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Entries from blogs tagged with “rugby”

Final days of the South Africa Tour

Thursday

Spent the day in Stellenbosch, hip to hip with the wine country. Rick had a meeting with the Director of Rugby at Stellenbosch University about player swaps and it went very well. Hopefully next season we will have a player from KU go to Stellenbosch, and one from there come to Lawrence. In the evening, the group explored the small city of Stellenbosch, which could be Lawrence’s Sister City. The streets were in abundance of shops and restaurants, and late night bars.

Friday

The group spend the afternoon at a beautiful winery and had a lamb spit roast with all the sides and a very informative and humorous wine tasting. It was quite possibly the best meal of the tour.

The group was then bussed one hour to Cape Town and rode the cable car to the top of Table Mountain, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. It was an unbelievably magnificent prospective and view! We stayed at a hotel with towels, sheets and soap, things we had been previously been lacking! We were then bussed one hour to our final match with the Cape Town Select of 35 and overs. The match was uncontested scrums and NO kicking, which the Jayhawks won 4 trys to 3. The game was played with five other games and a crowd of one thousand. With the obligatory braai and gifts and speeches after. The next day, the group toured Cape Town’s wharf and shops and went to a Super Fifteens game between the Stormers and the Cheetahs with the Stormers clobbering the Durban team by 40-3. Lots of rugby on the tour; four internationals, three pro games and our five club games!

Sunday was a travel day and a half, but everyone made their connections and slept in their own beds on Monday night. Long journey but well worth it.

What a fantastic tour! The tour party could not have been better. Everyone pitched in and made it a great experience. We played very well, saw some great games, and met some wonderful people. We are ready to go again. Ireland 2015!

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Greetings from the Republic of South Africa!

We are staying at the Rugby Performance Camp in Riebeek West where the team is learning new skills.

The game in Ellis Park vs. the Westrand Harlequins could not have gone any better. The Harlequins were celebrating their 120th anniversary in the 65,000 seat stadium for the pre-match to the Sharks and Lions Super 15 Match.

The game was a fast-paced, back and forth affair with multiple trys scored by both teams. Jack Voigt, Cody Webber and Joni Hare all scored one try, with Phil Ozorkowitz scoring two trys. Kicks were made by Matt Schwartz, Louis Peens, John Knutsen and Jack Vogt. The final score was 40 to the Westrand and 37 to the Jayhawks. In the last minute of the game, the Jayhawks had an opportunity to go for a penalty kick and tie the score, but decided to go for the win by kicking to touch and using the last minute line out. Unfortunately, KU fell short in the loss.

All fans and players alike were very proud of the effort made by the Jayhawks. We were then able to watch the Lions vs. Sharks match, which turned out to be a high scoring test, which was won by the Lions in the last seconds of the game, 39-37.

The following day we travelled to Capetown where we were able to see the beautiful sights (Tabletop Mountain) and take in the world famous waterfront of Capetown. After a long evening of adventures, it was home to bed in the hostel.

Monday morning was early to rise for a three hour drive through the gorgeous wine country of the West Cape. Farming country with endless miles of grapevines, wheat, kudu and cattle. We arrived in the small town of Riebeek West to a state of the art rugby training facility. The camp has hosted numerous overseas and local teams, but we are the first American squad to visit. Day one was filled with two-a-day practices, film sessions and a court session, where the players brought their minor grievances to the court in front of Judge Lechtenburg, where he levied out appropriate fines. The evening was finished by a rookie talent show where we saw another side to the players. The group will attend a wine tasting and dinner this evening, and the team will play another match on Wednesday against a local all-star 15. The weather finally turned to “winter” for one day, with three inches of rain. To the north of the valley, we can see snow on the mountains. Everyone has been kept dry and safe.

With only six days left of the tour, we are having fun and soaking up every last minute of the local culture that we have.

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Hello again from the southern hemisphere…

...where the stars are brighter and there is no big dipper to be found.

We went on a game drive at Kruger National Park on Saturday night and saw cape buffalo, elephant, giraffe, leopard, hyenas and impala (the McDonalds of the bush). We were back up early the next morning at 4:30 a.m. for a six hour drive through the world’s largest game park, Kruger National. In total, we saw 25 different species of animals. Many elephant and hippo. It left us wanting to come back for more.

We then had a four hour drive to the Klein-Karibe Resort in Warmbath. The Jayhawks played the Warmbath RFC in a night match in front of 150 local fans. There were lots of small children and families who enjoyed the Rock Chalk Chant.

The Jayhawks came out with a dominant victory with a score of 23-5. Two tries were scored by Dane Keiser, and Louis (our South African guest player) kicked for five points, and Matt Schwartz finished with kicking for five points. The captain, Jack Voigt, scored his first ever drop goal.

Rick Renfro, the tour Manager, shared his thoughts on the match:

“We are very proud of the team effort,” Renfro said. “We are starting to gel as a unit, and we have a lot of potential to finish the tour strong. The next match will be a big test, playing the curtain raiser against Pretoria Harlequens at the 80,000 seat Ellis Park in Johannesburg.”

The team finished off the evening with a braai and gift exchange hosted by Warmbath RFC. We finished off a late evening/early morning at the local watering hole.

The team will build more bonds over the next two days as they are sleeping 12 to a tent, bunk bed style. We are having a hard time keeping the monkeys out of the sleeping quarters and kitchens. The group will spend Wednesday relaxing and recouping at the resort and will take a canopy tour on Thursday.

The Jayhawks are very excited for playing the curtain raiser on Friday, June 21st prior to the Sharks vs. Blue Bulls professional Super 15s game.

We will have another update after our match on Friday. To all of the families, don’t worry, everyone is safe and sound. We wish you were here!

ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!

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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.

KU Jayhawks vs. Whiteriver, 32-17

KU Jayhawks vs. Whiteriver, 32-17 by Lweldon

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KU Rugby Team

Team photo of the KU Rugby team from Aspen Ruggerfest 2013.

KU Rugby team in action.

Be sure to check back and we'll have more news to share on their travel to South Africa and as they take the fields to play their matches.

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KU Rugby South Africa Tour 2013

Lions and Tigers and Bears. Oh MY!!!!

No, there are no tigers or bears in South Africa, but a bunch of Kansas Rugby players and friends are headed for South Africa where they will try and keep from getting attacked by lion, and seeing the Big Five (lion, elephant, water buffalo, rhino, and leopard) making a two day trek to get there.

We will be playing four games. The first against Witrivier on the Friday we arrive. Then we play Warmbath on Tuesday and Xhosa Harlequins on Friday at Ellis Park on the main pitch in the warm-up match for the Super Rugby. Our last match will be at the Rugby Performance Camp outside Stelenbosch after three days of practice.

We will get to see four international matches. Italy, Samoa, and Scotland will be touring South Africa. We will see two tests in Nelspruit and two in Pretoria. We will also be attending two Super Rugby matches, the aforementioned in Johannesburg and one at the end of the trip in Cape Town.

In between we will be staying in Kruger National Game Preserve for two and a half days, going on a zip line, having a traditional brae, and shopping in Cape Town. We will be in the wine country and get to experience local foods and magnificent scenery.

But the best part will be meeting new friends and making a lot of great memories. We will keep you updated.

Below is a link to a map of where we are going.

Wish you were going!

http://goo.gl/maps/aUcN7

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