor. The tour coach, Joni Hare, shared his thoughts on the match.
"The first ten minutes were really good. We scored a try really early on and we put a lot of pressure on them. We made them make a lot of mistakes. We held on to the ball pretty well. The first half they got a few lucky breaks, we made a few mistakes and they scored a try from that. Our line out didn’t go very well, our scrum went quite well, and the backs played well. The second half we kind of fronted up a little bit better. At the end of the day, I think they put on their best team in the middle of the second half. We lost a try quite early in the second half, and I then managed to score one back. One of them we were on their try line and they managed to make a break from there and they scored and then we scored the last play of the game. Overall, it was quite good considering everyone had just gotten off the plane from travelling for three days. We showed a good performance."
After the match, the group travelled to Hulala, the resort where we’ll be lodging until Monday morning. The grounds are gorgeous, with a stunning view of the lake in the valley of the mountains. Although we have yet to see Lions roaming the grounds, the monkeys are plentiful.
Saturday brought a fun day at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit where we watched Scotland take on the South African Springboks. Joni Hare, the native Scotsman, took some jesting from the local South African Dane Keiser.
“It was different watching my home team in another country. I’ve never seen them play away from home. I’ve watched rugby in South Africa before, but it’s different watching your home country. A couple of my friends were also playing, so that was interesting as well. He scored a try, which was nice. We were kind of unlucky, we had quite a few injuries early on, and that messed us up a little bit. The defense was really good, but we just weren’t good enough to win in the end. I don’t think the score reflects the way the game was played. Watching with Dane was kind of annoying. I wasn’t too bothered about him, but there was an Afrikaner sitting behind me who was quite a jerk. I think he realized that Scotland is actually quite good. We just got unlucky and didn’t win in the end. We could have won, but it was nice to see them play."
The group will take their first game drive at Kruger National Park and follow it up with a brie in the bush. We have a few pictures to share, but stay tuned for more!
The next match for the Jayhawks will be Tuesday, June 18th against Warm Bath.